The Benefits of Swimming: 5 Ways Swimming Improves Your Life

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The Benefits of Swimming: 5 Ways Swimming Improves Your Life

The Benefits of Swimming: 5 Ways Swimming Improves Your Life

According to the U.S. department of Health and Human services, two and a half hours per week of aerobic physical activity (such as swimming) can significantly reduce the risk of chronic illness and disease.

The Benefits of Swimming - Kiefer.com/blog/benefits-of-swimming

In addition to disease prevention, the benefits of swimming are many. Whether you’re swimming for the first time or have been for your lifetime, here are five ways that swimming can improve the quality of your life:

1. Healthy, Strong Body

Swimming works, inside and out. Beginning with your heart. Much like running or biking swimming can be both aerobic and anaerobic. You can make it what you need or want in a workout. Aerobic training is more threshold, ie hold your heart rate in a zone and build strength and endurance. Anaerobic is more punishing, less oxygen more intensity and high levels of fatigue. Both have benefits. You can never fully isolate aerobic or anaerobic, you will always be training using both, but one will dominate more than the other depending on your training routine. Breathing becomes rhythmic and cyclical also training and increasing lung strength and capacity.

While you are increasing your cardiovascular and lung strength you are also building muscle and losing fat. Losing excess weight regardless of your chosen activity will always help promote healthy bones and joints, swimming can take this a step further. Swimming can help lengthen muscles as well. What does this do? If you take care of them before and after a training session by stretching you will reap the benefits of flexibility. It is a bigger deal than it sounds. Increased flexibility can ward off injuries as well as general wear and tear on joints.

2. Feel Better Emotionally

Endorphins! These joyful little chemical burst out from within spreading their happy all through your body. The benefits of endorphins are not unique to swimming, but their influence is often amplified from it. Scientific studies credit endorphins with improved self-esteem and feelings of euphoria. Endorphins are also associated with relieving stress and improving sleep if you commit to making the lifestyle choice to be active.

Benefits of Swimming - Kiefer.com3. Peace of Mind

Let the water be your sky. The time you spend in the water is yours. There is little to no sound and the only person you have to think about is you. Allow it and turn off your brain for some recovery. Leave everything else at the door, you can pick it back up on your way out if you want it. Swimmers often excel at visualizing because of the time they spend in their own head. They are also more in tune with themselves because of the frequent self-talks they perform daily at the pool.

4. Increased Energy

Combo a good workout with the refreshing cool of a pool and the weightlessness achieved there and you are bound to feel good. Despite the common fall back of “I am too tired to work out,” completing a workout will often give you a boost that may even have the ability to completely turn around your day. No matter what time of day you choose to hit the water the effect can propel you through the remainder of your day.

5. Pain Alleviation

Take a load off. Really. If you suffer from pain during your workouts or in your day to day life try switching up your routine. Swimming is a no contact sport. Unlike running or weight lifting there is no impact on your joints. Likewise if you suffer from pain via tight muscles swimming can help you lengthen those muscles and relieve pressure. Swimming is only as hard as you make it. If you are rehabbing or trying to get back in shape you can build up your intensity as you overcome pain or drop weight. Swimming is one of the most adaptable fitness programs available and anyone can do it.

How has swimming improved your life? Leave a comment and let us know! If you’re looking to read more about swimming, check out these articles:

About Emily Milak

Emily Milak is a lifetime competitive swimmer living in Southeastern Wisconsin. Emily is a US National Team champion, NCAA champion, and USMS champion with extensive coaching experience. She is a product development consultant at Kiefer.

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I've been a swimmer my whole life. My parents started me with lessons as a three year old and by five I had joined my first team. I started swimming year round at eight and by thirteen I was qualified for Junior Nationals. By fifteen I was a member of the US National Junior Team (National 'B' Team) and a Senior National Qualifier. I attened my first Olympic Trials in 2000 and finished third in the 200 butterfly. I am a US National Champion, three time NCAA Champion, NCAA record holder, and was a memeber of the US National 'A' Team for five years. I've competed in two World Championships, two Duel in the Pools, a Pan Pacific Championship where I earned a bronze medal in the 200 fly, and competitor in the Goodwill Games. I love to swim and love to coach. I have been working with 12 & Unders for the past ten years including a lengthy stint as the head age group coach in Houston, TX with the toughest bunch of little swimmers I have ever had the privilege of working with. Now I am a mom who swims! I substitute coach and swim master's. I have only competed at one Master's Nationals but walked away a two time champion.

30 Comments
  • Amy Winters says:

    Thanks for pointing out that swimming can help you feel better emotionally because it releases endorphins, which cause euphoria and improved self-esteem. I’ve always wanted to have a pool installed in my back yard, but it only just became financially possible for my family. Knowing that having a pool would allow me to improve my emotional health makes me really want to take the plunge and get one! I’ll definitely talk with my husband about it tonight!

    • Emily Milak says:

      Amy that sounds incredible! What a treat to be able to go for a swim whenever you’d like. I hope your dream comes true! I certainly feel better after nearly any workout, minus the soreness that comes with non swimming activities. But to be in the water is such a gift to your whole body.

  • It really got me when you said that swimming is a good alternative to a normal workout because it also helps in burning calories, but it is not as strenuous because it is a low contact sport. Surely this is enough of a reason to convince my older sister to get a pool in the property. She wants to be slimmer, but she hates working out. Swimming is the best option for her.

    • Emily Milak says:

      Hi Dio! Swimming really is fantastic, its one sure-fire way to work out your entire body with much less impact than just about anything. It is highly adaptable and it just feels good! Best of luck to you and your sister!

  • Oahu Swimmer says:

    Great article and I couldn’t agree more! My main source of cardio was running and after years of pounding the pavement, I found swimming as a better option for me. Much less stress on my knees. I still run but not as much and my running performance has actually improved from my swim training. I love a great workout, it always gets me going and feeling good. I highly recommend people read this article and give swimming a chance.

    Thanks

    • Emily Milak says:

      So glad to hear you’ve found happiness in the water! I also enjoy running, but I’m not terribly good at it. Swimming is fantastic not only for your physical health but mental as well.

  • kyliedotts13 says:

    I didn’t realize that endorphins produced by swimming and exercise helped with self-esteem. That seems like a great reason to grab your family and go to the beach much more often! Being able to feel better about yourself would help your style and your confidence so it can’t be understated!

  • Swimming has physical and psychological benefits for people of all ages. Even if you don’t want to have a vigorous fitness session in the pool, just being in the water can be very rewarding. Get your children also to learn to swim as early as possible. They will love it and it will be a skill they will treasure lifelong.

  • As a person dealing with a chronic illness (Ehlers-Danlos syndrome), water therapy and gentle swimming has made the biggest difference in my physical abilities! I am always looking for new water activities so I don’t get bored doing the same work out every day at the pool. Water therapy and swimming is just so great for the body!

  • Mary Beth Baumgardner says:

    I just had hip surgery on July 12! My DR recommended swimming. After six weeks , I started swimming 3-4 times per week. I feel great and it has strengthened my hip.

  • Emily Milak says:

    Very glad to have been of help! Hope you get to reap all those benefits soon!

  • This article has really helped me to know what benefits come with swimming. I really like how you said that “Swimming is only as hard as you make it. If you are rehabbing or trying to get back in shape you can build up your intensity as you overcome pain or drop weight. Swimming is one of the most adaptable fitness programs available and anyone can do it.” I have never had a pool before but I will definitely have to look into getting one so that I can enjoy the health benefits that come with owning a pool.

  • Karen says:

    I started swimming in Feb this year after not swimming for forty years when I swam competitively as a teen. I was so unfit and had sore shoulders for months. I don’t feel my arthritis when I’m in the pool and I love the weightlessness. I love the mental challenge of trying to perfect my stroke. I’m constantly monitoring my body parts and form and cannot believe when the hour is up. I love being in the now with no disruptions.

  • Lady Jac says:

    I really connect with the first three points. Swimming helps me sort my thoughts. I have some of the best arguments with people underwater. When I’m finished, I have clarity, satisfaction & haven’t offended anyone.

  • Barbara Travis says:

    I didn’t begin swimming until I was 40 when my knees said no more to running. At 61 I am swimming more than ever. After each check up, my doctor says, “Keep doing what you are doing. Wish more of my patients were in your shape.”

  • Debbie says:

    I’ve been swimming since I was 5 years old. Was on the swim team, then quit at age 13yrs. Started lap swimming in college and have been swimming ever since. I love the water, great cardio-pulmonary exercise. I think I was a fish in my life before:)

  • Emily Milak says:

    Betsy I feel your pain! Recalling college days sharing a lane with big guys and all of us doing butterfly, my wrists cry in memory!

  • Betsy Lane says:

    Totally agree–although my teammates and I often joke that swimming is only SORT OF a “no contact” sport! (Ow…). LOL

  • warren labahn says:

    I have arthtis can be painful but swimming has help with my pain and sometimes it goes away till the next time it comes around

  • Jan Werner says:

    I have been swimming for 40 years. I have had both knees replaced in the past 12 years and was able to get moving again faster because of my swimming. Using the pool to recover was a huge advantage. My osteoarthritis would be debilitating if I did not swim. I have pain and stiffness if I don’t get in the pool 3-4 days a week.

  • Susan says:

    I got into the pool after hip surgery in 1995 and continue to swim and aquacise (as well as walk) daily. These workouts have strengthened my legs, improved my gait, help to control weight, lowered cholesterol, and improved flexibility. Since ’95 I’ve had several more surgeries but continue to maintain a strong level of fitness through water exercising. I’m so lucky to have found exercise that I love.

  • Mark Lawless says:

    Yes I agree with Ms. Milak. These points are even more important as we get older.

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