With the dregs of winter looking like they may be finally fading away, it’s time to once again embrace everyones favourite summer activity…. Swimming!
Whether you’re on holiday or down you local outdoor pool, swimming in the warm weather really is one of the summer delights. The good news is that swimming also offers many health benefits and is a great way to keep activity levels high during holidays. Just some of the many benefits are explored below.
1. Good calorie burner
Swimming is a whole body exercise and requires many muscle groups to work hard to produce effective strokes. Even gentle swimming can burn around 200 calories in half an hour, which is almost double the amount of calories burnt compared to walking. Swimming boosts metabolism meaning you’ll keep the calorie burn going even after the activity is over.
2. Can be tailored for any level
If you fancy an easy workout, a gentle plod up and down the pool is still a great way to keep moving. On the other hand, if you want some high intensity intervals, swimming is also a great way to perform these.
The versatility of this activity is great, giving you options for rest days and hard training days. Different strokes can also be used to vary difficulty. A few sprint lengths of butterfly with get the lactic going, whilst a gentle breaststroke makes the ideal recovery.
3. Reduces stress and anxiety
Many studies have been done on the mental health benefits of swimming. Research has demonstrated even 15 minutes of light swimming twice a week lowered stress markers within the body and reduced anxiety and depression.
Additionally regular swimming has been shown to improve sleep patterns, which also contributes to mental wellbeing and the prevention of mental health issues.
4. Gives a good strength workout
For most of us, just swimming lengths isn’t really enough to challenge our strength levels. But try a length using only arms; all of a sudden your pulling strength is being seriously challenged!
A length using legs only gives a great lower body and core workout, with your trunk muscles having to work hard to keep the torso high enough out the water that your head doesn't go under!
Get creative, you don’t need to just do regular swimming strokes up and down, create your own movements and pool workouts.