Swimming is a highly-versatile, full body exercise that is great for people of all fitness levels. It’s one of the best forms of cardio/aerobic exercise for burning calories and working out your entire body without putting too much strain on your joints (unlike running or walking). It’s also an important skill that should be learned by all people, as it can save lives.
Swimming can be done at any age, and it’s the fourth most popular sport in the world. It can give your muscles a makeover, turn you into a cardio king and calm you quicker than a secluded beach in the Bahamas. But that’s not all – this ancient activity has many more hidden benefits that can help improve your life.
Depending on the style of swimming you do, it can help with flexibility, strength, balance and mobility. It is also a good form of weight training for your legs and arms. Swimming can even be used as part of rehabilitation for injuries, such as sprains and back problems.
It helps reduce the risk of diabetes, heart disease and high blood pressure. It can also reduce the risk of stroke, as it improves the blood flow in your arteries and decreases the amount of cholesterol in your body.
Swimming can also boost your immune system and improve your skin, hair, nails and teeth. It can even increase your metabolism, allowing you to burn more calories and lose weight.
Learning to swim takes time, but being consistent with your pool visits and lessons will massively accelerate the process as your skills compound on top of each other. It’s also a social activity, and it’s possible to join a club or take competitive swimming classes where you can get to know other swimmers.
Aside from the physical benefits, swimming is a great mental workout. It requires concentration and a steady pace, and it also trains you to keep going when you’re tired. This determination to push on can be useful in areas of your life beyond the pool, such as business or sports.
It’s important to be aware of the potential risks of swimming, especially if you’re not used to it. Ensure you wear appropriate clothing and footwear, and always swim in an area where there’s lifeguard supervision. Be sure to drink plenty of water, as you can easily become dehydrated. You should also use a high-quality sunscreen with SPF 15 or higher when you swim outdoors, and avoid sun exposure between the hours of 10 am and 4 pm when the UV rays are strongest. Finally, never dive into a pool if you’re not sure how deep it is – this can cause serious injury and drowning. If you’re new to swimming, start by taking a few swimming lessons with a qualified swimming teacher. This will teach you the correct technique and get you started on the right footing. Once you’re comfortable with this, you can gradually progress to the deeper water.