5 Health Benefits of Swimming

Everyone loves cooling off in the pool on a hot day, but swimming for exercise is often overlooked.

Health Benefits of Swimming, Missouri Orthopedics, Orthopedic Doctors in Saint Louis

The fact is, though, that swimming laps is an excellent, low-impact cardio exercise with substantial positive health effects. Here are a few of the key benefits of swimming:

1. Combines Strength and Cardio Training

Not only does swimming give your heart a great workout, it also helps to tone and strengthen your muscles. That’s because when you’re in the water, your body is under constant resistance. It’s like two workouts in one!

2. Builds Bone Mass

Improving your bone density helps to prevent the development of osteoporosis as we age. A study published in the Journal of Applied Physiology found a link between higher bone mineral density among those who swim compared to those who neither swim nor run. The lower the bone mineral density, the higher the risk for osteoporosis. (http://jap.physiology.org/content/91/4/1663)

3. Minimizes Impact

When swimming, you’re only bearing 10 percent of your body weight if you’re in water up to your neck. That makes it the ideal low impact exercise for those who are overweight, have arthritis, are pregnant, have been injured, or have other impediments that may make other types of cardiac exercise difficult.

4. Improves Lung Performance

Simply put, swimming regularly makes your lungs stronger. Research shows that swimmers tend to have a better tidal volume than non-swimmers, which means lower resting heart rates and lower blood pressure (two components of good cardiac health).

5. Burns Plenty of Calories

If you’re trying to lose weight, swimming is a great choice. This form of exercise burns as many calories than running or more, depending on the stroke you choose and the intensity. For example, 30 minutes of swimming the breaststroke will burn approximately 367 calories, compared to 300 calories for running the same duration.

Call us today if you’ve had an injury or are experiencing discomfort that keeps you from getting enough exercise.