Why Swimming Is Crucial For Physical And Mental Health? 3 Strokes for Beginners
It is very important for a person to incorporate at least one form of strength training in his daily schedule to keep muscles flexible and strong. This should be continued throughout the whole life as much as possible. There are a few exercises which give you complete body workout and swimming is one of them.
Swimming is one of the most worthwhile and rewarding activities you can ever involve in if you really are really keen on improving your physical and mental fitness in a fun and engaging way. So without further ado, let’s know the health benefits of swimming and why you should choose this over other forms of exercises.
Benefits of swimming
Here are some of the reasons why swimming is one of the best aerobic exercises you can engage in:
A whole body workout
The most primary benefit of opting swimming is that it affects your complete body, from head to toe. It not only tones your muscles and builds strength and endurance but also increases heart rate without putting stress on your body. Swimming also helps you manage weight.
Great for people with arthritis and injuries
People with arthritis and having injuries can face problem while doing high-impact and high resistance workouts. Swimming can be a life-saver for these people as water gently supports the muscles. As per a study, swimming can reduce joint pain significantly in people with osteoarthritis.
Wonderful option for asthma patients
Apart from increasing cardiovascular strength, swimming is a great way to enhance lung capacity and help gain control over breathing problems. While indoor humid environment may help the asthmatics but on the flipside, some studies also suggests that the chemicals used in pools can increase the risk of asthma. So, people with asthma should consult a doctor and rule out the chances of getting asthma.
Swimming is a brilliant option for those want to lose weight within shortest period of time. The amount of calories torching would obviously depend on the weight of the person and how vigorously he or she is doing it.
On an average, a person weighing 72 kgs can burn around 423 calories in an hour while swimming at moderate pace. If the same person swims at vigorous pace, he can burn up to 715 calories per hour. Compare this to exercise such as walking and the same person can only burn 314 calories by walking at the speed of 3.5 miles/hour for 60 minutes.
Improves quality of sleep
If you have ever spent time in water for long, you must know how exhausting it can be. As both the body and brain works continuously, the exhaustion will eventually result in a good sleep. Moreover, it was found in a study that older adults, who engaged in aerobic exercise like swimming, reported a boost in the quality of sleep.
Swimming can be great way to divert your mind away from disturbing thoughts. A study was conducted on swimmers before and after swimming. It was revealed that 44 people reported to be mildly depressed and experienced stress associated with fast-paced life. After swimming, this number decreased to 8.
While there is still more room for studies in this area, the experts believe that swimming is a powerful way of relieving stress. Swimming also increases confidence and releases endorphins hormones that boosts mood.
Absolutely safe and beneficial for pregnant women
Believe or not but the pregnant woman and the growing baby inside, both can reap rewards from swimming. A study on a mother rat showed that swimming improved the brain development in her baby. It can also work against a neurological disorder known as hypoxia ischemia.
Besides, swimming is one of the few exercises can be practiced by pregnant woman in all the three trimesters. Another study showed that women who did swimming in their early-mid pregnancy had a lower chance of having preterm labor and their babies having congenial defects.
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Swimming exercises for beginners
Also known as front crawl, this is one of the best swimming types for the non-professional swimmers. One should keep below things in mind while swimming this stroke:
- This stroke involves floating on the water with the face down and the hands stretched above the head on the water surface.
- Now put the right hand under the water push it back and then lift the same right hand above the water surface and bring it back to the default position
- Quickly after this, do the same with the left hand.
- Make sure you are moving your head side by side for inhaling and exhaling
This is often the second most common stroke taught to beginners. You need to:
- Float over the water on your back with the hands by your side and head in neutral position in-line with your spine
- Now lift the right hand and move it in a circular position and plunge it back in water
- Keep pushing the water back so that your body continues to move forward
- Next you recover your one arm above the water, the arms should be straight in position
- Meanwhile, the second arm should be sweeping in a S-like pattern under the water to provide propulsion
- Repeat the same with your second arm
Breaststroke is one of the most popular strokes especially for recreational swimmers who love calm and relaxing swimming. This technique includes:
- You should be in a horizontal position on your stomach with arms close together and stretched forward and palms facing downward
- While keeping arms straight, pull water from above the head to the chest
- Now as the palm reaches the chest level, fold the arms back and move them over the head to the default position
- Next you need to extend the arms in a forward position and submerge the head in water and while doing so, exhale slowly through nose or mouth
- Push the water back for forward propulsion
Essential gears you need
While most people don’t care about gears, in order to have effective and comfortable swimming, you need proper equipment. The most important among them is swimsuit which is designed for training. Choose the one which flatter your body and refine your strokes in the pool for better results.
Other helpful gears can be swimcap, goggles, kickboard and paddles.
Swimming has plethora of benefits to the mind and body. It can work for different categories of individuals. If you are a beginner, join a swimming program and once you get the basics clear, try short 20-40 minutes laps so that your heart rate is increased. Last but not the least, take break as and when necessary and drink plenty of water.