Swimming and why you should do it
Australians are surrounded by oceans, while our land is full of dams, rivers, pools and creeks, so it’s no wonder that swimming is one of the most popular sports in Australia.
Swimming can offer relief from the heat during a hot day and is a fun way to keep healthy and active. Before you dive in to a swimming pool for some classes, there are some health benefits you should know.
Swimming engages your whole body, making it a great form of physical exercise. Freestyle alone requires shoulder rotation and extension, kicking and engaging the core muscles for stabilisation.
Some of the significant physical health benefits of swimming include:
- Improved coordination, balance, posture, and flexibility
- Increased heart rate and cardiovascular fitness
- Improved pulmonary fitness
- Increased muscle and strength
- Healthy weight maintained
- Weight loss.
Swimming is a low impact form of exercise because the water provides buoyancy, and therefore it’s an ideal sport for those with weakened joints or injuries.
According to the experts at House Call Doctor, not only are there physical benefits to swimming, there are benefits for the mind as well. Swimming is great for stress relief, relaxation and social support.
Things you need to know before you start
Before you pack up your towel and your favourite swimsuit, here are some tips to help you get the most out of your swim.
- Be realistic. Swimming may seem to be an easier form of exercise than other forms of cardio but remember to start slowly. When setting expectations and goals, be realistic.
- Quality or quantity. While swimming for long periods of time seems like a good idea, it is best to swim well for shorter periods of time. Making sure your stroke and style are correct is more important than the number of laps you complete. You’ll get the most out of your body if your stroke is correct and you’ll reduce the chances of injury or strain.
- Be prepared. Treat yourself to a nice pair of goggles and swimsuit. A kickboard is also a good idea.
- Have a good mix. Try out all the strokes, to get the whole-body experience.
- Warm up and down. Warming up and cooling down are just as important in swimming as it is in other sports. Get yourself started with some slower warm up laps and then cool down with some slower laps. This will help your recovery, so you can just keep swimming.
Swimming is fun for the whole family. Babies as young as two months old can swim, while you can continue to swim all the way up to old age.
So, grab the goggles, swimsuit and beach towel and head on down to your local pool!