Last year was painful for me. I have hurt my knee because of an unfortunate fall and had restrictive moments especially while walking. I was lucky to find an orthopedic doctor that advised me to start swimming to strengthen my knee, lose weight and also tone my muscles.
I loved swimming as a child but never did it on a regular basis. As a teenager, the effects of chlorine on skin and hair became a bigger concern for me and I started avoiding going to the pool. As a teenager, I was too naive to understand that the hair and skin can be protected with proper precautions and pre and post-swimming care. I will discuss this in detail in another article.
I have been swimming 6 days a week for a few months now and my knee injury and pain has significantly healed. I feel stronger than before and have seen improvement in my muscle tone. As far as weight loss is concerned, I have seen some difference on the scale which was stuck for a long time but there is a noticeable difference in inches. I am optimistic that continuation of swimming will make the pounds fall off just like it did with inches.
Besides strengthening and Inches loss I have noticed other benefits of swimming regularly which I have mentioned below. I hope this article encourages you to consider swimming as an option of regular exercise especially if you have joint issues.
1. Muscle Toning and strengthening of thewhole body:
With regular swimming, one can see significate advancement in muscle tone in the whole body. Swimming gives our body a workout from head to toe by using all the muscle groups to move our body in the water against its gentle resistance.
2. Big Calorie Burnout:
Swimming is an efficient way to burn a lot of calories in less time. A 100 Kg person would burn approximately 600 to 750 calories an hour compared to 300 calories walking for the same duration. The more you weigh the more calories you burn without putting stress on the joints.
3. Low impact on Joint:
Regular swimming is a boon for people with joint problems like arthritis, injury, disability or any other physical limitation that makes exercising a challenge. I have felt reduction in pain and stiffness and so I advocate everyone with a joint problem to try swimming or at least non swimming water activities like aqua aerobics or plain walking in waist height water.
4. Improves Sleep:
Regular exercise improves our quality of sleep but if you end up with more aches and pains from a workout then you may lose sleep. That is exactly what happened to me before I started swimming. Any activity even walking was adding to the knee pain and hence I avoided all forms of exercises. I am sleeping better and hence waking up early is not daunting anymore.
5. Improves Lung Capacity:
We have a habit of shallow breathing which creates a lot of health issues. Breathing exercises like Pranayama and swimming can help us breathe deeply. Regular swimming is a great workout for our cardiovascular system and respiratory system that means it makes our heart and lungs stronger which leads them to function better and improve our overall health.
6. Cardiovascular Exercise:
Swimming is a form of Cardiovascular Strength Training that increases our heart rate without putting stress on our body. Regular swimming lowers our blood pressure and controls blood sugar.
7. Destresses Mind and Body:
Swimming does not feel like a chore or an exercise. It is actually fun and if you enjoy swimming or just splashing water you would find out that swimming decreases your stress and puts you in a better mood for the rest of the day. Swimming and Aqua exercises show significant psychological benefits in various medical studies.
8. Builds Endurance:
Well, this one is a no brainier. Swimming can help anyone who wants to build endurance or stamina. Swimming has helped me feel more stronger, fitter, balanced and energetic.
If you are also looking for a fun way to burn maximum calories without putting your body through stress, I highly recommend swimming.