Swimming is a great low-impact aerobic activity to keep you fit and healthy. Moreover, it is an activity that can be taken up by anyone irrespective of age and fitness levels.
Health Benefits of Swimming
While many exercises like cycling or running strengthen some specific muscles of the body, swimming works on different muscles simultaneously. It is fantastic for toning the upper body, arms and shoulders. Strokes like freestyle, breaststroke and backstroke are good for all-over body toning.
Swimming is a non-weight bearing activity; the buoyancy provided by water gives you a feeling of weightlessness and supports you well. Therefore, it is recommended even for people suffering from injuries, back pain, arthritis and disabilities.
The physical benefits of swimming include increased strength and flexibility, enhanced muscular stamina, improved cardiovascular conditioning and posture correction. It helps in weight-loss and therefore gives you an attractive physique or figure. It helps in lowering blood pressure and cholesterol levels, thus reducing the risk of heart disease and stoke.
Helps in Recovery
Swimming is an excellent postnatal exercise as it strengthens abdominal and shoulder muscles that get strained the most when caring for a baby. It also reduces joint pains, blood pressure and discomfort associated with pregnancy.
Doctors often suggest swimming to women who have undergone breast surgery as part of the recovery process. It is effective in avoiding muscular atrophy often seen in post-surgery patients who adopt a sedentary lifestyle.
Psychological and Social Benefits of Swimming
Water has massages are muscles and has a soothing effect on our body and mind. By regulating breathing and stimulating circulation, swimming helps release built-up stress and relaxes our mind.
Furthermore, swimming is an excellent recreational activity. You can take it up as a weekly family activity. Not only will your family stay fit, it will also help develop a strong bond amongst you.
You can either take it up as a regular physical activity or add it as a weekly activity to your fitness routine for variety. However, be careful not to jump to doing laps straight away as that can be harmful. Start with easy breathing exercises and learning basic strokes.
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