Looking for a sport that maximizes health and wellness? Swimming is an activity packed with multiple health benefits:
- Swimming is a low-impact sport, meaning it does not put stress on your joints, making it an excellent activity for people suffering from arthritis and joint pain.
- The pressure that the water exerts on your body also helps improve lymphatic flow-an important aspect of your immune system. Breast cancer survivors frequently suffer from lymphedema and moving around in the water helps decrease swelling and edema.
- The pressure the water exerts on your body also benefits people suffering from lower leg swelling and venous insufficiency as the pressure helps move fluid out of the lower extremities and improves circulation.
- The rhythmic breathing component of this activity is a great stress reduction technique and can help reduce anxiety and improve your mood.
- The resistance the water creates helps tone your muscles and improves body composition.
- Aerobic exercise helps to promote healthy weight, improves cardiovascular function and promotes overall health and wellness.
- If these benefits still don’t have you convinced, the Centres of Disease Control and Prevention reports that swimmers have about half the risk of death in comparison with inactive people!
The good news is that these benefits start to be achieved with basic leisure swimming- you do not have to be an Olympic swimmer to take advantage of these benefits! If you do not know how to swim, local community centres usually have programs and lessons for people looking to learn how to swim or to improve their skills and fitness, so explore your community’s programs. Please consult your health care provider to make sure swimming is safe for you and remember to always swim with a buddy!