How more women can achieve a healthy body and mind in the pool
By Ea Francisco | Lead photo by Haley Phelps/Unsplash
For some women, summer is the time to try to get that ideal body type they want. Though, let’s face it, the heat doesn’t exactly create favorable conditions for exercise. But if you really want to be more fit and active this summer, then maybe you should swim more. It’s a refreshing activity that doubles as a workout. This is a sport that can be done by women of all ages and physiques, even those who are pregnant. If you’re still unsure, here are reasons why swimming might be the sport for you.
Swimming gives you a full-body workout. In swimming, your whole body will be submerged under water, so it requires movement from both your upper and lower body in order to propel yourself. It even targets your underworked and unused muscles, which makes it ideal for those with stiff muscles and arthritis. For pregnant women, being underwater eases the strain on your back and limbs, and you don’t have to worry about anything happening because the water will support your weight.
Swimming is a low-impact sport. There is less stress on the body because of buoyancy. Water resistance prevents sudden movements that are often the cause of injury. Water pressure is your friend, so even on your period, you can swim and not worry about bleeding out. Since it also builds endurance and puts little strain on the body, you can actually train longer than you would in other sports and burn more calories. The amount of calories lost per session will depend on the intensity of your workout.
Experienced swimmers usually have a V-shaped body type. This makes it ideal for women who want narrow hips and broad shoulders. If you’re looking to trim your waistline, then swimming is the way to do it. It twists and works your core through repetitive movement of different strokes. Also, it tones your arms and legs.
Strength and cardio
Swimming can be both a strength and cardio workout. It may not be as intense as other sports, but it still holds its own in building upper body strength. Different strokes give you a wide range of movement that helps build leaner muscles and flexibility. Swimming, being an aerobic sport, is an effective cardiovascular exercise that has lasting health benefits.
It helps improve the heart and lungs, too. The breathing technique makes oxygen flow more efficiently, and this has helped improve the condition of those with asthma. Also, it lowers blood pressure, which lessens the chances of heart problems and other chronic diseases. Swimming also improves overall lung capacity. These benefits are said to exist long after one has stopped training.
Studies have shown that swimming can make you smarter. The forced breathing pattern and water pressure increase blood flow to the brain. More blood to the brain means more brain activity. A study in Australia shows that language development and intellectual capital are achieved sooner by those who swim at an early age as compared to those who do not.
Swimming is therapeutic. There are scientific reasons that say it can help relieve stress. Aside from endorphins released during exercise, studies show that swimming has an antidepressant effect because of a process called neurogenesis or the growth of brain cells lost due to stress.
Also, the stretching movement and rhythmic breathing from swimming creates a relaxing effect similar to yoga. Even better, you won’t have a lot of distractions when swimming. You can just focus on yourself and your form. External noise can’t reach you, and it can feel really peaceful.#
There are a lot of mental and health benefits that make swimming an ideal sport for women. Even if you’re not planning on doing it competitively, it’s still a fun and cool exercise that every person should have a chance to try.