The long, balmy days of summer are perfect for enjoying a refreshing swim.
As well as being a pleasant way to cool down, swimming is a full-body workout that can benefit our bodies and minds.
Benefits of swimming
- Swimming raises your heart rate and builds cardiovascular fitness and endurance, as well as tones muscles.
- Swimming is a low-impact activity that’s gentle on joints, making it an excellent option for people recovering from some injuries and conditions*.
- It’s an affordable activity—entry to a local pool is usually less than $10, while the cost of going to a gym can be much more expensive.
- If you’re not confident in the water, find a local swim center that holds training and lessons for adults. Whether you’re a beginner or looking for professional advice to push yourself further, you can find a class to suit your needs.
- Like any exercise, swimming helps maintain a healthy weight, as well as a healthy heart and lungs.
As most of the muscle groups are working simultaneously in stretching motions, swimming can also improve coordination and flexibility. Swimming is one of the most popular recreational activities in the USA and you’re likely to have a public pool, beach or river nearby, no matter where you are. Just make sure that the environment you choose to swim in is safe.
Swimming for kids
Learning to swim is not only fun and healthy for kids, but a very important part of water safety. Each year, over 700 children under the age of 14 drown. Swimming can help introduce kids to the water in a safe and positive environment, so they feel confident in the water and can learn basic survival skills such as treading water and floating.
According to the CDC, getting kids into the water early and often is the key to success. They recommend parents help their kids to become water smart by enrolling them in swimming lessons from a young age; get them involved in as many water activities as they can, whether it’s a family visit to the beach or a morning swim in the local pool; and encourage kids to enjoy being in the water.
*Always consult your doctor or healthcare practitioner before beginning any new program or exercise.