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Health Benefits of Swimming

A life, loving the water is full of amazing benefits. Not only is swimming one of the very few activities you can enjoy from a baby through to older age, it is also the only sport that may one day save your life. If that’s not enough, water confidence will open your world up and you’ll be able to enjoy scuba diving, kayaking, sailing, surfing and any other water sport you’ve always dreamed of.

Swimming is a non-impact activity and one of the very few sports that can be enjoyed in a competitive or non-competitive way.

It provides an excellent opportunity for cardio-vascular fitness, helping to maintain a healthy heart and lungs.

  • Muscle toning – Water is 12 times denser than air. Because of this, swimming is exceptionally good for muscle toning. You will combine cardiovascular exercise with an all over body workout. You also get to take control of the resistance that the water provides. The amount of effort you put in, is relative to the resistance the water provides.
  • Flexibility – The combination of stretching while swimming helps to elongate your whole body creating enhanced flexibility. Whereas gym equipment tends to focus on specific isolated exercise, swimming uses the fluidity of leg movement, combined with arms and a stretch that helps to keep you flexible. You’ll use muscles that you may never use doing any other exercise.
  • Breathing – The moisture levels in the air surrounding water make it far easier to breathe. Swimming sessions will help improve your lung capacity, develop better breathing techniques and help dramatically improve asthma symptoms. Swimming forces you to learn effective breath control.
  • Reduced stress on your body – Your bodyweight is supported in the water so your skeletal system is not put under stress. This makes swimming perfect for tackling obesity with a greatly reduced risk of over doing it. Warmer water also helps to reduce the chance of injury as it relaxes the joints and muscles.
  • Mental benefits – Swimming has been proven to boost the same relaxation responses as yoga. It boosts e ndorphin levels in the body enhancing your mental wellbeing. Exercise in the water can often be meditative as well. Studies have shown that swimmers are less prone to depression, anxiety and tension following a pool session. The release of serotonin helps to boost your mood.
  • Weight loss – You’ll burn approximately 360 calories performing 30 minutes of breast stroke. That’s more than walking, cycling or even running.

The Shaw Method uses Alexander Technique principles and is perfect for anyone but particularly beneficial for people suffering from neck or back pain. Correct alignment and understanding your biomechanics in the aquatic environment will keep you swimming for longer with a reduced chance of injury. The aquatic environment is perfect for reducing stress, impact and allowing the bodies muscles to work freely, in harmony with the water.

Breast stroke is a great example of how the Shaw Method works to alleviate neck and back problems. A visit to any recreational pool will reveal lots of people swimming length after length with poor posture. A session swimming in this way will inevitably cause neck ache and possibly long term concerns. Correct breast stroke will allow you to enjoy the swim, leaving the pool energised and healthy.

Further information about our adult swimming lessons in Cheltenham is available on this website or you can always get in touch.