Swimming is a fun, social, and accessible sport. From babies to the elderly, it is suitable for any age. This popular, low-impact sport further offers many physical and mental health benefits including full body strengthening and a lowered risk of heart disease. So, let’s find out more about what swimming can do for you and your body! What are the health benefits? What does proper swimming technique look like?
The Health Benefits of Swimming
Swimming is a great way to increase your physical activity level. Yet, it can do much more than that. Check out our list below regarding the health advantages of swimming. How can swimming enhance your health and wellness?
1. Strengthens the Entire Body
Swimming is a full-body workout that strengthens almost all muscle groups, including your core, shoulders, and major leg muscles.
The low-impact environment that the buoyant water provides also allows almost any individual—including those recovering from injuries, to take part with minimum discomfort and a reduced risk of injury. This means that those with joint issues or those recovering from a recent injury can use swimming to maintain or increase the strength of their muscles, without the worry of pain.
2. Supports the Cardiovascular & Respiratory Systems
Swimming strengthens the heart and the lungs as the oxygen demands of the muscles across the body increases. Deep, careful breathing works the lungs and an increased heart rate strengthens the muscles of the heart.
3. Encourages Weight Loss
Swimming is a great way to lose weight. The buoyancy of the water creates a feeling of lightness and the low-impact nature of the sport means less strain on the joints. It increases the body’s metabolism (even long after the workout is over!) and burns calories, which encourages weight loss.
4. Lowers the Risk of Chronic Disease
What do you get when you combine a stronger heart and lungs with weight loss? Reduced risk of chronic diseases like diabetes, heart disease, and strokes! Regular deep breathing and stronger lungs may also reduce the severity of asthma.
5. Improves Mental Health
In a high-stress world, swimming provides a welcome break and a healthier mind. It releases endorphins—a feel-good hormone and instant mood booster. It also increases self-esteem and lowers stress—both of which reduce the risk of depression.
Correct Swimming Technique
It is vital that swimmers master the correct swimming technique (especially when breathing) to maximise these health advantages, and prevent injury!
What is a Proper Swimming Technique?
Swimmers must coordinate their body movements to pull through the water without putting unnecessary strain on certain muscles and joints. Stroke correction helps you get the most out of your workout, swim further, and do it safely.
At the end of the day, the front crawl is one of the most efficient swimming techniques. For preventing injury and correctly performing this technique, it’s important to twist your torso with the strength of your core, rather than leading and using the brunt of your shoulder muscles. This can prevent shoulder injuries, ensuring you don’t need to spend time recovering on the sidelines.
Using Correct Breathing When Swimming
Incorrect breathing limits your performance in the pool and strains the muscles around your shoulders and neck. When swimming front crawl, it is possible to breathe without inhaling water and without panting—here’s how!
- Turn your head to the side (don’t lift up your chin) with your ear resting on your outstretched arm
- One eye of your goggles should be in the water
- As your mouth clears the water, inhale quickly and deeply
- Turn your head back down and immediately start blowing out your breath slowly and evenly
- Complete as many strokes as possible until you’re out of air (aim for an odd number to alternate breathing sides)
The Dangers of Incorrect Swimming Technique
Swimming injuries are often the result of inflammation of muscles and tendons due to overuse, incorrect technique, or poor breathing.
In front crawl, poor technique can lead to shoulder pain or swimmer’s shoulder. Swimmer’s knee is another common condition amongst competitive breaststroke swimmers that can be prevented by stroke correction.
Injuries due to overuse are a possibility in any competitive sport. Regular breaks and enhanced technique are game-changers here!
Book Your Appointment With Us Today!
Swimming can be adapted to suit each individual and their health needs. Since it is low-impact, it’s a wonderful way to get in shape while ensuring your joints are looked after.
If you’ve recently experienced a swimming injury or require more guidance on proper technique, get in touch with our chiropractor at Bradford House Chiropractic Clinic today. Learn how to swim your way safely to better health!