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14 Health Benefits Of Swimming!

By Dr. Nikita Toshi +2 more

Swimming is for everyone, isn’t it! No matter our age, years of experience, or gender – each of us can derive an advantage from the magical benefits of swimming.   This is one cardio exercise that works on every muscle of our body and does wonders not only for our physical health but our mental health too.

Swimming has been known to help with a number of illnesses. Not only does it work your whole body and acts as a daily form of exercise, but also works the insides.

Health Benefits of swimming

Did you know?

  • Outdoor swimming is associated with perceived reductions in symptoms of poor mental health. source: PMC
  • Outdoor swimming has a positive impact on overall health across various medical categories. source: PMC
  • Outdoor swimming is perceived to have a greater impact on mental health compared to other medical categories. source: PMC

Benefits Of Swimming As An Exercise

Many health experts suggest about 75 minutes of vigorous exercise every week to maintain adequate health and well-being. Swimming is one such activity that burns almost the same amount of calories as compared to running when practised religiously for one hour. And the best part is that it’s almost a zero impact form of exercise, one that has no harsh impact on our joints and bones. This is one of the biggest advantages of swimming vis-à-vis working out at a gym which can have a grave impact on our bones and muscles if not practised under the guidance of an expert trainer.   It is also the fourth most popular activity. Just jump into a pool and once you are comfortable, you can start taking more laps and doing it regularly.

As in adults and children, the benefits of swimming for babies are many too. Swimming can help build muscles, improve sleep and appetite in babies. It also helps improve coordination and balance.

Swimming is a crucial activity for combating childhood obesity and it’s also a lot of fun. Swimming incorporates all three elements of physical activity that are suggested for children’s health: endurance, strength and flexibility. Swimming gives children the tools, abilities and motivation they need to live healthy lives as adults.

Memory and thinking skills improve with regular swimming. This is beneficial not only in the classroom and at work, but also as we get older. Inflammation and insulin resistance in the brain is reduced by regular swimming, which promotes the creation of new brain cells. Swimming also improves mood, anxiety and stress levels, allowing the brain to think more quickly.

Also, swimming benefits both men and women with their mental health. Swimming can help persons with fibromyalgia feel less anxious and warm water exercise treatment can help them feel better. Pregnant women’s health can be improved by water-based exercises, which also have a positive influence on their mental health. Recreational activities, such as swimming, are beneficial to family connections between parents of children with developmental difficulties and their children.

Now that we have motivated you enough, let’s look at some top benefits of swimming that promise to get you lapping almost instantly!

You can achieve a full-body workout by practising swimming regularly. While swimming, your body uses all muscles of the body. Additionally, water exercises are harder than physical activities done on the ground.

Dr. Siddharth Gupta, B.A.M.S, M.D (Ayu)

1. A Gush Of Energy  

Thanks to the weather and our increased levels of inactivity, many amongst us to feel fatigued and drained out rather easily.   Now, push the tiredness out of the window by investing 30 minutes, 2-3 times a week on swimming. This will not only give a boost to your energy levels but also up your metabolic rate.

Also, Read Abou: 9 Energy Giving Foods to Include in Your Diet

Swimming helps in toning muscles, building strength and endurance. The various strokes that can be further added to your swimming routine are breaststroke, sidestroke, butterfly, freestyle and backstroke among others.

2. De-Stresser  

A few laps, a couple of times a week, can indeed help you relax and rejuvenate. Allowing you to also drift away from the everyday chaos, this fun activity aids in reducing anxiety and bouts of depression. Moreover, the positive physical exertion also tires you and helps you sleep peacefully. It has also been observed that in the long run, swimming helps to regulate sleep patterns.

Swimming helps in increasing the heart rate without stressing out the body. Nearly 50 per cent of older people experience insomnia and swimming can help with sleeping as well as boosting the quality of life.

Must Read About: 7 Different Types of Relaxation Techniques

3. Turns Back The Clock  

If the ageing clock is fast catching up on you, try swimming! No matter your age, swimming has a positive impact on blood pressure and cholesterol levels. It also improves cardiovascular performances, betters the health of the central nervous system and improves cognitive functioning. Therefore, helping you feel younger at heart and active especially when it comes to performing regular bodily functions.

Swimming can help elders improve their physical strength and balance. Seniors with joint aches can benefit from swimming to promote flexibility and minimize joint inflammation. Last but not least, this low-impact sport is less taxing on the body.

As swimming helps in de-stressing, fighting insomnia and reducing anxiety and depression, it also acts as a natural anti-ageing element.

4. Works On Underperforming Muscles  

Swimming is a comprehensive and thorough workout. Thus, as you work your way against the water, you land up using most of the unused muscles in your body. Many women suffer from niggling lower back pain, if you are one of them then probably it’s time you resort to swimming and bid adieu to back pain forever.

It is beneficial for people with multiple sclerosis. Water makes the limbs buoyant and helps in exercising without hurting too much. Very gentle resistance is provided by water which works for people suffering from multiple sclerosis. In one particular study, a 20-week swimming program had shown good results in people with multiple sclerosis. They had reported a significant decrease in pain, fatigue and disability.

5. Burning The Calories  

Swimming is one of the most tried and tested exercise regimes to burn calories. You will be surprised to learn that swimming at a regular pace burns more calories as compared to walking.

When comparing swimming to running, swimming laps around the pool burns more calories than running laps for an hour. A strenuous hour of lap swimming can burn up to 715 calories. Running at 5 mph for the same length of time burns only 606 calories.

  A 160-pound person burns approximately 423 calories while swimming at a low or moderate pace.   That same person will burn 314 calories walking at 3.5 miles per hour for an hour. Yoga for the same person might burn 183 calories per hour. When it comes to torching calories, swimming is one of the best and most efficient ways to do it.

6. Brings In Discipline  

Regular and uninterrupted swimming brings discipline and rigour into life. Setting goals and feeling a sense of pride when you achieve them is also possible, thanks to swimming. Thus, the more you swim, the more focused and result-oriented you become!

7. Complete Body Workout  

Swimming being a multi-faceted workout helps to build your strength and endurance, makes you more agile, and tones your muscles. To kick the boredom out, try experimenting with various strokes that swimming offers such as breaststroke, freestyle, butterfly and backstroke. Each of these styles addresses a different muscle so it’s highly beneficial to get experimental here!

When you swim, you use a larger number of muscle groups to push yourself through the water. Your arms pull while your legs kick. Your entire body extends as a result and you become more flexible. Swimming is a great way to get a full-body workout.

8. Swimming Is A Safe Form Of Exercise  

Patients suffering from arthritis, physical injuries or any forms of disabilities can safely practice this beautiful exercise called swimming. The benefits of Swimming for back pain as a cure is also very effective. However, it is best to consult your physician before you step into the water to be sure of what would work best for you and what wouldn’t.

9. Good For Asthma Too  

Swimming is a great activity for people suffering from asthma too. In fact, various breathing techniques of holding your breath underwater have known to improve lung capacity in many asthma patients.

Asthma sufferers, particularly those with sports-induced asthma, may have difficulty breathing because the bronchial tubes contract due to a loss of heat and moisture. When the air is dry and/or chilly outside, this happens. Because the moisture in the water replaces the moisture exhaled during intense breathing making swimming is the ideal exercise for asthma patients.

On the flip side, it has also been observed that some patients experience increased occurrences of asthma attacks because of the chemicals used in the pools. Thus, it’s best to consult your doctor to figure out what would be ideal for you.

10. Mood Changer  

Swimming regularly with a group of like-minded people is known to boost the mood and give spurts of happiness. Swimming keeps the body aligned with the mind and keeps both refreshed and rejuvenated.

Read More About 6 Mood-Boosting Foods to Include in your Diet

11. Safe For Pregnancy  

Yes, it is true – benefits for swimming for pregnant women are many. Expecting mothers can also gain immense benefits from this wonderful form of exercise. Many studies prove that pregnant women who practised swimming during their early and mid-periods of pregnancy showed lower risks related to congenital defects and preterm labour. However, it’s best to gain the advice of your gynaecologist before commencing with this activity especially if you are experiencing any complications during your pregnancy.

12. Fun And Affordable  

Swimming is not only great fun, but it’s highly affordable too. Just Google for pools near you and you are sure to hit upon many recreational centres in and around your area.

13. All-Season  

Swimming is one exercise activity that you can indulge in all season! Unlike walking or cycling which you need to stop during the monsoon season, swimming can very well be thoroughly enjoyed during the rains too.

14. Great For Skin  

Swimming in the sea is ideal for the skin. The benefits of swimming for the skin are many as swimming in the salty waters of the sea helps the skin stay moist and helps in detoxification. It also promotes the growth of new skin cells. Your skin will feel smooth and healthy.

I highly recommend that you should do any exercise including swimming in moderation. As we know, swimming uses all muscle groups of the body. So, overdoing it, especially when you are experiencing physical fatigue might lead to musculoskeletal injuries, knee pain, shoulder pain, etc.

Dr. Rajeev Singh, BAMS

Also Read About: 7 Home Remedies for Glowing Skin

Some Important Pointers:

  1. Before enrolling for a full-fledged swimming course, always opt for a trial class. Sometimes, some people tend to develop an allergy because of the chlorine, so it’s better to check before you decide to take the plunge.
  2. Always apply sunscreen before you enter the pool. While it is great to have a tad bit of tan, prolonged exposure to the sun is also not recommended.
  3. Invest in good quality swimming gear – a well-fitted swimsuit, headgear to protect your lovely mane from the chlorinated water, goggles for eye protection, etc.
  4. If you haven’t undergone professional training, it’s highly advised that you enter the pool under the safe guidance of trainers and swimming coaches.

Also Read About: How to Stay Fit and Healthy?


It’s never too late to dive into a pool near you! But if you are still feeling lethargic and lazy then the above benefits should definitely enlighten and motivate you!

Also Read About: What is the Best Time to Exercise?

Disclaimer: The information provided here is for educational/awareness purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for medical treatment by a healthcare professional and should not be relied upon to diagnose or treat any medical condition. The reader should consult a registered medical practitioner to determine the appropriateness of the information and before consuming any medication. PharmEasy does not provide any guarantee or warranty (express or implied) regarding the accuracy, adequacy, completeness, legality, reliability or usefulness of the information; and disclaims any liability arising thereof.

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