Why You Should Swim More Than You Probably Are
By Loretta Jane
The one change that can improve your health and the way you feel is to add exercise to your routine. Which exercise will you find enjoyable and offer you the best benefits? Swimming is superior in multiple ways to other forms of exercise, and owning a backyard pool puts you right in the swim.
If the pool is right outside your door, you will be much more likely to dive in every day than you are if the pool is far away. You know what is in your own pool, but what has been released into a community or gymnasium pool is often a mystery. The peace of mind of owning your own pool and swimming in it for exercise can’t be surpassed.
How Swimming Helps the Body
The movements involved in swimming utilize almost every muscle in the body, regardless of the stroke chosen. Other forms of aerobic exercise only use muscles in the legs or hips, limiting their benefits.
Injury is much less common with swimming than it is with exercises that are done upright on land because you are free from the effects of gravity. The swimmer’s balance also improves, leading to more confidence and reduced risk of falling in other situations. Swimming strokes strengthen the core and the back muscles, and cause little to no strain.
In an article published in the American Journal of Cardiology, M. Alkatan and his colleagues at the University of Texas at Austin showed that regular swimming reduced arterial stiffness and improved the health of the arterial lining. Both of these are factors in heart disease risk. The control group of stationary cyclists also showed changes in a healthy direction, but they were less significant than the swimmers.
Increasing the health of the arterial lining is crucial for a number of reasons. Cholesterol can stick to an unhealthy lining more easily, leading to stroke and heart attack. Lessened blood flow to brain structures reduces mental functioning. The researchers suggest that swimming is the best form of exercise for people who are concerned about maintaining heart health and vascular flow.
Researchers at the same university also found that regular swimmers - three to four times a week for forty-five minutes a session - lowered their blood pressure by exercising. The combination of lowered blood pressure and improved arterial health is an excellent outcome for swimming. These physical changes can lead to reduced heart attack and stroke risk.
How Swimming Helps the Mind
Many people consider swimming a fun way to exercise. You don’t know you are sweating, and your clothes don’t become sticky and smelly as with other aerobic exercises. Engaging in enjoyable activity releases a protein called serotonin, the mood elevator. Working in the brain, it reduces anxiety and depression, and alleviates stress.
The rhythm of swimming is another excellent stress reliever. James Thornton is a psychotherapist who is also an avid swimmer. He sees swimming as a form of mindfulness meditation that can lead to mental focus and physical relaxation.
Being outside in the natural setting of your own backyard can lift your mood. The color green increases the level of happiness in humans, and you have probably planted plenty of colorful flowers in your yard.
Pool loan companies surveying the spots where homeowners plan to build their pools are often impressed with the beautiful landscaping that will surround these pools.
Other benefits of regular exercise include enhanced immunity, boosted metabolism and sounder sleep. If you establish swimming as your regular form of exercise, it can bring all of these rewards to you.
A final benefit of owning a backyard pool is the visitors you will have who want to swim in it!
In the Swim!
There’s no doubt that owning a pool is an investment in enjoyment and health. Look into purchasing one today!