Benefits of Swimming as an Aerobic Exercise

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Benefits of Swimming as an Aerobic Exercise

Exercising on a regular basis is absolutely important, immaterial of age and gender. As seen, exercise can not only boost your immunity and help in warding off different bacteria and viruses, this also offers multiple other health benefits.

Swimming is one such exercise that offers multiple benefits. This is one type of ‘aerobic’ exercise.

Aerobic exercises means exercises ‘with oxygen’ and can provide cardiovascular conditioning. Studies have proved that an individual needs a minimum of 30 minutes of aerobic exercise 5 to 7 days every week. This can help in keeping your heart healthy.

What is Aerobic Exercise?

Aerobic exercise means the breathing can control the oxygen amount that makes to the muscles, helping them to burn the fuel and move.

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Types of Aerobic Exercises

Aerobic exercises of low impact include cycling, swimming, rowing, walking, using an elliptical trainer and using an ergometer on the upper body.

Aerobic exercises of high impact include jumping rope, running and also performing step aerobics or high impact routines.

Swimming for Brain Health

Not many are aware that swimming is one aerobic exercise that can make a big difference to brain health. Listed are a few of the reasons why swimming helps in brain health.

As the saying goes, ‘what is good for the body is good for the brain’. This holds true where swimming is concerned.

Regular swimming improves cognitive function, memory, mood and also immune response. This can also repair any damage caused due to stress and forge neural connections in the brain.

Improved and New Brain Cells

In the past, it was believed that the number of synaptic connections and neurons in the brain were finite in nature. It was also believed that once the brain cells were damaged, there was no replacement. This idea was soon debunked, as scientists saw evidence of the birth of neurons in adult brains.

At present, there is evidence that aerobic exercises can play a big role in neurogenesis and help in repairing or reversing damage to the nerves and their connections.

Studies show that these changes are due to changes occurring in response to aerobic exercise through a rise in level of a specific protein.  The ability of the brain to alter, or the neural plasticity, improves memory, learning and the cognitive factor.

Neurotransmitters Released

Aerobic exercises like swimming can help in promoting the release of neurotransmitters, a specific chemical messenger. This can reduce depression and anxiety and also improve the mood.

What is Special about Swimming?

Researchers are getting closer to understanding how swimming can benefit brain health. As known, this aerobic exercise does help in maintaining cardiovascular health along with other benefits. The heart works hard and increases the flow of blood throughout the body. This leads to new blood vessels being created.

Besides this, the increase in blood flow releases a large number of endorphins. These are hormones that can reduce pain in the body.

Studies have also proved that swimming supports the survival of neurons and brings down the aging cognitive impact.

Swimming for Kids

The benefits of brain-enhancing can also help the kids. Researchers taught children who were between the age of 6 – 12, names of different objects. These kids were tested for their accuracy in recognizing these words after doing activities like swimming (aerobic activity), coloring (resting activity) and an exercise that was like cross-fit for around three minutes.

The accuracy of the children who had done swimming was much higher as compared to the other two groups. This proves that the children who swam had a cognitive benefit.

Physical Benefits of Swimming

Swimming is an aerobic exercise that offers multiple health benefits, physically and also mentally.

Here are some of the physical health benefits.

  1. Swimming offers a Total Body Workout

This exercise involves every muscle group and an individual uses his/her legs, arms, torso and also stomach.

Swimming can

  • Increase the heart rate without any stress
  • Tones the muscles
  • Improves strength
  • Helps in managing weight
  • Enhances fitness
  1. Swimming is fit for all Levels of Fitness and any Age

There are many exercises that are challenging for those who are not totally fit or are from the old age group. This is not so with swimming. This exercise allows you to go at your own pace. Most of the pools have specific designated areas for those who wish to swim slowly and also for beginners.

  1. Building Cardiovascular Strength

Swimming is an aerobic exercise that involves the lungs, heart and also the circulatory system.  Research has proved that swimmers were at a low mortality risk. This was almost 50% lower as compared to those who did not swim.

  1. Good for those with Injuries

A person suffering from arthritis or any sort of injury finds it tough to exercise. Swimming works as the perfect alternative to high impact and high resistance exercises. This is because the water can support the muscles.

  1. Helps with Asthma

Swimming helps in increasing lung capacity besides building cardiovascular strength. This improves the control of breathing. The humidity of indoor pools can help in dealing with asthma.

  1. Weight Management

Obesity is on the rise and burning calories is of utmost importance at present times. Swimming is an ideal way to burn calories. The weight of the individual and how vigorously the individual swims determines the amount of calories lost.

  1. Ideal during Pregnancy

Swimming is one exercise that is recommended for pregnant people. An additional weight gained during pregnancy can lead to aches and pans in the muscles and joints. As water can support the weight, swimming works out to be an ideal form of exercise during pregnancy.

  1. Managing Stress

Swimming is one exercise that can relieve anxiety and stress. Any aerobic exercise can elevate your mood and get rid of stress.

Factors to be considered before Joining Swimming Classes

Besides being one of the most wonderful activities, swimming is a sport loved by many. Understanding the many benefits of this aerobic exercise, it is advisable to go for swimming classes so that you get a clear knowledge and understanding of this exercise by a qualified professional.

Before joining any swimming class it is advisable to take some specific factors into consideration.

There are different aspects behind learning this exercise.

Recreation: Swimming works perfect as a recreational activity. This is apt for people of all ages and genders. Swimming helps you relax and stay active due to the low impact nature.

Some of the most common styles of swimming include freestyle, back stroke and also side stroke.

Safety: The strongest aspect of this exercise is safety. An individual can learn about different water conditions like visibility, depth and multiple other aspects. These can help him/her gain the required confidence and also stay safe from mis-happening that are related to water.

Sport: Many take swimming to a competitive level. The main object of a swimmer taking this to a competitive level is to improve his/her timing and beat their competitors.

Considerations for Joining a Swimming Class

  1. Duration, Size and Format of Class

A swimming class can last anywhere from 30 minutes to 1.5 hours. This is dependent on the types of swimming classes and the size of the class. There are many people who find it tough to learn with groups. That is the reason it is important to consider the size of the class.

  1. Age Limit

You need to be aware that a child who is less than 4 years of age might find it difficult to stay afloat and perform the strokes in the right manner. The ability of an elderly person is different in each individual.

  1. Credentials of the Teacher

Safety is the most important consideration and keeping this in mind ensure that the teacher of a specific swimming class is well qualified.

  1. Actual Time v/s Downtime

Find out how long an individual needs to wait for her/his turn to swim. Waiting periods that are long is not only a waste of time but also money. A member needs to swim and not wait.

  1. Class Fees

Different classes have different sets of fees. You need to compare the classes and the fees before deciding on a specific swimming class.

  1. Water Hygiene and Pool

Make sure that the water and the pool is clean. This can save you from uncalled for health problems. You also need to ensure you do not swallow any pool water. It is advisable to pay a wee bit extra and not compromise on the quality of the water.

There is a possibility of you facing a few challenges when you start learning swimming. This can be learning how to breathe inside the water, getting familiar and comfortable with the water and others. You need to understand that this will be only for a short time. You need to remind yourself of the many benefits you can avail if you take up swimming on a regular basis.

It is not difficult learning swimming, and once you learn this there is no stopping you.

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