How Does Swimming Keep You Fit?

Woman swimming underwater
Swimming can improve your heart health. (Image: Thinkstock Images/Stockbyte/Getty Images)

Swimming is a good way to lose weight and get fit. This is especially true if it's an activity you already enjoy; which will make you more likely to continue doing it. Swimming burns calories and improves your heart health; but it can be especially beneficial for those with joint problems. Ask your health care provider before you begin a new swimming routine.

Burns Calories

Exercising most days of the week is essential for keeping fit for life. Cardio workouts like swimming burn calories, helping you to get rid of excess body fat and weight. For example, a 155 pound adult may burn roughly 744 calories in one hour of swimming laps. You should aim to swim for at least two and a half hours each week, and gradually increase your speed over time to keep challenging your body and burning calories.

Improves Heart Health

Performing regular aerobic workouts improves the health and function of your heart. Swimming raises your heart rate and works the large muscle groups in your body, making it a good moderate-paced activity for cardiovascular health. However, you should be aware that your heart rate may become slower when you are working out in water than when you are exercising on land. Pay attention to how you feel while you are swimming, and talk to your doctor before beginning a new workout if you have heart problems or other health concerns.

Builds Muscle

Not only does swimming burn calories and get rid of excess body fat, but it also strengthens your muscles. Working out in water provides a natural resistance, and you can create even more by pushing or pulling the water away from your body as you swim. Swimming has a low rate of injury, which will make you more likely to continue exercising. Gaining muscle can also improve your sense of balance, not to mention make you stronger.

Additional Benefits

If you are new to exercise, are obese or have joint problems, you may have a difficult time getting started on a workout or finding activities that do not cause you pain. Swimming can be the perfect answer, since it is a low-impact activity, and you can vary the intensity and speed of your workouts according to your needs. Being in water also lessens the effects of gravity, allowing you to exercise without putting pressure on your joints. Almost anyone can use swimming to meet her fitness goals.

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