Mark Foster 

From weight loss to better sleep, the benefits of swimming are endless

Swimming is a great way to tone up your body and a proven method of relaxing your mind. It can even help turn back the ageing clock! There’s many reasons why everyone should make time to swim.

Swimming is great for every body – from pregnant women and the elderly to injured athletes and those looking to get back in shape or get fit quickly.

Swimming is one of the best forms of cardiovascular, or aerobic exercise, because it uses almost every muscle in your body and raises your heart rate. It’s great for toning up without putting stress on your joints and slows down the ageing process.

Every time you swim, it’s like doing a mini-resistance workout. Each kick, pull and push works your muscles more than you might imagine, especially your arms, shoulders and glutes. Swimming also works your abs – or core – and will reduce your waistline and hips. So, along with building fitness, it’s a fabulous full-body exercise.

Regular swimming can reduce stress, lower anxiety and combat depression, whatever your fitness level or ability. Being surrounded by water helps diffuse your senses and lets your body relax possibly more than being in a gym full of mirrors and loud music.

Swimming torches calories and is great for weight loss and reducing body fat. By swimming steadily for just 30 minutes, you can expect to burn up to 350 calories and an all-out hour in the pool can crunch more than double that. What’s more, because swimming builds lean muscle, which in turn fires up your metabolism, you’ll keep burning calories as you shower, dry off and head for home.

If that’s not enough reasons to swim more, swimming has a lower risk of injury than many other forms of exercise because the buoyancy of the
water takes stress off your joints. It’s also true that people who take regular exercise, such as swimming, are twice as likely to have a good night’s sleep. They are also less likely to suffer from insomnia or report early waking.

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