Are you a swimmer yet? Here are all the health benefits!
Are you thinking to become a swimmer? You do not have to be a rescue swimmer to get the swimmer silhouette if that is your aim! This article will tell you everything you need to know about being a swimmer. This includes the health benefits, risks, and some additional fun facts about the best olympic swimmers around the world!
Brief history of swimming as sport
Before getting into the health benefits of swimmers, let us have a brief look at how swimming became such a popular sport!
As humans we have been swimming for thousands of years. For many tribes across the globe, it was also a necessity for survival. This is because many people were dependent on food from the ocean, lakes, rivers and so on!
However, swimming only became an official competitive sport in the early 1800s. Nowadays, swimming is in fact placed third on the list of most watched sports during the Olympics.
The first swimmer to gain public attention was Matthew Webb in 1875 when he made a swimmer record. This was because he was the first person in the world to seem across the English Channel. It took him over 21 hours to complete the task. He did this only using the breaststroke technique. He was one of the fastest swimmers at the time.
Swimming was also one of the sports that was featured in the first modern Olympic Games which took place in 1896. In total, there were 4 swimming events where men could participate. Interesting also was that at the time these swimming events took place in open and wild waters!
Women were not allowed to participate in the Olympic Games as Olympic swimmers for many years. In fact, the first women were only permitted to be olympic swimmers in the Olympic Games in 1912. One of the disciplines that took part in this was swimming!
A few years later, the first women also took on Matthew Webb’s swimmer record. Getrude Ederle was the first female swimmer who not only swam the English Channel. The female swimmer did this whilst breaking Webb’s record within two hours. Also, she was able to do all of this at the young age of 19! Just imagine the female swimmer body! She was one of the fastest swimmers of her time.
Health benefits of swimmers
Now after a brief history lesson, let us have a look at the health benefits that swimmers can enjoy!
Swimming is great for your strength and muscles
Have you ever heard of a swimmer silhouette or a swimmer body? These names do have their merit! If you are a swimmer, you gain muscle strength. And the best part is that this applies to the entire body! Swimmers need to make use of many more muscle groups than many other types of sports, such as running! A rescue swimmer needs all the strength possible!
Your back is working on rotating and reaching whilst your legs are kicking. Your arms pull back while your stomach muscles tighten to keep your whole body stable. It is basically a full body aerobic workout in the water! If you have not seen what a swimmer body looks like, just take a look below!
Your bones will be happy too!
Recent research has proven that swimming has a positive effect on bone mass as well! This was a well known fact in running and other sports, but remained unconfirmed for swimming until now. However, running still has the highest increase in Bone Mineral Density from all sports types!
Your whole body is required to move when you are a swimmer! You need to twist, stretch, reach, pull, and so on! In terms of flexibility, the main point here is the stretching of your arms as you reach for the next push. Also, your ankles basically turn into fins. They are out of their usual horizontal position, which is perfect to keep them flexible!
Although swimming is very much looking like an all in one package, you should also always remember to do other types of sports as well. This is because some muscle groups may not be effected as much as in other sports. Also, to remain flexible, stretching outside of the pool is also highly recommended!
Reduced chance of inflammation
Many know that swimming has great benefits for your heart. It is a great type of cardiovascular sport! However, recent research has shown that swimmers are also at lower risk of inflammation. This is because aerobic sports, such as swimming, lead to atherosclerosis building up in the heart.
What does reduced change of inflammation mean? On a long term, this means that diseases progress much slower in your body. This means that in terms of illness prevention, swimming is definitely one of the best sports to do. We also assume to hear much more on this end as soon as further research is developed!
Burn those calories to the ground!
It is a well known fact that burning calories is one of the great benefits of swimming. However, what many don’t know is that it is just as effective as running! In fact, depending on the intensity, style of swimming and water conditions (pool or open waters), swimming can even have a higher calorie burn than running. A great bonus here is that you can do this without having to worry about sweat running into your eyes!
Let us give you some numbers here to highlight the calorie burn bonus! For every 10 minutes you swim, you burn about 60 calories with breast stroke and 100 calories with freestyle. You burn 80 calories with backstroke and even 150 calories with butterfly stroke!
In comparison, running for 10 minutes burn about 100 calories. In turn, this means that 30 minutes of butterfly stroke will burn more calories than a 5 kilometre run!
Swimming helps against asthma
The benefit of swimming is that you are able to breathe in humid air. In comparison, the air in a gym or anywhere further away from water is much dryer. Studies have proven that swimming has helped getting rid of asthma symptoms. In fact, they have gone so far as to show that they improve the general condition of your lungs!
For those who are luckily not suffering from asthma, swimming also has great benefits for you! Swimmers have shown to have increased lung volume and also teaches you how to breathe properly!
Get rid of stress and depression!
Have you heard of the term runners high? The same also occurs as you go swimming. This is because it is a natural endorphin kick which occurs as you are physically active! You will automatically feel really good!
In addition, you will also have a sensation of relaxation. This is very similar to what you feel when you do yoga! This is because the combination of multiple stretching moves in combination with proper breathing creates this sensation.
In fact, swimming also has something meditative to it. The sound of the water and the rhythmic breathing are somewhat a mindfulness technique. This allows you to focus inward, just as during a meditation session, whilst blending out all other distractions around you. In turn, this ensures the decrease in stress and depression naturally.
Research has even shown that brain damage caused by stress can be reversed by swimming. We highly recommend you to add swimming to your daily routine if you feel extremely stressed or depressed!
Pimp your skin game!
This benefit is only true if you are swimming in a salt water pool. Many people choose to do this, especially of they live close to the ocean!
As your skin is exposed often to the sea salt, your skin will retain moisture. In addition, it also detoxifies your skin and promotes cell growth. After your first swim in the ocean you will immediately feel the first effect of it. Your skin will feel much smoother and healthier!
Swimming is good for the mind!
Yes, we know that exercise in general is great for the mind. However, swimming has a very special perk to it! Research in Australia has shown that people who swim are able to learn languages faster and learn new motor skills faster as well. In addition, swimmers have shown to have an increase in confidence and physical development. Of course, these two could be working hand him hand! Finally, swimming has also proven to help with math skills. This is because swimmers often need to calculate the amount of sets in and rounds to the required distances they want or need to swim!
Long swim, long life!
We know once again that exercise in general has proven to be effective in terms of health and longevity. However, swimming seems to be the winner here based on some recent studies.
The results of the studies have shown that swimmers had only half of the death rate of runners, non-exercisers or walkers. Isn’t that amazing?
Swimmers and sleep
Many of us may know that you feel tired after being in the pool for a while. The same applies when we have been spending a lot of time in the ocean as well. Now imagine how it feels when you purposely tire your body out while in the water. Not only is exercising in general good for your sleep and overall health, but the additional fresh air is also extremely healthy!
We wanted to highlight one of the health benefits of swimming here. This is because we believe that healthy sleep is the key to living a healthy life. Remember that lack of sleep has been connected to diabetes, obesity, hypertension and depression!
In fact, swimming has even proven to work on those who have problems sleeping. A sleep illness which can be helped with swimming is for example insomnia.
For those who want to improve their sleep, you may not need to look further than in your own yard. If you just want to get started, making the environment around your pool more inviting or motivating may help you keep this up!
Another extremely important factor for healthy sleep is your mattress. If you are sleeping on the wrong mattress, your body will not get the rest it needs and deserves. This is especially true if you are a swimmer who needs healthy rest for your tired muscles, bones and joints!
Vita Talalay latex mattresses are the healthy choice. This is because they have optimal pressure relief and give comfortable support. They have also been proven to be fully safe for humans and the environment. We can prove this with numerous certifications which we have been awarded by independent and credible institutions!
If you would like to know more about Vita Talalay latex benefits, simply click here!
Health risks for swimmers
It is important to know that the benefits outweigh the risks here for swimmers. They do so by far! As the general rule goes, you should not over do anything - and that includes swimming!
For those who do over do it with swimming, they may find themselves having an issue called swimmer’s ear. That happens when water gets into your ears. A swim cap does wonders here!
Also, always watch out not to get a cold when you leave the pool. Wet hair will make it easier for you to get sick. But this is also easily solvable. A hair dryer will do the trick!
Fun facts about swimmers
Here is a list of some fun facts about swimmers and swimming!
- Elephants can swim up to 20 miles a day using their trunks to breathe!
- The first cruise ship with a swimming pool was the titanic
- The most popular swimming stroke is front crawl
- You can find paintings in Egypt which are over 10 000 years old which depict people swimming as sport!
- Kangaroos are excellent swimmers
- Benjamin Franklin invented the swimming fin
- Swimming works out all of the body’s main muscles
- An Olympic sized pool contains 700.000-850.000 gallons of water
- The French word “Piscine”, which means pool, comes from the Latin “Piscine” which directly translates to fish pond!
- Here are the names of the top 3 fastest swimmer in the world: Michael Phelps, Cesar Cielo, and Sun Yang.