There are so many swimming benefits, from physical to mental to social. Understanding all the benefits of swimming is important because swimming really can change your life. In fact, it can even extend your life!Swimming is a lifetime sport that benefits the body, mind and spirit.
Studies show that swimming benefits your health and may even extend your life.
August 19th, 2009
Most people know that activity in water can be used to treat and even heal a long list of physical ailments, and that physicians have long touted the benefits of swimming for just about everyone.
New studies continue to show the physical and mental benefits of swimming or other aquatic activity.
One new study shows that swimming cuts men’s risk of dying by about 50% compared to runners, walkers and sedentary peers. The University of South Carolina study led by Dr. Steven Blair evaluated more than 40,000 men over a 32 year period.“Swimmers had the lowest death rate,” explains Blair. “Therefore, swimming appears to be a healthy alternative to other types of physical activity.” Dr. Blair also found that regular swimmers had a higher cardio respiratory fitness than walkers and sedentary people.
Dr. Joel M. Stager, a researcher at the University of Indiana, has spent the past several years conducting studies on the relationship between swimming and aging. What he has found is nothing short of amazing.
“When you look at all the standard physiological markers associated with the aging process, we see that every one of them is slowed dramatically in people who swim regularly”, says Dr. Stager. “Exercising in water slows down the aging process, and often quite dramatically – by upwards of 20 percent in some cases. You almost cannot overstate the benefits of exercising in water.”
In fact Dr. Stager’s research points to a range of swimming benefits across the full spectrum of health. Research has shown that swimming slows down the aging process in terms of respiration, muscle mass, bone density, cardiovascular activity and neurological function.
Swimmers are seldom if ever injured. The vast majority of people studied have never experienced any kind of swimming related injury. And there are thousands of case histories and testimonials of people who’ve recovered from serious physical problems by working out in water. Ankle, hip and knee injuries, spinal injuries, neurological disorders, arthritis, all manner of sports injuries and most types of congenital disabilities can all be treated with some form of water exercise.
There is also evidence to suggest that swimming benefits mental health and even spiritual and social health.
“When you look at the benefits from the perspective of routine swimmers, it’s fair to say that it’s as close to a genuine fountain of youth as exists in the real world”, says Dr. Stager.