What are the benefits of swimming?

It’s simply fact that swimming is a great sport for all levels of fitness and experience, with myriad physical and mental benefits to be had from time in the pool or open water. Here are just a few reasons why swimming is really good for you…

Why swimming is good for you. Image credit Remy Whiting

1. Swimming’s a full body workout

Swimming really does uses all the muscles in the body, regardless of stroke style. Plus, the resistance of exercising in and against water for 30mins is equivalent to 45mins of the same on land.

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2. Swimming improves mental wellbeing

Swimming regularly has been proved to lower stress levels, reduce anxiety and depression, and improve your sleep patterns. And you don’t have to go hard or for long – 30mins three times a week alongside a balanced, healthy diet and lifestyle will help maintain a positive mental outlook.

3. Swimming keeps you fit

Swimming is one of the most effective ways to burn calories. Even a gentle swim can burn over 200 calories in just half an hour, more than double that of walking. Plus, it’s less impactful than running so reduces the risk of injury.

Swimming lowers the risk of diseases

As well as being a great cardiovascular exercise, swimming just 30mins a week has been proven to guard against heart disease, stroke and type 2 diabetes.

Swimming is great for recovery

Water supports up to 90% of the body’s weight, so if you’re recovering from injury or have a long-term injury or illness, swimming is often the most prescribed form of active recovery as it’s low-impact.

Swimming boosts energy

Again, just 30mins of swimming three times per week can boost your energy levels through increased metabolic rate.

Swimming is a sweat-free exercise

No matter the intensity of your swim, the water will always cool you down and disguise that vile feeling of sweating.

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And crucially for triathletes, swimming will improve your bike and run

Like doing the other two sports, they all complement each other, making you a faster and more effective triathlete as a result. Plus, if you nail the swim, you’ll have a better chance of getting into T1 upfront and setting yourself up for a strong day in the saddle and run shoes. Hell, there might even be a podium in it for you, too!