I am so fortunate to have grown up in Australia with one of the longest coast lines in the world. Swimming lessons for school age children were considered mandatory and we learned to swim in kindergarten continuing through primary school. Most of my leisure time during my childhood and youth were spent at, on or in the ocean and perhaps this is why swimming has always been a great love.
If you have health issues, swimming should be a first consideration to becoming more active, increase your feeling of well-being and overall health and reap the rewards of the lifetime benefits of swimming. A great whole body exercise!
There are many reasons to swim
- Swimming (and other forms of exercise) aid in reducing cholesterol and the risk of other chronic diseases as well as delay symptoms of aging while increasing overall strength
- Exercise increases a persons feeling of well-being (and reduces depression) – so it is good for the mind, soul and body
- It is a great way to recover from knee surgery, heart or stroke under the care of your doctor and a trainer. Swim as a part of your regular exercise program and increase your heart health
- People with arthritis have more mobility (and less pain) in the water as swimming is a low impact sport
- Getting fit by swimming will also trim your body and help you lose some weight
- Many older people who swim regularly are usually physically healthier and often appear younger than a non-swimming person of the same age
- An added benefit of swimming is that there are Life Guards on duty. They provide supervision and safety and are required to hold a current emergency First Aid certificate.
- Save some money – most city pools offer very reasonable rates usually with discounts for families and seniors
- In winter, when it is freezing cold and snowy outside, swimming is safe and accessible – a great way to continue exercising all year at your local indoor pool
- And finally, a great way to exercise for both fitness and fun
Cautions of swimming
- Exercise induced asthma sufferers may have difficulty breathing – “Swimming is probably the best form of exercise for asthma patients but the most important thing is to stay active.” Six week swimming plan
- If you are allergic to chemicals, such as chlorine in water, check out a salt water pool
- If you have concerns with your eyes try wearing goggles; or if your ears are a problem there are special ear plugs you can buy, or learn to swim without putting your head under water to breathe
- “Swimmers shoulder” is a symptom from strenuous swimming. The idea is to become stronger and fitter and not over exert yourself. There are lessons and drop-ins for all ages and stages
Anyone with arthritis pain who spends time in a warm swimming pool or hot tub will tell you that it is the most relaxing, pain-free time of the day when they are more mobile. There are special programs for those recovering from a heart attack with special cardio and aquafit classes for those with limited mobility; ask your physician.
.. more on Why to Swim
- Try for a minimum of two or three weekly swims depending on your lifestyle. If you have the desire and ability to swim every day that is great
- Vary swim strokes between breast stroke, side stroke and Australian crawl when able
- Swimming is a pleasurable pastime to regain your balance and mobility
- Exercise is very good for many reasons for those who are a cancer patient or a cancer survivor
- Even moderate exercise can ease your pain and help you maintain a healthy weight
- A sobering report on drowning fatalities from the Life Saving Society in Canada.
- A request to all parents and caregivers to teach their children to swim at an early age. Take your kids to the pool for swimming lessons if they need self-assurance in their ability
Set your own personal goals and take six to eight weeks in your attempt to become healthy again. As a form of exercise, swimming has such overwhelming positive health benefits why not become passionate about swimming with your whole family. Swimming is my first choice of exercise to regain strength after surgery and is not only an extremely rewarding and satisfying form of exercise but it is also relaxing and fun
Swimming … the perfect exercise to improve your lifestyle, for a lifetime.
Links & References
- Health benefits of water based exercise
- Some hospitals have facilities for therapeutic swimming
- Swimming increases lung capacity and may improve stamina of those with lung disease
- Exercise including swimming, benefits those with Parkinsons disease
- Exercise therapy for fibromyalga
- Swimming and tips for living with scleroderma
- Swimming beneficial to children with chronic lung disease
- If you dont know how to swim – its easy to learn at your local pool Beginner swimming program
- Red Cross preschool swimming lessons
- Red Cross swimming lesson information
- Swimming tips and techniques from the Pros
- Swimming is just “good for you”
The information contained in this blog is based on personal opinion and experiences and is
not to be misconstrued in any way as health care advice
but is provided for interest and hopefully learning purposes.
Always seek qualified medical care and guidance if you think you have a health concern.
The author assumes no responsibility for all content including information from other sources.