The benefits of physical fitness extend well beyond heart health and stroke prevention. Being physically fit supports emotional and mental health by helping people manage stress, boost self-confidence and improve quality of life. If you’re looking for a fun and invigorating addition to your workout regimen, swimming certainly fits the bill. If you have an underlying medical condition, such as a heart problem, consider checking in with a physician at Regional Medical Center of San Jose before starting a new workout program.
Swimming builds cardiovascular fitness
Although splashing around in a pool or at the beach is considered a leisurely activity, it’s great exercise for your heart. The resistance of the water forces you to work harder to travel the length of the pool, compared to simply walking the same distance. Swimming laps is one way to get an invigorating cardiovascular workout, but you can also try water aerobics or even water running.
Swimming supports muscle strength
Swimming allows you to exercise major muscle groups throughout your body. Swimming freestyle and backstroke, for instance, works the deltoids, biceps and triceps. The effort of keeping the torso in a stabilized position works the abdominals and chest pectorals.
The butterfly is particularly rigorous. It burns plenty of calories engaging the muscles of the hips, abdomen, back, shoulders, arms and legs.
Swimming is gentle on the joints
Swimming is the exercise of choice for many people who have joint problems, such as arthritis. Although swimming builds both cardiovascular endurance and muscle strength, it’s a non-impact exercise.
In other words, your movement in the water isn’t exerting stress on the joints. This makes swimming an ideal workout for many patients with chronic health problems and those who are rehabilitating a physical injury.
Swimming workouts are fun and customizable
Living an active lifestyle is easier if you’re doing something you enjoy. You can customize your swimming workouts in many ways. Try the following water workouts:
- Water yoga
- Water tai chi
- Water strength training
- Water polo
- Water volleyball
Some water sports enthusiasts even do water line dancing. If you can’t find water sports clubs or classes near you, consider organizing your own with your friends.
Regional Medical Center of San Jose maintains an enduring commitment to superior, patient-centered care. Our stroke care, heart health specialists, robotic surgeons and breast care specialists genuinely want to help you and your family live life well. You can request a physician referral in San Jose by calling (888) 762-8881.