It may be hard to believe, but this year is already on its way out. With the holidays close-at-hand and the promise of a new year on the horizon, many of us are at least attempting to prioritize healthy habits. And while one-third of homeowners say they were inspired to adopt a healthier lifestyle after remodeling their kitchens, home renovations aren’t the only reason to start focusing on your health. Whether you want to keep your weight loss resolution in 2020 or you simply want to keep up with your kids, you might already be inspired to amp up your physical activity. Why not consider swimming as one way to do that?
For many people, swimming some laps may be a lot more enjoyable — and have a bigger impact on their fitness than many other exercise options. Considering that 95% of Americans live within an hour’s drive of a navigable body of water (and both private and public swimming pools are plentiful), you might want to consider including a water-based workout as part of your routine. Here are 3 of many reasons why swimming may make the perfect addition to your exercise routine:
1. Swimming is Easily Accessible for Many
For one thing, swimming is an exercise that’s accessible to many. While some people might assume they can simply walk to and from work on a daily basis rather than spend an average of 87 minutes in their cars each day, it’s not always that simple. Certain routines may simply not be feasible for individuals due to physical limitations. However, older folks, pregnant women, and people dealing with chronic pain can still work out in the water.
Swimming is also an excellent way for people recovering from an injury to rebuild their strength. It’s much easier on your body than other types of exercise, which means it’s possible to work out for longer periods without feeling any negative effects. It’s a full-body workout that can improve muscular strength and endurance without putting additional stress on the body.
2. Swimming is Anything but Mundane
It’s also a good way to banish workout boredom. If your exercise routine feels mundane, you’ll have a tough time even wanting to do it. In addition, your gains will probably be slowed as a result of the repetition. But when you grab your towel (the invention of which can be traced back to 17th-century Turkey) and head to the local pool, you’ll be able to engage in different activities that will add variety to your day. Whether you switch it up with your strokes or try to work on speed, you’ll be targeting different muscle groups and skills. You’ll probably look forward to your workout each day, rather than fatigued by the very idea of another exercise session.
3. Swimming Can Improve the Overall Quality of Life
Of course, any type of exercise can provide a number of physical and mental benefits. Studies and anecdotal evidence have found that swimming, in particular, can improve the overall quality of life. Some say that swimming can keep you younger for longer, while evidence illustrates that swimming can be an excellent way to combat stress, anxiety, and depression.
The endorphin release associated with exercise is often cited for positive mood impacts, but many people feel there’s just something special about swimming that can provide a sense of calm and positivity. Whether you’re slogging through a divorce or you’re just not feeling great, gliding through the water might provide you with some much-needed calm. And since you can swim in a community pool, in your backyard, or outdoors in nature, the widespread availability of this activity can allow more people to experience the emotional benefits.
Although your own backyard pool may be closed for the season and you might not feel like taking a dip on a chilly day, swimming can be a fantastic supplement (or total replacement) for your current fitness routine. Rather than deal with aches and pains associated with hard-hitting workouts or forcing yourself to attend an exercise class you hate, you can simply jump in the pool, swim a few laps, and emerge feeling refreshed and energized. In the end, swimming isn’t just for the summertime; this activity can provide a whole host of benefits all year round.