Author: Niki L. Carayannopoulos, DO
Summer is in full swing. And for many Houstonians, going out for a jog in this weather is the last you want to do as temperatures push into the thermometer’s upper reaches and humidity settles on the city.
So, why not go for a swim?
Whether you love laps or prefer floating on your back, water exercise – at any level – carries some great benefits. From lower risk of injury to core-strengthening, swimming comes with benefits that patients of all ages can enjoy.
4 Reasons Everyone Can Swim for Exercise
- Engage the entire body. As a form of resistance exercise, swimming engages your entire body. When you swim, your arms and legs have to fight against the pressure of the water. At the same time, your core has to work to position and stabilize your head, neck, and trunk. The entire body becomes engaged when you swim.
- Lower risk of injury. Swimming is what trainers and doctors call a “low-impact” fitness activity. Unlike running, which impacts the feet, knees, and rest of the body, swimming involves little to no impact. This results in lower likelihood of injury. (Of course, injury is still possible. Learn the techniques involved in any swimming strokes you use. Also, be sure you and those around you have an understanding of pool and water safety.)
- Swimming keeps you cool. Houston heat is definitely an incentive not to exercise. Swimming, on the other hand, keeps you cool. When it comes to exercise and fitness, it’s important to remove barriers that will keep you from becoming active. Don’t let the heat defeat you; go for a swim instead!
- Reduce stress and improve self-esteem. Speedo surveyed 4,000 swimmers. They discovered that 74% of swimmers believe swimming “helps release stress and tension.” 68% said, “that being in the water helps them to feel good about themselves,” and 70% agreed swimming has a positive mental impact.
You don’t have to be competitive or physically fit in order to swim and enjoy its benefits. You can simply start by walking in water that’s three or four feet deep, which will allow your body to burn calories, stay cool, and strengthen legs and core. Whatever shape you’re in, consider giving swimming a try this summer!
See a Houston Sports Medicine Doctor
Want to talk to a doctor about whether or not swimming could help you with your injury or illness? Schedule an appointment with a Houston sports medicine physician by calling Houston Institute for Sports Medicine & Orthopedics at (713) 756-5546. You can also schedule your appointment online.
Please consult with your physician before undertaking any form of medical treatment or adopting any exercise program or dietary guidelines.