One of the most important parts of my healthy lifestyle choices I owe all to my mom. She was a high school swim coach and put me in the water when I was only two weeks old. However, my mom’s example goes far beyond just teaching me to swim.
My grandma suffered from strokes and had a hard time walking. I can remember my mom and aunts would take my grandma to the pool to re-teach her to walk. It helped with her coordination, balance, and posture. They would walk up and down the pool which showed me how water buoyancy not only benefits our health at any age, but also how it can be used to heal various injuries.
Suffering from neuropathy after chemotherapy has been one of my biggest physical struggles. The pain of walking along with stiff muscles, I used the same low-impact workout my grandma as I would swim or walk in the water. From the water buoyancy, the gravity on your bones and muscles are reduced creating less pressure on your body’s injuries and a stress-free workout to relieve pain.
What are the other benefits of swimming?
- Elevates heart rate up but relieves impact stress on your body
- Builds endurance, muscle strength and cardiovascular fitness
- Helps maintain a healthy weight, healthy heart, and lungs
- Tones muscles and builds strength
- Provides an all-over body workout since majority of muscles are used
- Induces a relaxing and peaceful form of exercise
- Alleviates stress
- Improves coordination, balance, posture, and flexibility
- Provides good low-impact therapy for some injuries and conditions
While swimming, your entire body is getting a great workout. Unlike other cardio workouts, swimming use both upper and lower body muscles at the same time. According to a Time article:
“Your body is working hard when you’re in the pool. Water is denser than air, so moving through water puts more external pressure on your limbs than out-of-water training, studies have shown. Even better, that pressure is uniformly distributed. It doesn’t collect in your knees, hips or the other places that bear most of the burden when you exercise with gravity sitting on your shoulders.” (Heid, 2017)
My mom would tell me how she swam every day during her pregnancy with me since it is the best low-impact workout during pregnancy. She always said swimming was what made childbirth and recovery so much easier while making her muscles healthy and strong.
If you don’t feel like you are a strong swimmer, remember to relax and be patient. Practice makes perfect and remember you can always walk or join a water aerobics class. There are many ways to incorporate this great exercise into your lifestyle. Start small and work your way up, you won’t be disappointed with the workout you can get and how amazing you will feel! It's my way to rejuvenate, heal, and get a killer workout!