Most people know that swimming is a great form of exercise, but did you know that it’s also one of the best exercises for your heart? Here’s what you need to know.
Swimming provides an incredible full-body workout. It’s also low-impact, making it ideal for people of all ages, those with joint problems, and people who are just starting out with a fitness program. Plus, it’s a great way to cool down in the summer heat!
So, why exactly is swimming the best exercise for the heart?
The Benefits of Swimming for the Heart
As mentioned, swimming gives you a full-body workout, making this form of exercise especially good for your heart.
According to U.S. Masters Swimming, there are many benefits of swimming for your heart, including:
- Long-term, lowered heart rate through the effects of muscle building
- Reduced heart rate and lower blood pressure as a result of being in an environment that is cooler than your body temperature (water)
- Improved circulation facilitated by the pressure of water against skin
- Stress reduction
Swimming is also phenomenal at burning calories. Depending on the stroke, you can burn as much as 200-450 calories per 30 minutes of swimming!
How to Achieve Maximum Heart Health Benefits with Swimming
Swim at a Moderate Pace
You don’t have to swim laps as fast as you can – in fact, it’s better to swim at a moderate pace. Swimming too fast can actually put unnecessary stress on your heart.
The best way to benefit from swimming is to do it regularly. Try to swim at least three times a week, and if you can make it five times a week, even better!
Vary Your Swimming Workouts
To keep your heart healthy, it’s important to mix up your swimming workouts. Try swimming different strokes, or swimming laps at different speeds. This will help keep your heart rate up and give you a more well-rounded workout.
Cool Down After Your Swim
Just as with any other form of exercise, it’s important to cool down after a swim. A simple way to do this is to swim at a slower pace for thelast few laps of your workout. Or, you can get out of the pool and stretch for a few minutes.
Swimming for Beginners
We’ve established that swimming does wonders for your heart, but is swimming the best exercise for beginners?
Swimming is a great exercise for people of all skill levels, but it can be rather intimidating if you aren’t very practiced.
Here are some tips to help you stay on track.
When you’re first starting out, it can be helpful to set swimming goals. For example, you could aim to swim three times a week, or you could try to swim a certain number of laps in a row. Having specific goals will help you stay on track and motivated.
Find a Swimming Buddy
It can be more fun to swim with a friend, and it can also help you stay accountable. Make plans to meet up with a friend for a swim on certain days, or join a local swim team or class.
Make it a Habit
When you first start swimming, it’s important to make it a habit. Add it to your daily routine, and make sure you stick to your schedule. This will help ensure that you keep up with your swimming workouts in the long run.
Set Realistic Goals
Finally, it’s important to set realistic goals. If you’re just starting out, don’t expect to swim laps as fast as a professional swimmer. Start with small goals, and then gradually increase your targets as you get more comfortable with swimming. In fact, your initial goals may just be to get the form right.
If you are not an experienced swimmer and want to become more comfortable in the water, it would be a good idea to take swimming lessons. We also recommend taking a first aid course so you can keep yourself and others safe.
Do you know whether or not CPR for someone who is drowning is different? If not, make sure you check out our blog – you can never be too careful!
Whether it’s at a beach or in a pool, you now know how to answer the question, “is swimming the best exercise?” As we continue to move through summer, consider incorporating regular swimming sessions into your life.
Get your backstrokes and doggy paddles ready – it’s the perfect time of year to partake in this incredible heart-healthy exercise!
If you manage an establishment with a pool, don’t forget to register your employees for our Pool Safety Course and pick up an AED!