Why You Should Really Swim More

How often do you go for a swim? Most people don't at all. However, it really is in your best interest to do so, as swimming provides numerous health benefits that other forms of exercise often cannot match. From toning your muscles and boosting your mood to improving cardiovascular health, swimming is a holistic exercise that caters to both physical and mental well-being. It is a low-impact sport that can be pursued by individuals of all ages and fitness levels, making it an accessible and inclusive form of exercise.

Interestingly, despite these significant benefits, swimming often takes a back seat in most people's regular training programs. However, a growing number of fitness enthusiasts and health-conscious individuals are now recognizing swimming's advantages and are making it an integral part of their fitness routines.

This shift in perception is not surprising, given the body of research highlighting swimming's myriad benefits. A regular swimming routine can help you manage your weight, strengthen your heart, improve your lung capacity, and even boost your mental health by reducing stress levels.

In essence, incorporating swimming into your regular exercise routine can significantly enhance your overall health and fitness. This article aims to shed light on the remarkable benefits of swimming and provides practical tips on how to seamlessly incorporate this powerful exercise into your training program. Whether you're a fitness newbie or a seasoned athlete, swimming offers a refreshing and effective way to keep fit and stay healthy.

Benefits Of Swimming and Water Activity

Heart Health

When you take up swimming, you're doing more than just splashing around in water - you're giving your cardiovascular system a boost. This form of exercise, often overlooked for its intensity, plays a significant role in strengthening your heart and enhancing overall cardiovascular health.

water aerobics

Here's how it works. With each stroke you take in the water, your heart works to pump oxygenated blood to your working muscles, thereby providing them with the energy they need. Over time, as you increase the duration and intensity of your swimming workouts, your heart becomes more efficient at this task. This efficiency translates to a lower resting heart rate and lower blood pressure, both of which are signs of a healthier cardiovascular system.

In addition, swimming provides a solid aerobic workout. When you swim, you breathe more heavily and your heart rate increases, this helps to improve your body's ability to use oxygen effectively - a key component of aerobic fitness. Better aerobic fitness means that your body is more efficient at transporting and using oxygen, which is critical for any form of prolonged, strenuous exercise.

One of the best parts about swimming is that it doesn't discriminate - it's suitable for people of all ages and fitness levels. You control the intensity of the workout, so it can be as gentle or vigorous as you want. Whether you're an experienced swimmer doing laps at a fast pace or a beginner taking it slow, you'll still reap the cardiovascular benefits.

Incorporating regular swimming sessions into your fitness routine can pave the way to better cardiovascular health, improved stamina, and a stronger heart so it makes sense to do it more frequently.

Lung Function

Swimming provides an incredible way for you to enhance your lung capacity. Unlike most land-based activities, swimming immerses you in an environment where oxygen isn't as readily available. This unique aspect of swimming forces your body, and specifically your lungs, to adapt by utilizing oxygen more efficiently. 

Each time you submerge your face in the water and hold your breath, you're training your lungs to increase their vital capacity, which is the maximum amount of air they can hold. Over time, you'll notice an improvement in your lung capacity, which can positively influence your stamina, not just in swimming, but also in many other physical activities.

lung capacity increase

Then there’s the fact that when you swim, your body adopts a different breathing technique - you exhale underwater and inhale above water. This controlled breathing technique can increase the strength of your diaphragm and intercostal muscles - the muscles situated between your ribs that help the chest cavity expand and contract. 

The enhanced diaphragmatic breathing technique you develop in swimming encourages full oxygen exchange, which is the swap of incoming oxygen with outgoing carbon dioxide. This process can be beneficial for managing breathing conditions such as asthma or emphysema.

Swimming also encourages you to practice deep, mindful breathing patterns, which can be a powerful tool in increasing lung function and maintaining lung health. When you swim regularly, the combination of improved lung capacity and muscle strength can result in overall better lung health. 

Offers A Low-Impact Workout

Swimming is often praised as one of the best forms of low-impact exercise. But what does this mean? And why is it so beneficial? In essence, the term "low-impact" refers to exercises that are gentle on the body, particularly the joints. 

Unlike high-impact activities such as running or jumping, which can place significant stress on your joints over time, swimming offers an environment where your body is buoyant and almost weightless. 

This unique property of water can lessen the impact on your joints, making swimming a great option if you're looking for an effective and gentle form of exercise.

When you're submerged in water, your body only bears about 10% of its weight due to the water's buoyancy. This weightlessness reduces the impact on your joints, bones, and muscles, allowing you to move more freely and with less discomfort, especially if you suffer from joint-related conditions like arthritis. 

If you're recovering from an injury, coupled with Radiance collagen peptides, swimming can serve as an excellent way to stay active without risking further damage or exacerbating the injury. This gentle nature of swimming makes it a popular choice for physical therapy and rehabilitation.

While being kind to your joints, swimming still offers enough resistance that helps to strengthen your muscles. Water provides approximately 12 times the resistance of air, meaning every stroke and kick you make in the pool is a step towards building and toning your muscles. This unique combination of low impact and high resistance makes swimming an efficient way to improve your overall fitness without putting unnecessary stress on your body.

Another noteworthy point is that swimming allows for a diverse range of motions that might be difficult to achieve on land. You can stretch, twist, reach, and pull in various ways while swimming, enhancing your flexibility and range of motion. 

This ability to move freely without added stress on your joints promotes overall body health, improves balance and coordination, and helps prevent injuries in daily life- explaining why a nice swim can leave your body feeling physically great.

Assists With Weight Management

Incorporating swimming into your regular exercise routine can be an excellent strategy for managing your weight. Swimming is a truly whole-body workout, engaging virtually every major muscle group in your body, from your core and back to your legs and arms. The more muscle mass you engage during a workout, the more calories you burn, making swimming an effective and efficient way to maintain or reduce your weight.

But let's delve deeper into why swimming is so effective for weight management. Firstly, water is denser than air, which means swimming provides more resistance compared to land-based exercises. This resistance acts like a natural weight, forcing your body to work harder, thereby burning more calories. Depending on the intensity and the stroke you choose, you could burn anywhere between 400 to 800 calories per hour.

Another significant benefit is the 'afterburn' effect, also known as excess post-exercise oxygen consumption (EPOC). Simply put, your body continues to burn calories long after you've stopped swimming. Our flagship weight support product, Lean, can increase the metabolic expenditure you experience following your swim and also help you with energy to get through the session.

This is because your body needs to restore itself to its pre-exercise state, and it requires energy (calories) to do so. The intensity of your swim session largely determines the magnitude of the EPOC effect, with more intense sessions resulting in a higher caloric burn post-workout.

One of the less talked about, yet crucial aspects of weight management is adherence to a regular exercise routine. Here too, swimming scores high. Many people find swimming to be a more enjoyable form of exercise compared to, say, running on a treadmill or lifting weights. The buoyancy of water makes you feel lighter, the temperature helps to prevent overheating, and the rhythmic nature of the strokes can have a soothing, meditative effect. These factors combine to make swimming an enjoyable activity that you'll be more likely to stick to in the long term.

Improves Mental Health

Swimming is not just beneficial to your physical health, but it can significantly contribute to your mental well-being as well. As you glide through the water, a sense of calm can wash over you, which is why many people describe swimming as a form of moving meditation. This peaceful, quiet environment provided by swimming can help you temporarily disconnect from the outside world and its stresses. This mental break and stillness provide your mind with the space it needs to quiet down, think more clearly, and find a sense of balance.

On a biological level, one of the key ways swimming boosts your mental health is through the release of endorphins, which are known as the body's natural feel-good hormones. When you swim, your body is triggered to produce these endorphins, resulting in a mood upliftment often referred to as the swimmer’s version of  "runner's high." Regular swimming can, therefore, be an effective strategy to combat conditions such as depression and anxiety by enhancing the overall mood.

Swimming also helps you in managing stress more effectively. The deep rhythmic breathing you do during swimming, much like in yoga or meditation, can initiate your body's relaxation response, leading to reduced stress levels. Regularly exposing yourself to this calming effect can train your body and mind to better control and respond to stress even outside the pool.

In addition, swimming can improve your sleep quality, which is crucial for maintaining good mental health. Regular physical activities like swimming can help you fall asleep faster and deepen your sleep, ensuring better rest and contributing to lower levels of fatigue and irritability.

Tips for Starting a Swimming Routine

If you're new to swimming and want to start incorporating it into your fitness routine, congratulations on taking this initial step toward a healthier lifestyle! Swimming is an excellent low-impact activity that benefits your cardiovascular health, tones your muscles, and improves flexibility, among many other advantages. However, starting a new workout regimen, especially swimming, can feel daunting. Here are some tips to help you make a splash.

Start at Your Own Pace

It's crucial to begin swimming at a pace that feels comfortable for you. Avoid rushing or feeling disheartened if progress seems slow initially. Begin with manageable goals like spending 10 minutes per session in the pool, gradually increasing your time and intensity as your stamina and comfort level builds.

Learn Correct Techniques

Before you start propelling through the pool, take the time to learn the basic techniques from a trained professional. This could be through joining a beginner's swimming class or hiring a private coach. They can instruct you on critical aspects like floating, the freestyle stroke, and proper breathing techniques, ensuring you're swimming effectively and safely.

Invest in Suitable Gear

man with swimming and diving gear

Your swim gear plays a significant role in your comfort and effectiveness in the water. Invest in a well-fitted swimsuit, goggles to protect your eyes, and a swim cap to reduce drag. If water in your ears bothers you, consider earplugs. Quality gear can significantly enhance your swimming experience.

Follow a Structured Workout Plan

To keep motivated and track your progress, adopt a structured workout plan. Start with short swim intervals interspersed with rest, and gradually increase your swimming duration as your fitness improves. Don't hesitate to mix up your strokes to engage different muscle groups and keep your sessions interesting.

Consider Swimming with Others

If you find it challenging to motivate yourself to swim alone, consider joining a swim group or inviting a friend to swim with you. Swimming socially can make your workouts more enjoyable and help keep you accountable.

Prioritize Safety

Swimming is fun, but it's crucial to stay safe. Always ensure a lifeguard is present or someone knows that you're in the pool. Never push yourself to the point of exhaustion where you could be at risk of an accident.

Be Consistent

Consistency is key in any workout routine, and swimming is no exception. It might be challenging initially, but sticking with it is essential for improving your stamina, technique, and reaping the overall health benefits.

How to Incorporate Swimming Into Your Training Program

As A Beginner

If you're new to swimming, it's crucial to start with the basics. Join a beginner's class or hire a private coach to understand the essential swimming techniques and safety precautions. Begin with simple goals, such as staying in the water for a short time or mastering a basic stroke. Always warm up before swimming and cool down afterward to avoid muscle strains. 

Pay attention to your body and don't push yourself too hard initially. Regularly practice breathing exercises and techniques to improve your lung capacity and endurance.

Training Frequency

How often and how long you should swim will vary based on your current fitness level and goals. As a beginner, aim for 2-3 sessions per week, each lasting 20-30 minutes. Once you're comfortable, you can gradually increase this to more than 30 minutes per session. Intermediate swimmers can aim for 3-4 sessions per week, each lasting 45-60 minutes. 

Advanced swimmers or those training for competitive events might swim 5-6 times a week, with sessions lasting an hour or more. Remember, the key is consistency and gradually increasing your workout's intensity and duration.

Types of Swimming Workouts

Different swimming styles offer unique benefits. Freestyle or front crawl is great for speed and works your shoulders and back. Breaststroke is less intense and works your chest and triceps while improving hip flexibility. The backstroke can help strengthen your back, shoulders, and legs, and improve your posture. 

breast stroke

The butterfly is the most challenging but is an excellent total body workout and can significantly enhance your strength and endurance. Don't rush to master all strokes; instead, focus on one or two initially and gradually incorporate others. 


Swimming is a fantastic cross-training activity. It works different muscle groups compared to activities like running or cycling, which can improve your overall strength and fitness. As a low-impact exercise, it allows your body to recover from high-impact workouts, reducing the risk of injury; making it a perfect activity to do on non-weight training days.

Swimming can also help improve your flexibility, coordination, and lung capacity, all of which can enhance your performance in other sports or fitness activities. So, consider adding swimming to your workout routine, regardless of whether you're a cyclist, runner, or weight lifter.

Final Words

Swimming might be just the activity you need to support your overall health, while still feeling like it’s not really work. Nobody said you had to be a competitive swimmer, but doing so a few times a week can make a huge difference in the way you feel and keep you going strong.