Swimming: An exercise for all fitness levels

MNA Life Style Desk: Swimming is an exercise way to work your entire body and cardiovascular system. An hour of swimming burns almost as many calories as running, without all the impact on your bones and joints.

Swimming has many benefits; one of the biggest benefits of swimming is that it truly works your entire body, head to toe. Swimming increases your heart rate without stressing your body. It helps you to tone muscles, builds strength and endurance.

There are various strokes you can use to add variety to your swimming workout, including, breaststroke, backstroke, sidestroke, butterfly, freestyle. Each focuses on different muscle groups, and the water provides a gentle resistance. No matter what stroke you swim, you are using most of your muscle groups to move your body through the water.

While your muscles are getting a good workout, your cardiovascular system is, too. Swimming makes your heart and lungs strong. Swimming is so good for you that researchers share it may even reduce your risk of death. Compared with inactive people, swimmers have about half the risk of death. Some other studies have shown that swimming may help lower blood pressure and control blood sugar.

Swimming can be a safe exercise option for people with, arthritis, injury, disability and other issues that make high-impact exercises difficult.

Best part of Swimming; it is an efficient way to burn calories. A 160-pound person burns approximately 423 calories an hour while swimming laps at a low or moderate pace. That same person may burn up to 715 calories an hour swimming at a more vigorous pace. A 200-pound person doing the same activities would burn between 528 and 892 calories an hour. A 240-pound person might burn between 632 and 1,068.

To compare these numbers to other popular low-impact activities, that same 160-pound person would only burn around 314 calories walking at 3.5 miles per hour for 60 minutes. Yoga might burn just 183 calories per hour.

To get started with swimming, you’ll first need to find a good pool. Many gyms and community centers offer lap swimming times as well as water aerobics and aqua-jogging classes.


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