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The Health Benefits of Swimming

The Health Benefits of Swimming

Swimming as we know is an excellent aerobic workout. It is very good for health helps in keeping body flexible, good for nervous system and its a very good cardio exercise too prevents from various diseases related to circulatory and nervous system.

Types of swimming strokes


Breaststroke is the oldest and the most popular style of swimming for fitness and recreation. Swimming for an hour in this style can help you burn around 600-800 calories. It involves perfect timing and requires the body to move up and down as you glide forward through water. The characteristic feature of this stroke is the frog kick that alternates with your arms moving in a long circular motion in the front.

Butterfly Stroke

This stroke also requires superb timing and is the toughest to perfect. It can help you burn 700-900 calories in an hour. In this stroke while the legs move together in a dolphin kick the upper body ripples like an earthworm and your arms move together in unison like a windmill.


The stroke is the second fastest type of swimming stroke and is done with your face facing skywards. It can help you burn around 500 calories in an hour. The arms move in an alternate windmill motion forming an "S" pattern when pushing the water. The legs perform a flutter kick in an alternate order. The arms should move with equal strength to prevent swimming off to one side. The body should roll from side to side so the arms can catch enough water to propel you forward.

Freestyle (front crawl)

Though in freestyle swimming you can use any stroke you like but for competitive swimming the front crawl is preferred because it is the fastest technique. This stroke can help you burn 400-600 calories an hour. This stroke is practiced in prone position. The legs move in up and down flutter kick and arms move in an alternate windmill motion just like in the backstroke.

Dog Paddle

It is one of the simple swimming strokes. Dog paddling involves moving forward with the arms under water and legs moving in a modified flutter kick.

Swimming Health Benefits

  • Swimming helps maintain the blood pressure and cholesterol of a person, thus ensuring the well being of his/her heart.
  • It is good for the health of your lungs and also reduces the risk of stroke, heart attack and diabetes.
  • Swimming enhances the flexibility of your joints and provides the scope for boosting your physical activity workout level. In other words, it helps a great deal in your weight loss program.
  • It is perfect for those people who have a hard time carrying out weight-bearing, land-based physical activities. This is because your weight in water is about 1/10 of your weight on land.
  • For pregnant women as well as for people who are suffering from arthritis and back pain problem, there can be no better workout choice than swimming.
  • Swimming minimizes the risk of injuries from physical activity. So, you can easily try out the delightful exercise and enjoy the health fitness benefits it offers, without any attached risk.
  • If indulged in on a regular basis, swimming can help build the endurance, muscle strength and cardio-vascular fitness of a person.
  • You can indulge in swimming before as well as after a strenuous workout on ground, as a warm-up and cool-down activity, respectively.
  • It helps a person exercise almost all the muscles of his/her body, with the main focus being on arms and legs.
  • The people suffering from injuries, back pain, arthritis and disabilities, who cannot indulge in a normal workout, can undertake swimming.
  • Swimming has been associated with relieving the joint pains, high blood pressure and discomfort that are often experienced during pregnancy.
  • Indulging in swimming can help post-surgery patients, who adopt an otherwise sedentary lifestyle, avoid muscular atrophy.
  • It is found to have soothing effect on the mind as well as the body of a person, mainly by regulating breathing and stimulating circulation.
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