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We could argue all day about which sport is the best…everyone has their own opinion. But here at MySwimPro, swimming is, hands down, the greatest sport out there. We might be biased…but it’s true!
Swimming is one of the only sports you can do from cradle to grave. It’s truly a life-long sport.
If you aren’t convinced yet, check out six reasons why swimming is the best sport for all ages, from the physical benefits to the all-important mental and social boost it provides as you age.
1. Full Body Workout
First and foremost, swimming is a full-body strength workout. When you swim, you’re working against the water’s resistance. Water is 800 times more dense than air, which makes for a killer workout! Swimming all four competitive strokes works nearly every muscle in your body…not something many other sports can say!
Related: Why You Should Swim All 4 Strokes
If you swim regularly, you’ll build total-body strength, from your legs to your core to your upper body…and all the small muscles in between.
And if weight loss is your goal, swimming is a great way to burn lots of calories. For maximum calorie burn, incorporate all four strokes, and kick up your intensity. The faster you swim, the more calories you burn. Learn more about swimming & weight loss here.
2. Boost Heart Health
And while swimming does build strength, it’s primarily considered a cardio activity, similar to running. It’s been proven that doing regular cardio can boost your heart health, which is essential if you want to live a long, healthy life.
Your heart is a muscle. When you swim, your heart rate increases to move blood to your muscles more quickly. Over time, your heart will get stronger and start to pump blood more efficiently.
You may also see your resting heart rate go down after a few months of regular swimming. This is good – it means that your heart is pumping more blood per contraction than before!
Swimming may also help reduce your blood pressure. A 2012 study of 43 older people found that swimming a few times per week for 3 months reduced systolic blood pressure by nearly 7%.
That’s incredible, and can make a huge difference in your health!
3. Low Impact Workout
And if the heart health benefits aren’t enough, swimming is also amazing for your joints. When you’re in the water, you’re nearly weightless, which means that swimming is super low impact – you can get a great workout without a ton of pounding or stress on your body. And as you age, that might be just what your body needs.
But low impact exercise isn’t just for older people. Sometimes you need low impact workouts for other reasons, such as pregnancy or other health issues. Always check with your doctor first, but swimming could be a great place to start.
Don’t be fooled by the low impact label though…swimming can be an incredibly tough workout, despite your weightlessness. It’s all about how you structure your swims!
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Clinical research has shown that 500 milligrams of Mitopure per day for 16 weeks improved leg muscle strength in 40-65 year olds. It can also help boost your energy and endurance, too.
Mix the Mitopure powder in a smoothie, take the softgels on the go or grab the protein powder for an extra boost, and head into your training knowing that you’re doing your best to maintain muscular health for years to come.
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4. Mental & Brain Health
We can all agree that mental health is just as important as physical health, and thankfully swimming provides a ton of brain benefits.
If you’ve ever heard of a runner’s high, swimming does the exact same thing! Swimming causes your body to release endorphins, which create that euphoric feeling.
Swimming also reduces stress hormones and increases serotonin levels, which can help you battle anxiety and depression. In both kids and older people, swimming has also been shown to improve memory.
Some studies have found that swimming helps the brain repair brain cells and supports the growth of new ones. And that’s not all. When you submerge yourself in the water, blood flow to the brain increases by up to 14%, helping it work more efficiently and remove waste products that make you feel foggy and sluggish.
All that science is great, but many people enjoy swimming just because it’s a form of moving meditation. You’re fully disconnected from the outside world, and you’re breathing in a controlled pattern, which can relax you and help you clear your mind.
5. Social Perks
This next tip ties into mental health as well…and that’s the social aspect of swimming.
Whether you train with a team or see the same friendly faces during lap swim each week, swimming is a great way to make friends and meet new people.
Plus, the competitive energy at swim meets or open water races can be fun, too.
Socialization is essential at any age, but becomes especially important as we get older. Creating a supportive community is key to your overall health and wellness.
It turns out that regular, face-to-face socialization with others releases a cocktail of neurotransmitters in the brain that can help minimize stress, anxiety and even pain.
One study found that working out regularly with a group reduced stress by 26% and improved the participants’ overall physical wellbeing by nearly 25%. That’s something to pay attention to!
6. Get Outside
Last but not least, our final reason that swimming is amazing for your health is that it’s a great way to get outdoors. Studies show that regular exposure to nature improves your overall wellness and boosts your immune system.
If you’re lucky enough to live in a place where you can swim outdoors year-round, take advantage of it! Get some fresh air, soak up a little sunlight and enjoy your surroundings while you do your workout.
However, many people swim indoors, so this doesn’t always apply. But if you can, get out in the open water for a swim every once in a while, whether that’s in a lake, river or ocean. It’s worth it!
Take in the fresh air, listen to the waves and watch the wildlife. Be in the moment and enjoy it!
In our humble opinion, swimming is one of the most impactful things you can do for your overall health. And the best part? You can start at any age! Check out the MySwimPro app for Guided Workouts and Training Plans to help you get started.
So, what do you think? Is swimming the best lifelong sport? Sound off in the comments!
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