By Arriane Cipher, Exclusive for Arcadiaweekly.com
Looking for the right sport takes a lot of time and effort. You might find yourself spending countless weekends trying new activities, frustrated about whether or not a particular sport is the one for you. You may even do some research to curb those unnecessary trials. However, one sport is sometimes overlooked: swimming. Often thought of as a summer pastime to cool everyone down, swimming is a sport that provides many physical and mental benefits — but of course, it may not be for everyone. In this article, we’ve listed five signs that swimming may be the ideal sport for you.
You want to develop better cognitive abilities
Swimming provides many unexpected health benefits — one of which is better cognitive abilities. In other words, it can help your brain! Swimming improves your blood flow, which can help enhance your memory, mood, clarity, and focus.
You want to reduce your stress and relieve depression
One with the Water explains that swimming boosts a natural compound called endorphins, which cause what is known as a “natural high.” These are feel-good chemicals produced in your brain that work to lower stress, increase pleasure, and reduce or manage pain. Moreover, these endorphins also help significantly lower anxiety and relieve depression.
You have certain health conditions
Swimming is a popular sport that people with certain health conditions can still undertake. For instance, researchers from the University of Texas have found that swimming is ideal for individuals with osteoarthritis, as being submerged in water somewhat removes the constraints of gravity from your bones and muscles. Swimming can also lower the resting blood pressure of individuals with hypertension, and can be a better sport for those who are overweight or obese, as other load-bearing exercises can be hot or uncomfortable.
You want to have better cardiovascular health
Aside from toning our limbs and core, swimming also tones other important muscles, such as our heart! This can ultimately help us live a healthier life, and avoid debilitating chronic illnesses that can eventually make their way to our body. In fact, such illnesses are a concern that many Americans will likely have to face in the coming years, as health statistics gathered by Maryville University point to a drastic rise in chronic illnesses. In fact, just under half of all Americans are expected to be diagnosed with one serious disease by 2025. As we all want to avoid this, swimming is one of the best solutions — it strengthens the heart by making it more efficient in pumping, leading to better blood flow throughout your body.
You want to work multiple muscle groups at the same time
From your core to your legs and arms, water resistance helps all these muscles work at the same time. The varying strokes you can perform can also maximize the number of muscles you work! For instance, breaststrokes use back muscles, which can explain the broad shoulders and well-toned back muscles most swimmers have. Front strokes engage your chest muscles and back muscles at the same time, while working your glutes, hamstrings, and quads when you flutter-kick your legs. Overall, swimming benefits all parts of your body — helping you tone multiple muscles at the same time.
It’s clear that swimming is one of the best sports you could choose, given its many health benefits and the fact that you can simply avoid sweating in hot weather. Of course, it’s worth noting that if you want to consider swimming or installing a pool in your backyard, members of the Arcadia Fire Department recommend implementing safe habits to avoid accidents, such as having the necessary life-saving equipment and supervising children around the pool.