Dr. Strasser's Wellness TipsCOPYRIGHT © 2017 Arn Strasser DC
Swimming: What’s So Good About It?
Ideally, every neighborhood should have an indoor pool open at low cost to the public. If more of us were able to swim, the community health benefits would be enormous and they would pay for themselves in lower healthcare costs. Here are some ways in which swimming is the best exercise you could find for your body.
Why is swimming so beneficial? Granted, its not the chlorine. Swimming is a bit of a pain. Whether its just getting wet, or feeling uncomfortable in a bathing suit, or dry skin, swimming sometimes seems like a huge effort. Ah, but consider the benefits. Research has consistently supported swimming as an excellent way to exercise. For my back patients, I consider it the single most important rehabilitation exercise.
Swimming keeps us buoyant. As our body flouts and moves through water, it doesn’t have to fight gravity. There is no pounding or trauma to the body. Moving our muscles and joints against the resistance of the water helps strengthen muscles in a balanced fashion. Muscles aren’t bulked up, such as in extreme weightlifing, but firmed more efficiently in their long axis.
After we go for a swim, even a few paddles around the pool, we feel good. It seems that some of our mental tension is reduced. We’ve managed to move all the major joints of our body, but we don’t feel sore or overworked. No matter what our physical challenges, swimming is an easy way to encourage movement, stretch and tone muscles, and encourage the health of our heart and lungs.
Coordinated strokes may reinforce primary nervous system pathways such as “cross and crawl”, one of the first signs of a healthy nervous system in an infant.
You don’t have to be a lap swimmer, or swim for hours, or do anything but just move in the water. The best part of swimming , as all kids know, is that it’s fun… and it should always be that way.