Swimming has been called one of the best all-around sports because it exercises all the body’s muscles and systems, including the brain. Technically speaking, not every muscle is exercised during swimming, but most are. It’s also an excellent way to keep the body’s various systems in shape. For example, the heart rate is elevated during swimming, and people who engage in the sport regularly will, over time, build their cardiovascular fitness and endurance, not to mention muscle strength.
Another advantage of swimming, and one that’s very important to older people and those with arthritis, is that it’s a no-impact form of exercise. Because, in this form of exercise, feet do not hit the ground, the skeleton and musculature are relieved of such repeated stressors. As a result, swimming can be productively enjoyed by people of all ages; it’s also a great centerpiece for family outings that can include three or four generations.
Finally, swimming provides several other benefits beyond the strictly physical. It’s one of the more relaxing ways one can exercise and burn off unwanted calories, and is recommended for reducing stress. Those who do it often improve balance, coordination, posture, and flexibility, and it can also be a welcome cool-down on a hot day. It doesn’t require much equipment beyond a swimsuit, and it’s generally available in most locations.