Not Just for Having Fun—Consider Swimming as Exercise

October 4, 2022 9:11 am Published by

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Looking for physical activity that is easy on your joints and good for your heart? You might want to try swimming.

Swimming as exercise is a full body workout that also strengthens the heart muscle over time. Swimming also offers many other health benefits, since it burns a lot of calories, helps you sleep better, improves breathing and circulation, lowers blood pressure, helps manage stress, and boosts your mood. Plus, swimming is a workout that can be tailored to nearly anyone, regardless of health status or age.

Swimming and the Joints

If you regularly experience knee pain or pain related to other joints in the body, you may wonder how you can get the exercise you need. When you have joint pain, it’s often related to some type of arthritis, which causes inflammation around the joints.

While exercise might be the last thing on your mind when you have arthritis, regular exercise can help limit your discomfort. The trick is to find an activity that gets your heart pumping and your muscles working but is also gentle on your joints.

Swimming can be the right exercise. Swimming has been shown to improve joint flexibility, limit stiffness, and improve mobility in those who have arthritis and similar conditions.

Exercising in water, as you do when swimming laps or doing other swim workouts like water aerobics, is joint-friendly because the water reduces the amount of stress on the joints. With the buoyancy of the water to support your body, you’re also able to get a better range of motion and move your legs and arms more easily.

Is Swimming a Good Option for Me?

Swimming can be a viable workout for nearly anyone. In addition to being a good option for those who have arthritis, water workouts can also be beneficial if you:

  • Are recovering from an injury
  • Have a chronic condition, such as multiple sclerosis, that causes disability
  • Live with asthma or other lung health issues

If you have a heart health issue or you’re recovering from a coronary bypass or other heart procedure, you may also reap the benefits of swimming. Exercising is important to keep the heart healthy, but if you have a cardiovascular condition, it requires a careful and steady approach. Swimming can be a great option.

With swimming and other water workouts, you can easily modify the routine to lower the intensity when needed. During a swim, you get a good cardiovascular, full-body workout, which helps the heart recover and strengthen. If you’re recovering after a heart procedure or aren’t sure whether swimming is a safe choice for you, talk with your medical provider before diving in.

Have a surgical procedure planned for the near future? Learn why it’s important to make sure your heart is healthy as you prepare.

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This post was written by Magnolia Regional Health Center