Fox Creek Wellness- Reasons to Swim More!

This month’s wellness blog is all about swimming! Water can be intimidating… especially if you haven’t been to the pool in a while or you’re lacking confidence in your swimming abilities. I’m here to inspire you to make the trek to the Chevron Aquatic Centre and GET IN THE WATER!

Water boasts many health benefits! It gets your heart rate up while taking some of the impact and stress off your body. Swimming builds endurance, muscular strength, and cardiovascular fitness. It can help you maintain a healthy weight, healthy heart, and lungs. If you are someone that experiences any kind of knee/hip/back pain that becomes aggravated with conventional exercise like walking, running, etc. then water is a great low-impact alternative for you!

According to Hiofumi Tanaka, a professor of Kinesiology and Director of the Cardiovascular Aging Research Lab at the University of Texas- “…being submerged in water means your bones and muscles are somewhat unshackled from the constraints of gravity. This makes swimming the ideal exercise for people with osteoarthritis, for whom weight-bearing exercise can be excruciatingly painful.” According to Tanaka’s research of people with osteoarthritis, swimming decreases arterial stiffness, a risk factor for heart trouble. More of his research has linked swimming with decreased blood pressure among people with hypertension. Tanaka also suggests that “the coolness and buoyancy of water are also appealing to people who are overweight or obese, for whom load-bearing aerobic exercises like running may be too hot or uncomfortable”.

How you breathe during a swimming workout is another big differentiator, says David Tanner, a research associate at Indiana University. During a run or bike ride, your breath tends to be shallow with a forceful exhalation. With swimming, it’s the other way around, says Tanner. “You breathe in quickly and deeply, and then let the air trickle out.” Because your head is underwater when you swim, this may improve the strength of your respiratory muscles, Tanner says. “This kind of breathing keeps the lung alveoli”—the millions of little balloon-like structures that inflate and deflate as your breathe—“from collapsing and sticking together.”

Don’t be fooled- your body is working hard when you’re in the pool. Water is denser than air, so moving through water puts more external pressure on your limbs than out-of-water training, some studies have shown. Even better, that pressure is uniformly distributed. It doesn’t collect in your knees, hips or the other places that bear most of the burden when you exercise with gravity sitting on your shoulders, like running.

Now if you’ve made it this far, I’d like to invite you to the beautiful Chevron Aquatic Centre for none other than a swim! Every Wednesday, we have an Aquasize class from 12-1pm. If that’s not your thing, we have Lane Swim scheduled daily from 12-2pm and 8-9pm M-F. If you’d like to improve your current swimming ability, please reach out to us at the Fox Creek Greenview Multiplex and we’d be happy to schedule a private swimming lesson for you.