Are your runner friends bent and feeling old while you as a swimmer feel young and full of life?
There is a reason for that. Swimming has many unique benefits that make it a great way to get the exercise you need and keep you in the shape you want.
First of all, swimming is one of the highest calorie burning exercises you can do. Swimming at an easy pace can burn 500 calories an hour, and swimming at a fast pace can burn over 700! On top of that, swimming builds lean muscle which increases your metabolism. An increased metabolism burns calories even after you’ve been out of the water for a while. Bonus!
Running is a high-impact sport on your joints. If years of running have left you with achy joints or if you’re recovering from an injury, swimming is a nearly zero-impact activity that can give you the exercise you need without the sore repercussions. Many physical therapists use swimming or water exercises to help patients rebuild strength in their affected joints.
The most interesting benefit of swimming, however, is its ability to keep people younger. Yes, you heard me – keep you younger. A study performed on 200 swimmers by Dr. Joel Stager at Indiana University showed that typical indicators of aging such as increasing blood pressure and decreasing muscle mass were offset by a healthy swimming routine. In fact, those who swam 3000-5000 yards each day had the physiological function of people 20 years younger.
Obviously not all of us can swim that amount every day but that isn’t the point. Swimming offers too many benefits to not see what it can do for you. So grab your suit, cap and goggles and see how a few laps in the pool makes you feel!
Have you noticed any of these differences between you and your friends?
Have you tried both running and swimming? Which do you like better?