As winter approaches it may not seem like the most obvious time to take up a new hobby that includes stripping down to a pair of shorts and getting soaking wet. However, lets just rewind a few months and think back to the long, hot days of the summer and the hours basking round the pool. Swimming at this time of year was all the rage and having rippling abs, wide shoulders and a body like Michael Phelps was the dream that you held on to all summer. To make that dream a reality the key is putting in the hours now.
It is true that any exercise is better than none at all, but swimming has long been touted the exercise that is head and shoulders above the rest. Taking the plunge is not only great for the body but it is also great for the mind, which is why spending more hours in the local pool is a wise decision to make.
Swimming has been proven to beat cycling, running and walking over 30 minutes. For 30 minutes in the pool you can expect to burn upwards of 350 calories. Head over to swimming.org to check which stroke has the best calorie blitz!
Speedo recently carried out some studies where they asked 4000 swimmers how they felt after time in the pool. A staggering 74% agreed that swimming relieves stress, 68% concluded that swimming makes them feel good about themselves and 70% feel mentally refreshed.
Like many other forms of exercise swimming releases natural endorphins in the brain that make you feel happy, less tense, less susceptible to depression and anxiety. Serotonin is released in to your brain like a natural happiness drug that will keep you feeling on top of the world for days.
Being in the water means you only support approximately 10% of your weight. The water supports your body and takes away large amounts of stress from your bones, muscles and joints meaning that it is one of the most injury free ways to exercise.
Increased Quality of Sleep
Sleep is an extremely vital part of maintaining a healthy lifestyle and swimming has been proven to improve the quality of sleep you receive each night. Vigorous exercise, such as swimming, decreases your chances of insomnia and waking too early.
The resistance of the water is 44 times greater than that of the air. Meaning that moving through the water is a great way to increase the strength and tone of your muscles. Regularly swimming is half as expensive as a gym membership or buying the equipment yourself which means that swimming is a great way to kick your body into shape.
Swimming decreases blood sugar levels, blood pressure and bad cholesterol whilst increasing the health of your heart and cardiovascular system. This leads to a huge reduction in the chances of heart disease and stroke as well as type II diabetes.
It seems that swimming really is an amazing form of exercise with a number of physical and mental benefits that should have you ready to dive right in. Whilst it is important to feel great, looking good is just as important. So, we have collated our favourite pieces of swimwear to help you along the way.
Gant Black Logo Swim Shorts – £31.95
Franklin & Marshall Olympic Stamp Logo Swim Shorts – £31.95
Emporio Armani Bungee Cord Ea7 Logo Swim Shorts – £34.95