Swimming: good for the body, morale and survival !

There’s no end to the praise – and with good reason – for the benefits of swimming, a universal sport practised everywhere, by everyone, extend back to the early ages. Some Egyptian frescoes show that humans were practising a form of swimming over 6,000 years ago!

Good for the body

One of the advantages of swimming is that it has no impact on the joints or the back, and it even soothes the pain associated with arthritis and osteoarthritis. What’s more, the weightlessness experienced when immersed in water means that all your muscles get a gentle workout. The body is 80% buoyant, so movements that would be difficult to perform on the ground can easily be performed in the water.

Weight-loss and weight-maintenance
Swimming is also beneficial for weight loss and overweight prevention. Additionally, swimming improves conditions for people suffering from diabetes, respiratory diseases, and cardiovascular disease. Depending on the intensity of the work involved, swimming can burn an average of 400 to 900 calories per swim session.

Good for morale
From a psychological point of view, studies show that swimming helps to soothe and reduce stress, and develop self-confidence and self-esteem. When practised in a club or with friends, the activity also helps to maintain social bonds. Swimming, like many aerobic exercises (walking, slow running, dancing, skating), acts on neuronal activity, promoting relaxation and calm, and is particularly effective in patients suffering from anxiety or depression.

Good for preventing the worst
On a completely different note, learning to swim can prevent many tragedies. In Quebec, voices in favour of a return to learning to swim in a pool or lake have been heard ever since the number of drownings (particularly of young people) has increased. Fingers are being pointed at the choices made by municipalities, which are opting to build water play instead of pools, a less expensive option. However, even a basic knowledge of swimming could prevent many drownings.
Above all, don’t forget that swimming can be practised at any age – it’s never too late to learn to swim. In short, there’s every reason to take the plunge. Happy diving!


Par Roger lemay