Swimming for health

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by Stephan J. Smith, DC

I have mentioned pool exercises in previous posts and I have outlined what I think is both good and bad about swimming pool aerobics, (see “pool exercises article” below).

Swimming for health

I haven’t commented so far on what I think of swimming as exercise, but in general, swimming is an excellent form of exercise that can be enjoyed throughout one’s life as a vigorous, low impact workout. Like other pool exercises, the low impact aspect of swimming can be looked at as both beneficial and non-beneficial. Beneficial because you aren’t loading and hammering joints with the impact of other aerobic forms of exercise, but non-beneficial because you don’t get the weight-bearing on long bones and spine that signal your body to maintain bone density. Contrary to popular belief, taking calcium will not, on its own, cause your bones to be stronger. Your body needs to be stimulated to stay strong and weight-bearing exercise does that.

Swimming as a part of your whole exercise routine is wonderful. It can be used as a gentle warm up before your “land-based” workout and it can also be used as a refreshing cool down afterwards by keeping blood moving in muscle tissue as your core temperature normalizes.

It is also helpful for those who are very heavy but need a gentle entry point into a regular workout regimen without additional stress to knees, hips and ankles. Swimming works practically all of the muscles in the body (if you do a variety of strokes), and swimming can develop a swimmer’s general strength, cardiovascular fitness and endurance.

Swimming can also have beneficial psychological benefits too, as it can induce a relaxed, meditative state when you let your mind wander and focus only on your gentle strokes and your breathing. This means that in addition to being good exercise, swimming can also be a stress buster depending on your approach and technique.

Whatever your current situation, swimming can be great, either as a beginning exercise or as an addition to your existing routine, so get wet and get swimming! POOL EXERCISES ARTICLE HERE

Guest post by Dr. Stephan J. Smith. Dr. Smith is a wellness expert and Chiropractor in Brighton, Michigan. Along with Dr. Vladimir J. Brajak, he co-owns Advantage Family Chiropractic and is available to speak to your group, organization or company on several popular wellness topics. For more information or to schedule a talk local to Brighton, contact us at 810-288-5823.