Swimming has long been plugged as a great exercise, one that’s easy on the body and good for individuals with joint pain. It is also said to strengthen bones. Studies and research indicate that individuals who frequently swim laps have greater leg bone mass than those who don’t swim at all.
According to Dr. Bhuvaneshwar Machani, Consultant Orthopedics at Burjeel Hospital for Advanced Surgery, it is the quintessential workout. “Its culmination of weight training and aerobics makes it a total-body exercise. The benefits of swimming are plenty for all age groups and all physical abilities. It is recommended that UAE residents add a few laps to their regular routine to discharge monotony, tediousness and to strengthen muscle and bones.”
Bones, in most cases are implied as lifeless skeleton, but our bones are living organs that grow and change shape throughout our life. The exercise shapes the bones and builds muscles. As bones play a huge role in our health and general well-being, keeping them healthy is vital. A great diet comprising of calcium and vitamin D, accompanied with omega-3-rich foods are essential for building strong bones. In addition, swimming is one form of exercise which can support the bones beyond what we eat and drink.
“Swimming is the only exercise that makes use of all muscles in a body. It has been shown to increase bone strength, especially for women who are entering menopausal years. And it’s much easier on joints and bones than any other workout,” added Dr. Machani.
Osteoporosis – a disease where bones weaken and lose density is a common sign with women, particularly with older women, who are in their menopause phase. When it comes to finding the right exercises to combat osteoporosis, swimming is often recommended. As a low-impact exercise, it is easy on the muscles and joints and helps improve bone strength.
“It is easy on the body and the bones. As such, many orthopedic doctors and physical therapists use some form of a water workout for their patients who are experiencing joint and bone ailments. For those who are recovering from joint surgeries, a workout in the water is ideal,” concluded Dr. Machani.
Research shows that swimming regularly can lower stress hormones, reduce anxiety and depression and improve sleep patterns and overall fitness levels. It is a fun way to unwind and rejuvenate, spend time with friends and family and can serve as a great alternative to help burn calories. It is noted that an hour of vigorous swimming can burn up to 650 calories. While some swimmers stress that swimming is good during warmer months, The Telegraph reinstated that cold and outdoor swimming is a growing trend in the United Kingdom. From 300 members in 2006, UK’s Outdoor Swimming Society membership has grown into over 25,000 in 2016.
Swimming is a great physical activity that engages your entire body. It involves major muscle groups working together. Whether for leisure or workout, It is definitely packed with physical benefits.