Swimming and your health

You'll often hear people say that swimming is the best exercise. But just what is it that makes swimming such an excellent way to get and stay active?

30 minutes of steady paced lane swimming burns over 200 calories - well over 400 in an hour. Any swimming that makes you breathe more heavily counts as 'moderate' activity. Even treading water takes effort, so you are working most of the time you're in the pool.

The water takes your weight, so swimming can be great for those who want low impact exercise - women during pregnancy for example, or for people who have mobility problems or want to protect their joints.

Swimming works your whole body and is great for your heart. Because you are using your whole body, your heart has to pump blood hard to your arms and legs, helping circulation too. Swimming is also great for your lungs - lane swimming in particular forces you to breathe in a deep and rhythmic way which gives your lungs a boost.

Being in water can have great psychological benefits too - the pool can 'take you away from it all' and the feeling of being in water can be refreshing, relaxing, and liberating. Swimmers report significantly less tension, depression, anger, confusion, and more vigor after exercising.