Swimming: great reasons to take the plunge

swimmingHitting the pool a few times a week offers incredible health benefits for people of all ages. When submerged to waist depth, our bodies bear just 50 percent of what we weigh, and when submerged to our necks, just ten percent.

Swimming, though beneficial for us all, is an ideal form of exercise for those with sore muscles and joints, with arthritis, and those who are overweight. A water-based workout can also increase flexibility, strengthen muscles, and provide a cardiovascular workout.

Whether you take the plunge to enjoy an Aquafit class, or leap into a lane to practice your strokes, you’ll be treating your body to a gentle-on-the-joints, full body workout. Are you ready to make a splash?

A healthy heart: An aerobic activity, swimming strengthens our hearts. Regular cardiovascular exercise helps our hearts to function (pump our blood) with less work.

Improved mental health: When it comes to managing stress, anxiety, and even depression, a commitment to physical activity, particularly outdoors, can be an effective form of treatment. Once again, exercise is medicine!

Weight maintenance: Exercise alone rarely leads to weight loss, but it can help people maintain a healthy weight and it’s essential for good health.

Improved muscle strength & tone: Swimming is a super way to increase muscular strength and tone, especially when compared to other forms of aerobic exercise. In water, every kick and arm stroke becomes a resistance exercise.

Be flexible: The motion of swimming helps our joints stay limber and our muscles strong and flexible. Reaching with each stroke lengthens our bodies.

Reduced risk of diabetes: Simple lifestyle changes such as eating sensibly and increasing physical activity may be enough to reduce blood glucose levels and to maintain them within a healthy range. Did you know…

  1. Low physical fitness is as strong a risk factor for mortality as smoking. (Canadian Diabetes Association)
  2. Fitness level is one of the strongest predictors of all-cause mortality in people with diabetes. (Canadian Diabetes Association)
  3. Physical activity can be as powerful as glucose-lowering medication…with fewer side effects. (Canadian Diabetes Association)
  4.  Regular physical activity, in conjunction with healthy eating and weight control, can reduce diabetes incidence by 60%. (Canadian Diabetes Association)]

There’s more good news from the Canadian Diabetes Association: “The effectiveness of lifestyle changes in preventing the progression to type 2 diabetes has been proven in two large studies: the Finnish Diabetes Prevention Study and the Diabetes Prevention Program. Both studies showed that a low-calorie meal plan with reduced fat intake and moderate-intensity physical activity of at least 150 minutes per week resulted in a 58 per cent reduction in the number of people who progressed from prediabetes to diabetes over the next four years, even though weight loss was modest.”

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