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The Health and Wellbeing Benefits of Swimming

By Ashley Bellefontaine PT

Whether it’s for leisure, pleasure or exercise, swimming is a great way to improve your health and wellbeing.  It is recommended that most individuals participate in at least 150 minutes of moderate to vigorous cardiovascular activity per week, as well as muscle strengthening for major muscle groups 2 days per week.  Swimming and other aquatic exercise, such as aqua-aerobic, can be a great way to meet these recommendations.

In a recent research study, the benefits of swimming for health included improved heart health, reduced blood pressure, improved lung capacity, decreased joint pain, and increased bone strength. Regular swimmers also have lower risk of early death and lower risk fo death from heart disease and stroke.

Unlike some athletic activities, swimming can be a beneficial activity for all ages. Children who participate in swimming lessons develop more quickly physically, cognitively, and socially.  And older individuals who swim regularly stay mentally and physically fit.

Swimming and aquatic exercise can be beneficial people who have struggled with land-based exercise because swimming minimizes weight-bearing stresses. It’s a great option for the elderly, pregnant women, individuals with arthritis or diabetics, or people with other disabilities.

If you looking for a safe, fun, cost effective way to improve your health and physical fitness, consider talking to your health care provider about a swimming program.

[Note: Ashley Bellefontaine works at PhysioLink Porters Lake.]

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