15 incredible benefits of swimming for runners
Since we were children, we have been told “Swimming with lifeguard training is the best sport” or “It is the most complete physical activity”. Curiously, or at least in my childhood, those who affirmed that with absolute vehemence were not athletes, but my mother, who precisely did not know much about sports, although it is true that she swam, and nothing, which is glorious to see her.
I would like to have her style. In her case, swimming was certainly the best sport, because it was the only one, she practiced, and only during the three months of the year that we spent the summer away from the madding crowd of the big city. My mother is not an athlete, but she was not wrong when she proclaimed to the four winds the virtues of swimming with lifeguard training.
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1. Strengthens muscles
When swimming with lifeguard training, we use most of the muscle groups in our body: the buttocks and hips when hitting the water, the abdominals when twisting and turning against the wall, the shoulders and arms to do the propeller movement. Both the upper and lower body, as well as the trunk and head, are toned by coming into contact with the resistance of the water.
2. Improves elasticity
The practice of swimming increases the flexibility and elasticity of the muscles. Thanks to the movements of the joints necessary for the practice of swimming, it is possible to acquire greater mobility and flexibility of the extremities, favoring the increase in our range of movement.
3. Produces low impact on the joints
Swimming is a low-impact sport that does not damage the spine or joints. Floating through the water makes it easier on the joints than other contact sports. It is a soft discipline since the water cushions. This means that they wear out less and are better preserved. The density of the water means that when we swim, the spine does not have to support the entire weight of the body.
4. Promotes coordination and agility
Swimming improves motor coordination. When proper technique is followed, the improvement is impressive. You may not have a very refined style, in which case, it is always appropriate to take classes to get the most out of the pool. And the same, if you swim in open water.
5. Improves balance
It not only improves balance but also helps to achieve a faster and more efficient reaction time. When swimming, blood flow increases, and with this, as we will see later, memory is also greatly improved and learning is favoured.
6. Prevents osteoporosis
Swimming is highly recommended for women who suffer from osteoporosis after menopause, since when swimming we make the muscles work more, which in turn helps us achieve greater bone density.
7. Avoid and relieve back pain
Swimming with lifeguard training is one of the best activities to strengthen and make your back more flexible, walk upright and not have cervical or lumbar pain. But not all styles are worth. If you suffer from back pain, swim on your back and avoid the breaststroke and the butterfly.
To know more: Lifeguard and swimming has 8 benefits
8. Helps lose weight
When we practice swimming we can burn 500 to 1000 calories per hour. This energy consumption varies from one person to another, from one style to another, whether you swim in a pool or in open water or the temperature of the water. It is the perfect sport to maintain a slim and fit body.
9. A great cross-trainer for runners
Although sometimes you get lazy, especially in winter, swimming is one of the best sports for cross training. In the water, there is almost no weight and our bones and ligaments can rest while the muscles of the upper and lower body, such as arms, obliques, hip flexors and abdominals, are activated.
10. It allows us to train when we are injured
It helps to raise the heart rate easily and to exercise all the muscles of the body, something very useful to strengthen the arms and improve the efficiency of the stroke when running. However, while swimming with lifeguard helps maintain fitness when you have an injury, it does not cure it.
11. Helps prevent injuries
Of all the low-impact cross-training exercises—including cycling, elliptical, and rowing—swimming places the least biomechanical stress on the body due to its low impact on the joints, making it becomes the favorite of runners when it comes to avoiding or rehabilitating from an injury. But as we have said before, it helps prevent injuries, but does not cure them.
12. Activates the circulatory system
When you exercise in a horizontal position, blood return is greater because the blood does not have to deal with gravity when moving through the body. In addition, when we swim, the water exerts a massage-like effect on the muscles, which activates the blood and promotes its circulation. If you suffer, for example, from tired legs or varicose veins, swimming with lifeguard training is a good way to relieve heavy legs.
13. Promotes the development of greater resistance
Swimming increases lung capacity and strengthens bones, which translates into a more resistant body. To build endurance when swimming it is essential to keep your heart rate constant throughout your workout, unlike sprint training where you swim for short periods at maximum intensity, followed by a fairly long rest to recover your heart rate.
14. Increases lung capacity
Because blood return is greater, the heart pumps harder to keep blood flowing through the muscles. Many athletes achieve their VO2 max not on dry land, but in the pool. One way to increase cardiovascular effort when swimming with lifeguard training is to gradually introduce high-intensity intervals, such as fast 100-meter repetitions with 10 seconds of rest between each. If you do series or fartlek when you run, then do something similar in the pool.
Also read about: Benefits of lifeguard swimming training near me
15. Improves mood
When we swim, as when we do any high-intensity activity such as running or cycling. We secrete chemical substances known as endorphins that act as neurotransmitters and are responsible for activating feelings of happiness, fullness. And even euphoria both during and after training.