Aug 11, 2016
If you’ve signed up for the Aspire Channel Swim, then you should be very proud. Not only have you picked the best workout possible, you’re also helping many people around the UK who live with Spinal Cord Injury.
Swimming is the complete (and perfect) work out and has a host of positives for your body including psychological benefits. Here’s why you should get involved.
1. It helps you recuperate if you’re injured or suffering from illness
Swimming is the perfect exercise if you’re recovering from an illness and need an activity to ease you back into sport, especially if you have painful joints and need a low impact way to keep fit. The water supports your body and there is no damaging repetitive impact on your knees or feet.
2. It tones your body up
If your DVD exercise regimes aren’t bearing fruit, then look to tighten up your glutes, stretch your hamstrings, improve your core and flatten your tummy by diving into your local pool! You can gain muscle strength throughout your entire body through regular swimming. Where runners see muscle build in their legs, swimmers utilise more muscle groups to move through the water, and hence get an all over body sculpting.
Feeling like you want to work your bottom? Kick our legs harder. Want to tone up and strengthen your arms? Then make these do more of the work in the pool.
3. It works muscles you’d never normally use
When you’re swimming, your arms are moving all over the place, and your body is keeping itself balanced in the water constantly, so you’re often using the deep stabilising muscles in your core which aren’t normally ever activated.
4. It increases your cardio capabilities by strengthening the heart muscle
Swimmers kick with their legs, pull with their arms through the water, they reach with their back and tighten their abs to power legs and stabilise their core. It’s one of the best aerobic exercises to give you a total body toning and heart workout.
5. It can be done by both the very old and the very young
Swimming is suitable for any age group, both the very old and the very young. If you’re struggling for time with your family, then head to the pool or outdoor lido, it's a fantastic way for everyone to be active at the same time but at their own pace.
Unlike other sports, there are also no age restrictions or barriers to participation due to health or weight too. Mum, dad and kids can all set themselves their own targets, and exercise together and encourage each other.
6. It’s relatively cheap
Just grab your cozzie, goggles and a towel and that’s all the equipment you need!
7. It promotes mindfulness
Being in the pool is peaceful. You can zone out from daily life and there’s nothing to distract you. Swimming is also calming and meditative, as the sound of your breathing and the water rushing by helps you focus inward and drown out all other distractions. The smooth passing of water and rhythmical strokes can allow you to experience a great exercise session that also feels like a meditation.
8. It’s for everyone, even whilst pregnant
Your bump is supported because of the water resistance, and whether you want an intense workout of a lighter session, you control the pace, intensity, and what you get out of every swimming visit.
9. It reduces stress
Exercise releases endorphins into the body but water also has mood-boosting benefits. Being submerged in water dulls the amount of sensory information that bombards your body, helping to bring on feelings of calm. No wonder we love soaking in the bathtub!
10. It stops the ageing clock
Regular swimmers are biologically 20 years younger than their driver's licenses say they are, according to research from Indiana University. Scientists say that, even up until your 70th birthday, swimming affects blood pressure, cholesterol levels, cardiovascular performance, central nervous system health, cognitive functioning, muscle mass, and blood chemistry to be much more similar to that of your younger self. Who needs night cream?
11. It’s a great calorie burner
Even a gentle swim can burn 200 calories in just 30 minutes – imagine how many calories you could burn putting in high effort.
12. It opens you up to awesome experiences
Want to be able to hop off the back of a boat? Go snorkelling in the Caribbean? Swim the channel? Mastering swimming will help you do all that. It’s a life skill and opens doors to a lot of fun stuff.
So as you can see, swimming is pretty much the perfect sport!
If you want to start off swimming again, then join thousands of men and women who will be swimming the Aspire Channel Swim. Sign up here.
Every eight hours someone is paralysed by a spinal cord injury, it can happen to anyone at any time and there is currently no cure – so there are a lot of people who need support.
It’s free to enter and all funds raised will go towards helping people paralysed by Spinal Cord Injury, through Grants for purchasing equipment such as lightweight wheelchairs, Assistive Technology to enable people to use computers regardless of the level of their injury, as well as essential advice and accessible housing.