What are the Benefits of Swimming
By Samantha Brown, ATC and Ehren Allen, PT, COMT
9 Benefits of Swimming
Swimming and water exercises have many benefits. There are many reasons to consider swimming (Even if you live up north). Here are some benefits to consider if you’re thinking of trying water exercises or aquatic exercises.
1. Provides a low-impact recovery environment for some injuries/conditions.
- The buoyant property of water absorbs some of our body weight, allowing less stress on the joints during exercise.
- Suitable for individuals with restricted mobility
- Aquatic therapy provides an ideal way for patients with arthritis to maintain the exercise essential to the control of their symptoms.
2. Swimming is a great form of cardiovascular fitness.
- Swimming laps or walking in the pool is an effective way to increase cardiovascular health.
- Increases heart rate without over-stressing the body
- Improves systolic blood pressure in adults with hypertension
3. Improves Coordination and Proprioception.
- Swimming laps and learning new strokes requires the coordination of the arms, legs, and torso to move through the water.
4. Useful for working most muscles of the body.
- The nature of being submerged in water naturally engages the entire body allowing for more comprehensive exercise.
- Builds endurance.
5. Buoyancy and resistance of water may enhance therapeutic exercise.
- The buoyancy of the water helps to facilitate movement.
- During strengthening, the resistance of water provides a natural weight to lift and move in any direction.
- Buoyancy reduces the effects of gravity on the joints, and allows exercise to be performed with less impact and pressure on the joints. In waist deep water, for example, your body weight can be reduced by 50%.
6. It is suitable for all ages and abilities.
- Swimming allows people to move at their own pace while still providing a challenge for those looking to improve their fitness or regain strength.
7. Provides a variety of exercise options.
- Decreases the amount of repetitive exercise by using the different strokes and flotation/resistance aids that can be utilized in the water.
8. Aquatic therapy is an ideal exercise for hydrostatic pressure.
- Hydrostatic pressure is created by the principle that fluid pressure is exerted equally on all surfaces of a body immersed at a given depth of water.
- This creates a therapeutic pressure gradient, which, in turn, can have a positive effect on joint swelling caused by arthritis. Increased joint awareness is a positive factor of this pressure.
- Also, the warm temperature of the water used in aquatic therapy can help to increase general circulation, and make exercise less painful and more relaxing.
- This is the friction that exists between liquid molecules that creates natural resistance.
- Viscosity creates a means for providing resistance to joints and muscles needed for building strength without the painful impact on the involved joints.
- The resistance is directly proportional to the speed at which the body moves in water; therefore the participant can control the desired amount of resistance.
Additional Perks of Swimming
In addition to the above scientific benefits, aquatic therapy also provides relaxation, social interaction, and a means of building important self-esteem associated with normal exercise. A doctor’s prescription is not necessary to participate in water exercise; however there are several precautions to consider, so it is essential to receive clearance from a physician before beginning aquatic therapy.
JOI and JOI Rehab
JOI Physicians continue to offer online new patient appointments. This is another option to make it more convenient to make new patient appointments with less phone hold times. Follow the link below to select your JOI MD and schedule online.
You can still call 904-JOI-2000 to make new patient JOI Physician Appointments if that is your preference.
To make appointments with JOI Rehab, please call 904-858-7045.