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People often think of swimming as a recreational activity, but it can be an excellent source of exercise, too. As fitness coach Walter Keating Jr. explains, swimming is a low-impact activity, making it perfect for people who aren’t in great shape or are older.

At the same time, swimming is an activity that can be highly demanding and give you a full-body aerobic workout. These are just some reasons why more people should get in the pool for exercise. Below, Walter Keating Jr. explains four benefits that swimming for exercise provides.

#1. Full-body Workout

Swimming works all of your body, which many other activities can’t do. It tones your muscles, builds endurance and strength, and increases your heart rate simultaneously.

While you’re in the pool, you can even work on different muscle groups by simply switching up the swimming strokes you use. Freestyle, backstroke, breaststroke, and butterfly all focus uniquely on specific muscle groups while also forcing all of your muscle groups to be worked.

#2. Low Impact

One of the best parts about swimming is its low impact, which means that just about anyone can do it — no matter their age or physical condition.

Older people may have trouble jogging, lifting weights, or even walking for long enough periods to get solid exercise. People with specific injuries, disabilities, or arthritis may face similar challenges.

Swimming, meanwhile, makes exercise easy and safe for all of these people. It’s even been proven to help reduce some pain and improve a person’s injury recovery.

Swimming can help reduce swelling, joint stiffness, and pain, especially compared to other physical activities.

#3. Great Results

Swimming helps you burn calories in an awe-inspiring way. A person who weighs 160 pounds could burn roughly 420 calories per hour just by swimming at a slow pace. Amp the activity level up to vigorous, and that same person could burn more than 700 calories in an hour.

That’s significantly more calories than the same person would burn doing yoga (180 calories), walking briskly (300 calories), or using an elliptical (360 calories).

In other words, swimming is highly efficient at burning calories; that comes with the fact that you don’t even have to exert yourself at a rapid pace to do so.

#4. Improved Mood and Sleep

Swimming has terrific benefits for your mind, too, as Walter Keating Jr. explains. Studies have shown that swimming helps you get a better night’s sleep. This is excellent news for people who struggle with insomnia, which is quite common among older people.

At the same time, swimming has been proven to improve people’s moods in a short period. The activity also helps people relieve and manage their stress.

While all exercise has psychological benefits, swimming has proven to be one of the best ways to improve your overall mindset.

About Walter Keating Jr.

Walter Keating Jr. is a Toronto-based fitness coach specializing in triathlon coaching and corrective exercise training. He graduated from the Fitness and Lifestyle Management Program at George Brown College and immediately started his professional career. Mr. Keating has worked as an endurance coach, personal trainer, spinning instructor, and corrective exercise trainer.

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