Swimming benefits: Pool & open water
Swimming is a popular sport in many countries. It has several health benefits for us and everyone can swim, as it is a low impact sport. The chance to hurt yourself while swimming is very low, therefore it is great for everyone, including pregnant women for instance.
Open water swimming is another type of sport that is gaining traction. Swimming in the cold sea can be even more exhausting but also more exciting. Did you know that open water swimming has even more benefits than swimming in the pool?
We will tell you all about the benefits of pool and open water swimming! Additionally, you will learn whether you can build muscles only with swim workouts and how to be safe during an open water swim.
What are the benefits of swimming?
Swimming is a very popular sport, as it has many benefits for your mental and physical health.
It is a low impact sports, which means that the risk of injury is very low compared to other sports. There is no stress on the joints, as it is often the case in other sports. Therefore, almost everyone can swim also people with arthritis or joint pain for example.
Swimming on a regular basis also improves our cardiovascular fitness. Additionally, it builds muscles in our whole body through the resistance of the water. If you swim regularly, your upper body will look more toned, especially the shoulder muscles.
If you suffer from frequent back pain, swimming can also be great to relieve the pain. Swimming improves the spine stability, makes your back stronger, which will be great against the back pain.
Losing weight is a goal of many people, and swimming can definitely help in this regard. It gets your heart rate up and lets you burn calories, but swimming is not as much of a calorie burner as other cardio workouts.
Through swimming, you also improve your flexibility, as you are stretching your body constantly.
Many people love swimming because of its mental health benefits. It’s great to get rid of stress, calm down and just focus on swimming.
There are so many health benefits for the whole body when you swim regularly. Therefore, it is a very popular sports for all ages.
Swimming in the sea benefits
Open water swimming is quite different from swimming in indoor pools. It can be more challenging and exhausting. Of course, sea swimming has the same benefits as swimming in the pool, but it also has some additional benefits!
The seawater contains vitamins and minerals, which is great for the skin because it reduces inflammation. After swimming in the sea, your skin will look more vibrant. It is also great for people that have skin problems like eczema.
Swimming indoors is already great for mental health, but the sea has greater effects on it! Due to the cold water, the body releases dopamine and serotonin, which make us happy. Therefore, dipping into cold water regularly is also great against depression.
Some more health benefits that come with swimming in the sea is an improved blood circulation and a stronger immune system. The body tries to warm up in the cold water, so the blood is circulating faster through the body. The cold water also supports antioxidant processes within the body, which in turn reduces the risk of heart disease and cancer.
If you have any kinds of muscle pains, swimming in cold water actually helps in the recovery of muscles and is therefore recommended.
As already mentioned before, swimming in the pool doesn’t burn as many calories as other sports. However, swimming in the cold sea does burn many calories, because the body is trying to keep warm and therefore burns a lot of energy.
So if you want to lose weight by swimming, you should focus on open water swimming! Just grab a friend and go to a nearby sea, river or lake to go for a dip. We promise that this is a fun way to burn calories!
If you want to benefit from all these positive impacts swimming has on the body, it is important to be consistent and go swimming on a regular basis. When you go open water swimming, you should stay safe and never swim alone, as it can be dangerous.
How long should I swim for a good workout?
You would like to swim to get fitter, but you don’t know how long a swimming workout should be? We can give you some guidance for a good swim workout.
It depends on your skill level and how much time you want to spend. For beginners, a 30-minute swimming session is already very exhausting, but a good length for a swim workout. Intermediates should swim for 45 minutes in a session to be physically challenged.
These times apply if you swim quickly to train your body. If you want to swim more relaxed, you can of course take as much time as you need and swim longer. Both ways will be challenging for the body.
Not only the length of one session, but consistency is very important as well. Beginners should swim at least three times a week to be able to progress every week, and slowly increase the length of the workouts over time. Intermediate swimmers should swim four to five times a week to get the best results.
Some people might think whether swimming every day is good for your body. Basically, it is fine to swim every day, but you shouldn’t exaggerate. Listen to your body and take time for recovery whenever you feel like you require it, as this is also part of the journey.
Swimming in the sea regularly
You can do your swim workout also in the open sea, but there are a few things you need to keep in mind to stay safe.
First, the amount of time you should swim in a pool differs a lot to swimming in the sea. Our bodies cannot stay in cold water for too long, otherwise you can get hypothermia. If you start shivering, or you notice that you are getting slower, you should get out of the water right away and warm up.
How long you can stay in the cold sea depends on different aspects such as body size. You should start with swimming for 20 minutes and see how you feel. Your body will tell you when it is enough. With practice and time, you will be able to swim for a longer amount of time in the sea.
A wetsuit is a good piece of equipment to have when swimming in open water. It can keep you warm for longer but doesn’t prevent you from getting cold, so be careful.
There are more things you should be aware of before going open water swimming. A very important rule is to never go swimming alone in the sea. It can be very dangerous, therefore there should always be someone with you or a lifeguard at the beach.
Wearing a bright cap will make you more visible for people at the beach and keep your head warm at the same time.
Before you swim, make sure that it is safe. There shouldn’t be any tides or currents. In case there is a storm coming up or other kinds of warnings, you should refrain from open water swimming for the day.
Jumping into cold water is not a good idea either because you can get a cold water shock. This means your blood pressure will increase rapidly, and your breathing rate will increase. It could affect your health negatively, so you should slowly go into the water.
Swimming in the open sea has so many benefits, that it is becoming very popular. But it is important to know about water safety to make sure you are safe at all times.
Is swimming a good way to build muscles?
Do you want to build up a lot of muscles, but you are not sure whether you can achieve this through swimming?
We can tell you that swimming is an all over body workout that can definitely help you to get fitter and work on all muscle groups. However, if you want to gain a lot of muscles like a bodybuilder, then swimming alone will not get you there.
Looking at professional swimmers, you can see that they are usually muscular but also lean. Swimming helps to tone your muscles more than building them.
So if you want to build muscles, we can recommend combining regular swimming with weightlifting to build your muscles. The water resistance while swimming helps to tone your muscles, but free weights are more effective in gaining muscles.
In terms of swimming, it is recommended to swim three to five times a week depending on skill level to have the best results. Additionally, you should change the swimming routine regularly so that your muscles can grow, rather than doing the same every time you go swimming.
Swimming with SwimCamp
If you are looking to improve your swimming skills to become fitter, you can take swimming lessons with SwimCamp.
We offer courses for kids, teenagers and adults of several skill levels. You can be a beginner that is scared of water or an intermediate swimmer that wants to prepare for a triathlon. We have a class for you in any case!
No matter if swimming in the pool or in the open water. We offer both: open water swimming during summer and pool swimming when the sea is too cold to swim. If you are interested in testing out open water swimming, we can help you to learn everything you need to know!
Swimming in a group is a lot more fun than alone, as you can find new friends that share a hobby with you. It helps to motivate each other to become a better swimmer every time. A positive coaching style is what makes our lessons fun for everyone.
If you prefer 1-on-1 lessons, we can also provide help to you in this regard. This can help to focus on yourself and your specific problems.
Booking a swim class for several weeks will help you to develop a swimming routine and improve your technique or endurance.
SwimCamp helps everyone to be able to appreciate the physical and mental health benefits swimming has on the body. If you are scared of the water, we can help you overcome this fear and learn how to swim at your pace.