Humans have been swimming for thousands of years; ancient paintings depict humans swimming using a style similar to the doggy paddle and the breaststroke. While swimming back then may have been for leisurely or sanitary purposes, present-day swimming has taken on a variety of uses thanks to the versatility of human locomotion through water. Swimming has since evolved into an international sport that has offered some of the most exciting moments in recent Olympic history. For us non-Olympians, swimming offers a wide variety of benefits as part of a healthy, active lifestyle.
Swimming and other water sports provide the body with a physically supportive environment, thanks the property of buoyancy. The human body is ever-so-slightly buoyant in water, meaning that your body’s weight is supported by water when you’re swimming. This reduces the strain on your muscles and joints, making it one of the best activities in terms of injury prevention. For both young children and older adults, this makes swimming an ideal exercise choice. It’s a safe form of physical activity that helps to prevent injury through a supportive physical environment and helps to strengthen and build muscles, which also functions to prevent injury.
Swimming is one of the best workouts for your entire body available. Competitive swimming provides an intensive workout for your arms, core, legs, and cardiovascular system, and even recreational swimming offers a great opportunity for exercise. When compared to swimming, similar exercises like running or cycling don’t offer the same level of exercise for your body. Both of these common exercises primarily work your legs, but don’t offer the total body workout that swimming does; not to mention that swimming is also much easier on your body.
Swimming helps burn more calories due to the fact that the body needs to work hard in two ways when swimming compared to other sports; being submerged in water below a certain temperature requires our body to generate heat internally to keep our core temperature at a stable 37 degrees Celsius. Since most pools are kept at temperatures below that level, your body must expend extra effort to maintain your core temperature, and this requires energy gained in part from burning calories.
Part of a healthy lifestyle is to develop not only physical fitness, but sound mental health as well. Swimming is therapeutic for many as a more meditative experience. The isolation and calm that moving through the water provides is beneficial to the mind as it helps relax the brain and refresh the mind for the day’s activities. Many business leaders cite and psychologists point to their morning swim as one of the best activities to help them regain their focus and to help inspire moments of creative inspiration .
Camp Ak-O-Mak was the first Canadian competitive swimming camp for girls. By helping your daughter harness the benefits of swimming, Camp Ak-O-Mak strives to combine a program of healthy living to better the lives of all our campers. Contact Camp Ak-O-Mak today to make a difference in your daughter’s life that will last a lifetime.
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