Why I Love Swimming
Swimming is a hobby that can last a lifetime—plus, it’s a great way to get a whole-body workout, regardless of the season.
As a kid, as soon as school was out and temperatures started to rise, the first thing I wanted to do was jump in a body of water. It didn’t matter if it was the lake or the neighborhood pool—I just wanted to swim. But now as an adult, there are even more reasons I enjoy it. Here’s why I still love to swim:
It eases stress
I love being outside in the summer. To me, being in or near water helps to reduce feelings of stress—even just listening to the sound of water is soothing. Swimming is a great way to enjoy fresh air, sunshine, and water all at the same time. Those things combined are great at instantly improving my mood—likely thanks to the sunshine vitamin, or vitamin D, as we know it. Vitamin D is produced in your skin in response to sun exposure and helps regulate mood, ease anxiety, and ward off depression.
It’s a great calorie burner
Unless I’m in the shallow end of the pool, swimming requires constant movement to stay afloat. Because of that, swimming is an effective way to burn calories. Of course, it will vary depending on your pace and weight, but swimming for one hour can burn upwards of 493 calories, even at a slower pace. Plus, because of the constant resistance to muscles, it’s considered a cardiovascular and strength training workout in one.
Related: Why I Love Yoga
It’s a team or individual sport
Being a swimmer doesn’t mean I have to be competitive or an athlete. I enjoy swimming because I don’t have to race again someone else—I can hop in the pool and just race against time. I’m able to time myself for any length I choose, and each time I’m in the pool, I can try to beat my own personal record. The type of workout I want is always up to me.
It’s a low-impact sport
Swimming is well known for being easy on the joints—it’s especially great for someone with a sports injury or lower-back or knee issues. If you still want to work out while injured, swimming can be a great calorie-burning solution.
If I have shoulder aches or injuries, I can give them a rest by swimming with a kickboard—plus, a kickboard targets my legs and helps to keep them toned and conditioned.
It requires little equipment
I typically only need a swimsuit and goggles. But if I want to get a little fancier, I’ll grab a swim cap, swim fins, or hand paddles. Paddles and fins can help build power and strength in the water, tone arm and leg muscles, and help to refine leg and arm strokes.
And, thanks to heated indoor pools, I know I can work out regardless of the season or the weather.
It’s a life skill
You don’t have to be a pro to reap the benefits of swimming. As long as you know the basics of swimming, most people can do it—even if injured or pregnant. Start with one lap, then two, and soon you’ll improve your technique and increase your duration and endurance in the water.
Once you know how to swim, it’s a skill you can use for a lifetime. Continue putting the skill to good use by snorkeling, playing water polo, participating in water aerobics, swimming in a triathlon, or scuba diving. And once you’re swim-savvy, you can pass the skill onto others—even if it’s just teaching your kids at the community rec center. If you don’t participate in these other activities, you’re still likely to have a hobby for life.