Swimming can be an ideal exercise, but it's not for everyone.
Swimming can be an ideal aerobic workout that helps you burn calories and improve your health. Whether you're swimming in your own pool, participating in a water aerobics class at the local gym or going for a dip in the lake, you can benefit from this exercise. However, like all forms of exercise, swimming poses some safety risks and it's especially important to ensure you are a strong enough swimmer to complete the routine.
If you have joint or muscle pain, swimming is one of the safest forms of exercise you can do because it's extremely low impact. The water helps support your body, which can make it easier to move, thus enabling you to get the exercise you need to feel better. But swimming also poses some safety risks, the most significant of which is drowning. Never swim alone and avoid taking on new swimming challenges, such as swimming in the ocean, when there's not a lifeguard present and when you don't have a life jacket.
Neighborhood and university pools frequently offer discounted memberships and inexpensive group classes, making them highly practical for people on a budget and those new to swimming. But swimming may not be as easily accessible as working out at home, particularly if you have to drive to your local pool.
Swimming, like other forms of aerobic exercise, burns more calories than calisthenics or weightlifting and can play an important role in helping you lose weight. Regular aerobic exercise can also improve mood, reduce your risk of diseases such as cancer, diabetes, obesity and can help alleviate and prevent conditions such as arthritis, osteoporosis and muscle tension. Your swimming routine can be customized to match your comfort level. For people who hate sweating during a workout routine, swimming may be ideal, because the water wicks sweat away and helps keep you cool.
The location where you choose to swim can increase or decrease the risks of swimming. If you're swimming in a chlorinated pool, the chlorine could exacerbate respiratory problems such as asthma, according to a 2002 paper published in the "European Respiratory Journal." Chlorine can also dry out your skin and create a green hue on your hair if you don't rinse it off. There's also a small risk of contracting a virus or infection from a public pool, particularly if it's not properly chlorinated. If you choose to swim in lakes, streams or in the ocean, wildlife can pose a safety hazard, and strong currents can increase the risk of drowning. There is also a risk of serious injury if you dive in shallow water.