6 Reasons Swimming is So Good for You

Water is your key to better health — and we’re not talking about getting your eight glasses a day (but do that, too).

Turns out, your community pool or lake can sculpt your body better than the most bougie gym or upscale Pilates studio without the price tag. We chatted with former Olympic swimmer Scott Dickens about the reasons why swimming should be the new cycling. Basically, it ticks all the boxes!

1. Multitask

“Unlike other exercise, swimming works every muscle in your body — it tones, builds strength and increases endurance.”

2. Good for circulation

“Since you’re exercising in a horizontal position, it helps blood circulate more easily.”

3. Joint-friendly

“Swimming is low impact, so it can increase your fitness level without putting stress on your joints. It’s a great complement to other training to increase cardio endurance without adding impact.”

4. Full-body workout

“You can swim laps, but you can also do interval training. Personally, I do a warm-up with all types of swims — butterfly, backstroke and freestyle — and use props like fins and hand paddles to increase resistance in my legs. You can also do laps using just your legs or arms to target specific muscles. The paddleboards are great for your hip flexors and lower core muscles.” (Related: Check out these swimming workouts that burn major calories.)

5. Mindful

“Once you get in the water, you unplug and put your phone away. I can be in the moment in my workout, just listening to the sound of the water and focusing on my breath. I find that mind-body connection really helpful.”

6. Affordable

“Swimming in lakes is free, and you can usually find drop-in swim times at local community pools for less than six or seven dollars a session.”

Next, learn which swimming mistakes you’ve been making all along.

Originally Published in Best Health Canada