All The Fitness Benefits Of Swimming

Adult swim is cool again.

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“Swimming is as much about what’s happening inside as what we are seeing on the outside,” says Earl Walton, the global director of training and coaching at triathlon company IRONMAN. The mental focus you need to keep yourself afloat is a lot like getting yourself through life.

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No Impact Exercise

Running is awesome, but it can be harsh on your knees and feet. But water helps you rehab injuries and take it easy on your joints. “With swimming, there is no pounding on the knees and hips, allowing you to go harder more often,” Walton says.

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Cardio Boost

It takes some practice to not inhale pool water, but once get the right swimming form, it’ll improve your heart health. “Swimming demands a new breathing pattern which strengthens lungs and hearts, providing a big boost to our cardiovascular systems,” Walton explains.

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Upper Body And Core Strength

Whether you’re butterflying or freestyling, swimming will help you develop a seriously strong upper body. “We are constantly reaching forward, lengthening through our back muscles, core, and shoulders,” Walton tells Bustle.

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Lower Body Strength

At least of a quarter of your swimming workout is kicking, Walton explains, which will help you cut through the water dolphin-style — and give your legs super strength.

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Improved Mobility And Posture

Hunched over your computer all day? All those overhead strokes in the water can increase your mobility and help your posture when you’re back on dry land, Walton says.

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It’s Social

“Even strong swimmers should always have a buddy around,” Walton says. Whether you're in the ocean or your local pool, make sure there's someone around you when you take a dip for safety. You can also learn new strokes and techniques from your swimming community.

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Connect With Your Body

Walton tells Bustle that working on your swimming form in every workout will help you discover muscles you didn’t even know you had. This can help you get more coordinated on land, too.

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Feel Good (On The Inside)

“Swimming is a life skill,” Walton says. A good water session can give you both endorphins and confidence. If you can face the waves, you can brave that job interview.