Take the Plunge—Try Swimming!
An ever-growing number of participants of high-impact forms of exercise, such as runners, basketball, football, and baseball players, are turning to swimming to avoid the injuries that are caused by these sports.
Why? Three reasons. First, in the water, your body's weight is completely supported, thus preventing most of the common injuries related to land-based exercise. Second, because the possibility of injury is so greatly reduced, swimming makes it easier to get a more rigorous workout. And finally, swimming uses and conditions more of your body's muscles than other form of exercise, which results in a great overall workout.
The benefits of swimming are not limited just to those who want to avoid the injuries common to other forms of exercise. Those recovering from exercise-related—and non-exercise-related—injuries can also benefit. Why? Because swimming's non-impact, low-stress nature is often the best exercise method to strengthen injured joints or limbs without making the original injury worse.
And swimming's benefits do not end there. Again, due to its non-impact nature, swimming is often an excellent form of exercise for those who suffer from chronic pain due to arthritis or back-related injuries. Since it is usually done in a warm, humid setting, swimming can also be a good choice for people with asthma.
A couple of cautionary notes, however. Before you start an exercise program, talk to your doctor. If you have an injury or a condition, your doctor will need to approve any exercise routine and monitor your progress. While swimming is usually a good option for people, if you have certain conditions, you may need to take extra precautions. For example, for some asthma or eczema sufferers, high chlorine levels in the pool can worsen their condition or trigger symptoms.
Last reviewedFebruary 2014by Michael Woods, MD
Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.