As temperatures cool and holiday season’s approach, most of our fitness progress made in the warmer summer months is replaced throughout the fall and winter with growing regret. Whether it's due to the cooler weather, the loss of convenient outdoor exercise or our weakness for delightful holiday foods, throughout the cooler months of the year we would prefer to stay at home, cocooned in a blanket with a piece of pie and a TV series to binge watch than take on the cold and head to a gym. Unfortunately, this change of behaviour can lead to a decline in our overall health.
HEART WORK PAYS OFF
An energy surplus (when you consume more energy than you burn) which can lead to many different health issues including insulin resistance – the very first step to diabetes, and other serious metabolic problems. Committing 30 minutes of physical activity daily can go a long way.
Exercising doesn’t need to be a chore. In fact, many of the activities we enjoy during the summer can now be found indoors as well. Many gyms have tracks and treadmills for those who prefer walking and jogging, bikes, basketball courts and for one of the most effective forms of exercise, swimming pools!
SWIM FOR YOUR LIFE
Swimming is a low impact activity that is mentally and physically beneficial. Unlike many other forms of physical activity, swimming is both cardiovascular and strengthening at the same time. Although swimming is easy on the body, it makes use of all major muscle groups including shoulders, back, abdominals, legs, hips, and glutes. Here is a list of some of the incredible health benefits swimming can offer throughout the entire year.
- Aquatic exercise has been found to improve cardiac function in mild to moderate chronic heart failure.
- Swimming provides a total body workout, as nearly all of your muscles are used during swimming, which can help lower blood pressure, improve cholesterol, and strengthen your heart – all factors which help to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease.
- Swimming has been recognized as one of the most effective calorie burners. Regular aquatic exercise can help maintain a healthy weight, healthy heart and lungs.
- Swimming reduces the impact on your body, while still providing a complete body workout making aquatic exercise more beneficial to individuals suffering from obesity and osteoarthritis than forms of land based exercise.
- Swimming and aquatic exercise increase’s muscle strength, flexibility, and endurance.
- Aquatic exercise has been shown to improve respiratory function, and provides an opportunity for individuals with asthma to work out in a moist air environment, reducing exercise induced asthma symptoms and improving asthma overall.
- Regular aquatic exercise reduces the risk of diabetes by controlling blood sugar and lowering body weight.
- Exercise is extremely important for individuals with diabetes in order to increase insulin action and keeps blood sugars at a healthy level. Due to the buoyancy of the water, swimming does not put pressure on joints and eases the stress on the body, including feet making swimming ideal for people with diabetes.
- Swimming can evoke relaxation, alleviate stress and improve overall mental health. The stress relieving benefits of swimming are comparable to those found in yoga.
- Swimming improves coordination, balance and posture and improves the quality and quantity of movement for those suffering from joint pain.