13 Incredible Benefits of Swimming

Swimming is an excellent form of exercise that provides an all-around body workout. Swimming works every muscle in the body and is one of the most versatile and effective workouts around. It offers a safe, high-aerobic, low-impact workout, allowing you to swim as much as you like without worrying about injuries. If you do have injuries, swimming is an excellent form of rehabilitation.

Swimming is a cardiovascular exercise that uses both the arms and legs, as well as the core and back to propel the body forward. It tones the lower and upper body, and the core, and produces better overall muscle definition than other cardio activities like running.

Swimming is also one of the best ways to lose weight. Water is 800 times denser than air, so when you are swimming, you are working against resistance, which burns fat, creates lean muscle, and increases your metabolism.

The four strokes in swimming – butterfly, backstroke, breaststroke, and freestyle all offer different workouts for different muscle groups, for example, butterfly and breaststroke work the arms, shoulders, and chest, while freestyle and backstroke strengthen the abdominal muscles, the back, and the quads. 


Swimming is an excellent form of exercise that provides an all-around body workout. Swimming works every muscle in the body.

Swimming has numerous benefits for the body, mind, and soul. Let’s dive right in and take a look at some of the incredible benefits of swimming.

Excellent for Heart Health

Swimming is the ultimate cardiovascular exercise and one of the best sports for maintaining a happy and healthy heart. Cardiovascular exercise helps to get the heart pumping, muscles working, and sweat flowing and helps make the heart stronger.

The heart is the engine of the body and the core of the complex and hard-working cardiovascular system, which also includes the vast network of arteries, veins, and other blood vessels that run throughout the body, taking oxygenated blood to every cell.

According to the Texas Heart Institute, the cardiovascular system is so complex that if every vessel was laid out in a line from end to end, it would extend for 60,000 miles and wrap around the earth more than twice!

Therefore, the heart and circulatory system has a massive job to do and needs to be strong and healthy. Swimming is an excellent form of exercise to do just this and help the body move blood, nutrients, oxygen, and waste generated by cells around the body 24-7.


Swimming is one of the best sports for maintaining a happy and healthy heart. 

Reduces Heart Rate and Lowers Blood Pressure

Swimming helps to reduce the heart rate and lower blood pressure. When the body is submerged in water that is cooler than the body’s temperature, a process called the mammalian diving reflex takes place, which is a complex series of physiological responses to submersion. This reflex causes the blood pressure to automatically drop, lowering the heart rate to help conserve oxygen in an attempt to keep the body warm.

Swimming regularly can lead to a lowered heart rate over the long term through the effects of muscle building. Cardiovascular exercise like swimming can increase the size and strength of your heart muscle, making it stronger. A strong heart doesn’t need to work as hard to meet the basic needs of running your cardiovascular system and therefore doesn’t need to beat as frequently, hence the lower rate.

Improves Circulation

Swimming improves circulation and helps the heart to pump oxygenated blood to all parts of the body, move nutrients around for cell repair, and remove cell waste quickly and efficiently. A healthy circulatory system reduces the risk of embolisms, blockages caused by blood clots that typically form in the veins in the legs and travel to the heart and the lungs, which can be deadly.

Improved circulation can also reduce the risk of strokes and other circulatory problems. The pressure from the water itself can also help move blood around the body to where it’s needed, such as bruises, edemas, and other injuries.  


Swimming improves circulation and helps the heart to pump oxygenated blood to all parts of the body. 

Reduces Stress and Fights Depression

Like a “runner’s high,” swimming provides a natural endorphin kick and makes you feel fantastic afterward. It is calming and meditative and lowers stress and depression naturally. Swimming stretches the body and combined with the rhythmic breathing of swimming and the relaxing sounds of the water, is a great stress-reliever.

Reducing stress is vitally important for maintaining a healthy heart and lowering the risk of strokes and heart attacks. The release of endorphins or ‘feel-good’ hormones can also fight depression, promote the growth of new brain cells and develop a stronger sense of confidence, power, and security.

Improves Muscle Definition, Strength, and Tone

There is no doubt that swimmers have beautiful bodies. Swimming builds lean muscle throughout the body and tones and tightens, leaving the body looking lean and mean. Swimming uses all the muscles in the body, so it builds and strengthens all the muscles in the body, including the core, which is at the center of swimming.

Swimming builds and strengthens muscles without putting any strain on the musculoskeletal structure and helps to target muscle groups that wouldn’t normally be used in other exercises. It also helps flex and stretch the muscles, which is great for people of all ages to fend off the stiffening effects of aging.


Swimming builds and strengthens muscles without putting any strain on the musculoskeletal structure. 

Builds Bone Mass

Research has found that swimming has a positive effect on bone density and strengthens the bones, making them heavier and denser. This is excellent for preventing osteoporosis and other degenerative bone diseases later in life.

Improves Flexibility

Swimming is an excellent exercise for increasing and maintaining flexibility as all the muscles in the body are stretched, pulled, and twisted in the water. The repetitive stretching actions required in the water when swimming help keep the body flexible. It’s also a good idea to complement the stretching done while swimming with land stretching exercises.

Reduces Inflammation

Regular exercise like swimming reduces inflammation and insulin resistance in the brain, which supports the growth of new brain cells. It also increases the brain’s ability to think more efficiently, and improves anxiety, mood, and stress.

Regular swimming has also been found to reduce system-wide inflammation that can lead to lessened disease progression in the cardiovascular and respiratory systems and other areas of the body.  


Regular exercise like swimming reduces inflammation and insulin resistance in the brain. 

Burns Calories

Swimming is a brilliant calorie burner and depending on the stroke you swim and the intensity level at which you swim it, it can burn the same amount of calories as running without the sweat! Just 30 minutes of swimming freestyle burns approximately 404 calories, while the same time spent swimming breaststroke burns around 367 calories and backstroke around 250 calories. 

Butterfly burns the most calories at 450 per 30 minutes, but it is also the most difficult and energy-consuming stroke to swim. This is more than the 100 calories you burn for a brisk 30-minute walk or run at six miles per hour, and it is less injury-prone. 

Swimming is also one of the best ways to lose weight. Water is 800 times denser than air, so when you are swimming, you are working against resistance, which burns fat, creates lean muscle, and increases your metabolism.

Improves Exercise-Induced Asthma

Exercise-induced asthma is an infliction suffered by many people whose breathing is affected by exercise. Swimming helps alleviate asthma as you are breathing moist air while you swim as opposed to dry gym air or cold, pollen-filled air outdoors.

Swimming is the best exercise for asthmatics because the moisture from the water replaces the moisture expelled during vigorous breathing. In addition to alleviating the symptoms of asthma, swimming can improve the overall condition of the lungs and the respiratory system, as well as improve overall lung volume and breathing techniques.


Swimming is the best exercise for asthmatics because the moisture from the water replaces the moisture expelled during vigorous breathing. 

Helps with Brain Functioning

Regular exercise, such as swimming, improves cognitive functioning, memory, and thinking skills. Swimming increases the heart rate, which increases the blood flow to the brain, and reduces inflammation and insulin resistance in the brain, which supports the growth of new brain cells.

Studies show that children who swam regularly improved their fine motor skills and language development, as well as developed physically and psychologically faster than children who did not swim regularly.

Improves Social Well-Being

Swimming doesn’t have to be a lonely sport where you swim up and down the pool alone. If you join a swimming club or a master’s squad, it can be a very social sport where you can meet people with the same interests and passion and find people to train with.


Swimming can improve social well-being.

Improves Longevity

While all exercise leads to better health and longevity, swimming is one of the best exercises for maintaining a fountain of youth. Research shows that people who swam regularly had a 50 percent lower death rate than those who did other forms of exercise like running or walking.

Swimming is especially beneficial for elderly people for whom it is vital to keep active to prolong their lives and improve their quality of life. Swimming improves blood circulation, muscle tone, heart and lung function, as well as mental and emotional status. It also lowers stress, builds strength, tones muscle, increases lung capacity, and improves the cardiovascular system, all of which leads to a happier and healthier life.

Happy swimming!