By now you must have heard about swimming as one of the best exercises out there and you can really lose a lot of weight, and so on and so forth. This is all well and good, and today I would like to share with you the pros and cons of swimming in order to share with you more information as to what you are getting into before deciding on swimming to be your ideal exercise. I look forward to sharing the pros of swimming and the cons of swimming with you below.
Need a pool – Well this is a no brainer, but not everyone has a pool available to them 24/7 and quite frankly going to the local pool on a daily basis is a little tough. However if you do have a pool available to you in a club, in your house or a family member’s house, this is one of the cons of swimming that you can easily overcome. Aside from that however, chances are you already have a pool or two accessible to you otherwise you wouldn’t be considering it as an exercise or you wouldn’t be reading this article altogether, so let’s carry on.
Swimmers ear – Given most types of exercise there is always a unique potential injury or other problems that arise and for swimming this might be that problem. Swimmers ear is an infection on the outer canal of the ear, which is caused by some residual water left over from swimming, and allows for bacteria to grow. As one of the cons of swimming as an exercise, this is something to look out for but in the end you can definitely avoid it if you make sure to clear out the moisture from you ears.
Chlorine skin/hair – Chemicals really do a number on the body and chlorine is no different. As one of the cons of swimming, this one is a little difficult to avoid altogether. While the degree of chlorine in the water varies from time to time, it is without a doubt that continuous exposure is not something very good for your skin and hair, so if this is a major concern you may want to rethink swimming as an exercise.
Cramps – While you can get cramps pretty much anywhere from running, to basketball, to even just sleeping, what makes it particularly scary in swimming is if you have a pretty bad cramp, it can be difficult to get out of the water. This is why a lifeguard is always present in most pools, as cramps can really stop you cold in the water and it is one of the rather dangerous cons of swimming as an exercise. In order to avoid this, although it might not be a complete solution, try stretching properly before jumping in and make sure you haven’t eaten in the last hour or so before diving into the water. Otherwise just have a swim buddy or a lifeguard around to make sure to avoid this being one of the bigger cons of swimming.
Potential sunburn – If you have a pool available to you that is exposed to the sun, you do have the potential for sunburn on really hot days. I know you know better than to go swimming without sun block and all that but just in case, it is possible to get a pretty gnarly burn while you exercise and this is definitely one of the cons of swimming if you really think about it. However if you do have proper skin care products or perhaps swim when the sun isn’t out you should be able to avoid this just fine.
Low impact – Perhaps one of the most alluring pros of swimming is that it is easier on the joints and body altogether, given that you are in water for the bulk of your exercise, you do not shock or cause too much damage on your body when you workout. It is very important to note that when you swim for exercise that the joints feel a lot less burdened as compared to say running on an off road track or even on concrete. If you are rather concerned about joint injuries or previous injuries as well this is perhaps one of the pros of swimming that you should consider as an exercise.
Good muscle development – Since you need pretty much all the major muscles when you swim, you will develop them together at an almost equal pace and gives each muscle group a pretty proper exercise. As one of the pros of swimming, this attracts a lot of people as compared to other potential workout routines as the development of muscles is a major factor in their goals, so again if this is a consideration perhaps swimming is the exercise for you.
Increases breathing and lung capacity – Another of the awesome pros of swimming, you can really strengthen your lung capacity through swimming as an exercise. There is no doubt that with each stroke or each time you are under the water you are exercising your lungs through breathing rather rigorously as you exercise, this really helps you strengthen and train your lungs, which leads to more oxygen in the body, which helps your body do more and function better in the long run. Again a major plus for those who opt for swimming instead of other cardio options as their exercise.
Better for calluses – That pesky callus on your foot bothering you? Probably received it from that long run you did last week or perhaps that tough basketball game you played against your friends last weekend? Well with swimming you don’t have to worry about that at all, in fact as one of the pros of swimming, being soaked in the water longer will help alleviate your existing calluses and such blemishes.
Increased metabolism – There is no doubt that by swimming you can really get your metabolism going. As one of the major pros of swimming, increasing your metabolic rate will really help you lose weight, which is let’s face it, one of the major reasons you are exercising to begin with if not to stay healthy only. Getting to enjoy a ton of meals in various restaurants knowing that you will be burning it off in the pool is a great add on to this exercise but as always don’t go crazy here however it is safe to assume that you can go a little nuts.
And there it is, the cons and the pros of swimming, definitely something you want to consider when you are picking your exercise. In my opinion however I honestly think the pros of swimming out weight the cons of swimming but again that is my own choice and belief, you can really decide for yourself after going through everything. I believe you know what is best for you. Stay healthy!