Healthy strokes: Dive into a swim routine to get fit, lower stress, sleep better & more
Posted on Jan 17th, 2020
Costco offers swimsuits, goggles, fins and more, as well as pools and pool toys, seasonally in the warehouses and year-round on Costco.com.
Like most exercise, swimming increases energy levels, burns calories and decreases the risk of disease. But swimming offers even more.
Marine biologist Dr. Wallace J. Nichols found that just the presence of water lowers stress, decreases anxiety, improves overall happiness and helps people sleep better.
Costco member and ultraswimmer Matthew Moseley, who has set several openwater swimming records, says that when he’s in the water his mind enters the state of "just existing and being one with the water. Feeling this primordial connection. Time stretches and the mind is at peace."
But you don’t have to swim 20 miles in the ocean to reap the mental and physical benefits of swimming. According to several studies, just 30 to 45 minutes of pool swimming a few times a week can benefit you.
Swimming is the ultimate non-weight-bearing exercise. Water supports 90% of your body weight, which makes it ideal for those with joint issues. In a 2016 study published in the American Journal of Cardiology, researchers found that swimming leads to decreased inflammation and improved vascular flow in patients with osteoarthritis.
More good news for your joints: Water is almost 800 times denser than air at sea level, so external pressure is distributed evenly on all parts of your body. Additionally, while you’re exercising, your body is naturally resisting the extra pressure. This results in overall muscle-toning.
Like yoga, swimming coordinates movement with breath. Studies have repeatedly found that swimmers have a larger lung capacity than other athletes.
NCAA, masters and open-water champion Eney Jones feels that swimming is about much more than exercise. "Water is the best place at any age to feel young, weightless, supported and protected. It takes you back to the womb," she says.
After all, 60% of the human body is composed of water. And if 71% of the Earth is covered with water, shouldn’t we know how to swim?
Amanda McCracken is a competitive swimmer and coach who writes about health.