Swimming to lower blood pressure naturallyExercise and Physical Activity

Benefits of Swimming for Heart Health

There are so many great ways to increase physical activity to lower blood pressure naturally. I’ve discussed some tips about how to get started. You also know that I’m a big fan of walking as a convenient and affordable way of getting active!

If you have access to a community pool, a gym membership that includes a pool, your own pool (lucky!!), an ocean, a lake (OK I think you get the idea), swimming is also a fantastic way to get cardiovascular exercise.

There is a lot of literature out there about the benefits of swimming on overall health. By the way, if you’re wondering: Can swimming lower blood pressure? The answer is: YES!

The information below is from my own education as a physical therapist and also from Harvard Health and Cleveland Clinic. Side note: I know I can explain everything in a more technical way but to make this information more accessible to the general public, I always aim to explain in a manner that is easy to understand.

As always, please consult with your doctor before starting a new exercise program if appropriate.

Why Swimming is an Awesome Exercise:

1. Swimming is a Low Impact Exercise: What does low impact mean? As an example: When you go running, the weight of your body and gravity causes an “impact” when your foot hits the ground. For some people, that can end up causing pain in the joints in the long run. When swimming, your body weight is supported by the water and for many people, it can feel more comfortable for aching joints. If walking, running, or dance aerobics are worsening your joint pain, might be worth asking your physical therapist or primary care doctor if swimming would be a good option for you to try!

2. Swimming is a Full Body Workout: When you are walking or running, the primary muscles being challenged are lower body ones. It’s not to say the other muscles aren’t working to keep your arms moving or back straight, but clearly the focus is more on your legs propelling you forward. Swimming has a more equal use of different areas in your body; allowing for a more even workout that is also great for the heart.

3. Swimming is Beneficial for the Heart: The list is long but here are some important benefits: It makes your heart more efficient at doing its job, lowers heart rate and blood pressure naturally, improves breathing, improves circulation, and effects your body’s ability to use oxygen that you breathe from the air. I mean! That’s a powerful list! There are so many more benefits I will explore in this blog, but didn’t want to overwhelm with too many details all at once. I love science. I get a bit excited sometimes. Hehe.

As we are all aware, many community pools have been closed locally here in the United States and around the world as the pandemic continues to affect many of us. I’m hoping the access continues to improve as the year goes on so that we can return back to swimming safely.

Do you like swimming? What has been your experience and why did you start swimming?

References:

https://health.clevelandclinic.org/swimming-joint-friendly-and-good-for-the-heart/

https://www.health.harvard.edu/newsletter_article/take-the-plunge-for-your-heart

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