The Benefits of Swimming: Support Your Fitness Goals, From Performance to Recovery

A woman floats on her back in a pool; benefits of swimming

Sunshine, fresh air, and the weightlessness of moving through water. There are few things as satisfying as slipping into the pool for a few (or a few dozen) laps. Whether you swim to relax, to recover, or to gain a competitive edge, swimming provides benefits that can support your fitness goals—both in and out of the pool. 

Fitness Benefits of Swimming

Looking for a no-impact cardio workout that builds strength and endurance? Look no further than the nearest lap pool. Just 20 minutes in the pool can burn the same calories as 20 minutes running. You get the same cardiovascular and metabolic benefits, without straining your joints. Plus, swimming is a full-body workout that helps build and strengthen lean muscles. As you move through the water, you experience many of the same benefits as resistance training. 

Swimming for Recovery

Despite being a workout in and of itself, swimming is also an excellent way to practice active recovery. In fact, an International Journal of Sports Medicine study found that athletes who swam on a recovery day were able to workout longer during their next training system than those who took it easy. Swimming for even 20 minutes between intense workout days helps reduce soreness by flushing lactic acid out of recovering muscles. 

Swimming is also an excellent way to maintain fitness while recovering from injury. In fact, swimming is a standard rehabilitation method for many injuries, including back pain, torn ligaments, and even post-surgical recovery. Because the water’s buoyancy supports your body weight, swimming helps release pressure and alleviate pain while encouraging muscles to stay loose and flexible. 

Swimming and Relaxation

But the benefits of swimming aren’t all physical. Swimming can also calm and restore the mind. According to an article by Psychologies, the repetitive movements involved in swimming invoke a meditative state. Being in water promotes a sense of well-being and balance. By slowing down, focusing on breathing, and mindfully moving through the water, swimmers gain many of the same benefits as a yoga session

Our Pools Are Open!

Ready to experience the benefits of swimming for yourself? Whether you’re trying to get fit, recover faster, or find your Zen—our pools are open. Stop by Cathedral Oaks Athletic Center for an open-air workout or to swim a few laps. We’re here seven days a week to support your fitness goals.