The benefits of swimming for your body

The benefits of swimming for your body

Check out all the benefits of swimming for your body: lose weight, improve your figure, generally build up your muscles, etc. Let us explain!

Swimming is a sport with many benefits, there is no question about it. But before you start, would you like to know more about the benefits of swimming for your body? What results can you achieve? And in how much time?
The answers to all your questions can be found in this article: follow me and get ready to but on your swimsuit, I will explain everything to you.

Lose weight, get toned, get more muscle, etc. Here is a sneak peek into the effects of swimming on your body.
Spoiler alert: after reading this, the only thing you will want to do is jump into the pool!

The benefits of swimming for your body

A slimmer figure

Whether you are looking to lose weight or slim down, I can tell you right now that yes, swimming can help you achieve your goals.

Losing weight and slimming down will, of course, depend on the duration and type of training you do (long distance, intervals, etc.).

So, why and how do we lose weight when swimming?

The pressure exerted by the water on your body during movement creates a much greater resistance than air. As a result, you will expend more energy and burn more fat. Effectively, swimming is one of the most efficient sports! It is estimated that an hour of swimming, depending on intensity, can burn between 400 and 900 calories. The additional bonus? Your body will continue burning calories several hours after your swimming session! So for those who wish to lose weight or slim down in a prudent way, this is the best sport. ;)

One of the other beneficial effects of swimming is that all parts of your body are used! Stomach, hips, arms, thighs, gluteal muscles, etc. When your swim, all of your body is in action. The weight loss will therefore be all-round. You can work on particular areas if you want to target them, but keep in mind that your figure will become slimmer as a whole.

The benefits of swimming for your body

A toned body

A curvy figure and a toned body: this is what lies ahead of you when you leave the pool! Swimming will tone your whole body, in a prudent way and without impact on your joints. Again, being in an aquatic environment will bring you many benefits.

In addition to losing weight and slimming down your figure, the effort made in the water will have an impact on all the muscles involved in the physical exertion. Thighs, calves, triceps or abdominal muscles, there's no need to look for performance to tone your whole body. Gradually, you will feel your muscles becoming more toned and your body strengthening.

Having a toned body is not the only advantage of physical aesthetics. Frequent aquatic activity effectively will make it possible to reduce chronic pains (lumbago, rheumatism, arthritis, etc.), to improve posture and to maintain your skeleton. Yes, all at once, and just by swimming regularly. ;)

The benefits of swimming for your body

A developed musculature

Naturally, the greater the physical effort, the better the results. Good news, then: Swimming can be the sport that will make you muscular!

A little clarification is necessary: I must tell you that it is not possible to obtain this particular swimmer body shape in just a few sessions; it is long-term efforts and specific training (in the water and outside) that will make you reach the musculature of your dreams. Also, note that swimming will build length in your muscles more than width. What does it mean? The efforts made in the water will allow you to strengthen and stretch your muscles without necessarily making them "bulge", unlike weight training, for example. Weight training is an excellent accompaniment to swimming if you want to bulk up or vary your sports sessions.

In real terms, how do you build up your strength through swimming?

Again, there are a number of benefits to being in an aquatic environment. Remember that water is much denser than air, almost 800 times to be exact. This resistance will allow your muscles to keep building up with each movement. It's the same principle as lifting weights, but without the feeling of lifting anything!

But which muscles are worked during the exercise? Not surprisingly, swimming is known for its versatility that will build up your entire body. Granted, you're more likely to develop your upper body (back muscles, pectorals, triceps, abdominal muscles), but, with targeted exercises, it's possible to successfully work all the other muscles you want to develop. In order to work in depth the targeted muscles and to accentuate the effects of your efforts, I recommend that you get swimming equipment, such as fins, a pullbuoy or pads.

The perks of swimming: It is the only sport to work simultaneously with agonist and antagonistic muscles! For example, when swimming, you are working on both triceps and biceps at the same time. Undoubtedly it saves you time!

The benefits of swimming for your body

The effects on your skin

The benefits of water for your body will surprise you! Once again, the pressure exerted by the water has beneficial effects; let me explain.

Water has thermo-massaging properties. When you swim, with each of your movements, the water that you move will act as a massage on your skin. It’s like spending your entire session being massaged, without even realising it. Ideal, right? This drains your skin tissue, reducing water retention and also cellulite.

Small bonus: if you swim in the sea, the salt water has many beneficial properties for your skin! It is an excellent exfoliant and purifier that will do you a world of good.

What about the heart and lungs?

Let's talk about the "hidden" effects that swimming will have on your body... I'm talking about the physical benefits that you won't be able to see by looking in the mirror, but which are still there.

Swimming is a cardio sport which will have a positive impact on the health of your heart as well as your lungs.

During your swimming workouts, you are surrounded by water which, without you realising it, puts more pressure on your body than when you are surrounded by air. Your body will therefore react naturally to this pressure exerted by the water, by adapting the way it’s working. Your blood will circulate much easier around your body. This means that the heart is being used 10% to 15% less than it would be if you were not in the water.

Numerous scientific studies that have been conducted on people with high blood pressure have shown that regular swimming training leads to a reduction in resting heart rates and blood pressure. The risk of cardiovascular illnesses is also reduced.

When swimming, you are also working on your breathing and gradually improving your breathing techniques. Your lungs will thank you! By swimming regularly, you will soon notice that you are less and less breathless when you exert yourself, whether in the water or not. Swimming is one of the most recommended sports for people with asthma, because it increases lung capacity and improves breathing.

Swimming regularly is therefore excellent for your body, on both the outside and the inside!

The benefits of swimming for your body

The results: in how much time?

For visible results, we advise at least 2 swimming sessions each week. You could start by doing 45-minute sessions, then gradually move towards sessions that last 1 hour or more, depending on your ability and your aims. There is no need to start with swimming sessions that are too long, too intense and too close together in time. You will risk burning out and your body will not have time to recover between workouts. It is also preferable to do short but regular sessions instead of two-hour workouts every three months. Therefore, focus on balance and listen to your body.

With two training sessions per week, the first results should appear after 4 to 6 weeks. Again, the benefits of swimming for your body depend on the intensity with which you practise as well as on the duration of your sessions. Ah, and I almost forgot, once you start to see the effects, it is not time for you to stop! One of the keys to success is regularity;) For visible long-term effects, you must swim, swim and... keep swimming!

Don't forget all the external factors that affect your progress and your results. They should not be neglected, otherwise you may struggle to notice your results. The first factor I can mention is diet. It is an integral part of your sports routine and is the key to visible effects. There is no secret, be regular, avoid yo-yo diets and restrictions, eat a balanced diet and above all: do not forget to enjoy yourself! ;) Stress, sleep and a sedentary lifestyle are also external factors that can influence your physical condition. Remember, it's just a question of balance!

As you can see, swimming is your best ally, whatever your objectives! Versatile and non-traumatic for your body, this sport has everything to draw you in. Weight loss, toning, muscle building, improving breathing capacities, etc. The list of benefits is long and goes hand in hand with the pleasure of being in the water. So, what are you waiting for to put on your swimsuit?

The benefits of swimming for your body


Editor at decathlon

I am a dance enthusiast, a fitness enthusiast, a great fan of swimming pools and a yoga apprentice. When I am not practising sport, I like to write about its history and its benefits!