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Winter Fitness Ideas: Swimming | Rocky Mountain Health Plans Blog

Winter Fitness Ideas: Swimming | Rocky Mountain Health Plans Blog



The Health Benefits of Winter Swimming

During the winter months, it can be difficult to find motivation to exercise in the cold. That’s why swimming is a great option for people looking to exercise during the winter. Here are some of the many health benefits of swimming, along with some tips for finding indoor recreational pools on the Western Slope.

It's a full-body workout.

Swimming truly works the entire body. Not only does it tone your muscles, burn calories, and increase your endurance, but it also increases your heart rate without putting extra stress on your body. Swimming can even help reduce pain and help you recover from injuries, which makes it a great choice for people who have arthritis, injuries, or disabilities. Research suggests swimming can also reduce pain and stiffness in people with osteoarthritis, making it a safe and effective exercise for seniors.


It’s an efficient way to burn calories.

While walking and yoga are popular exercises, swimming may be a more efficient way to burn more calories. In fact, a person that weighs 160 pounds will burn about 420 calories after an hour of low to moderate swimming. That same person could burn as many as 700 calories after an hour of vigorous swimming. A swimmer that weighs 200 pounds would burn 890 calories after an hour of vigorous swimming, while a person weighing 240 pounds could burn over 1,000 calories. Alternatively, you could expect to only burn two-thirds as many calories walking and just a third as many calories doing yoga.


It enhances sleep quality.

Studies indicate that regular aerobic exercise is an effective way to combat insomnia. Research suggests that about half of older adults suffer from some degree of insomnia. Unfortunately, researchers have linked inadequate sleep to a myriad of health problems, including heart disease, high blood pressure, stroke, cancer, depression, and dementia. For older adults who may not be able to engage in high-impact aerobic exercise, swimming provides a safe, effective way to improve sleep quality.


It's safe for expecting mothers.

Because it is low impact, swimming is a great way for pregnant women to stay fit and maintain a healthy weight. Researchers have found that swimming in chlorinated pools has no adverse effects for expecting mothers or their unborn children. In fact, pregnant women who swim during their early to mid-pregnancies have a reduced risk of congenital defects and preterm labor.


It reduces your risk of early death.

Because it works out your cardiovascular system, swimming strengthens your heart and lungs. It's so good for you, in fact, studies suggest it could reduce your risk of early death. Compared to people who get little exercise, swimmers are half as likely to die prematurely. Other research has shown that swimming can help lower blood pressure and help control blood sugar.


Finding a Recreational Pool near You

During the winter months, there are often less opportunities to get outdoors. The Western Slope is home to numerous recreational facilities that include indoor pools. You can use this helpful resource to locate full-size, year-round swimming pools in your area. Be sure to call ahead to verify that a specific pool is available during the winter season before visiting a particular site.