Swimming Improves Circulation




Another benefit of swimming is that it is the perfect prescription for people suffering from arthritis and chronic pain. Swimming is the perfect fitness workout for people who suffer from arthritis and other chronic pain. Health and fitness author Muriel Whetstone says:

The wonderful thing about being a swimmer-- the pounding that your body would take in other sports doesn’t occur in swimming because of the support that it gets from the water. Swimming exercises most of the muscles in the body, but at the same time you don’t have the pounding on the knees and joints you experience from running or gagging or walking. (32)
So, swimming is perfect for people who suffer from arthritis because your body is hydroplaned across the soft water. The warm water helps by reducing the stress and relieves the pain on different pats of the body.

Swimming can also strengthen the entire body with various rhythmic workouts of the hearts and lungs. Dr. Ronald Davidson says:

With swimming I suggest that you try to individualize it. Start by trying to raise your pulse rate into your target heart zone, which are 220 minus you age. Set up a program where you try to do five or six laps and see how you do after that. Sometimes you can do one lap and that’s enough to bring your pulse rate into your target heart zone. (Whetstone 32)

Exercising in water also affects blood circulation as swimmers’ hearts pump more blood with every beat, which also keeps the heart rate a bit lower.

It is true that swimmers don’t achieve the peak heart rates runners do, but that doesn’t necessarily mean they’re getting an inferior workout. For one thing, because swimmers work out in a prone, non-weight-bearing position, their hearts don’t beat as fast as runners don’t, but they are still working just as hard.  For these reasons, many physicians recommend swimming and water exercise over walking and jogging, especially for the elderly, the disabled, and people recovering from broken bones and back injuries.

Swimming can also help your heart to beat slower at rest and during exercise.

It will also pump more blood to your muscles with each beat. A greater blood supply with fewer heartbeats means more efficiency, and therefore a healthier circulatory system. People with a broad range of conditions, such as arthritis and injuries, can benefit from exercises done in the water through resistance, which helps strengthen muscles. "The Arthritis Foundation promotes exercise in general as an important part of the overall arthritis management program, says Teresa Brady, Ph.D., the foundation’s national medical advisor. In particular, warm pools can decrease pain and stiffness" (Hittner 27).

"Swimming exercise encourages your blood vessels to remain flexible and elastic, so your blood pressure will stay within normal limits.

Fatty materials that can harden in these vessels, and can reduce or completely obstruct the flow of blood to critical organs of your body, are deposited less rapidly" (Maglischo and Brennan 15).

In addition, you become more resistant to the heart and blood vessel disorders that are the leading causes of increases in non-resting and exercise heart rates, which can cause stroke volume to occur.

These circulatory improvements are important because they indicate that your circulatory system is more efficient and therefore more resistant to the heart and blood vessel disorders that are the leading causes of non-accidental deaths among the middle age.



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Web Revised Monday, May 17, 1999
by Iva Haddad ihaddad@mail.gcccd.cc.ca.us
for CIS 212, Cuyamaca College