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By Charles Hopkins Published 04/7/2006 | Sports

Most first-time exercisers are confused about the exercise regimen they will follow, because they have heard all kinds of horror stories about how one form of exercise or another led to knee trouble, strained muscles, over-strained heart, and so on and so forth. Take our advice and just let it all go focus on swimming instead. This is one form of exercise that you can continue throughout your life because once you master it, you never forget it and it is always beneficial for your body, whatever your age and physical condition. In this article, we will tell you about the benefits of swimming.

1) Swimming is the only exercise that can actually give you some welcome relief from the summer heat. Moreover, it is wonderful recreation for all the members of your family.

2) If you are a runner and you want to find an alternative activity that will help keep your heart in good condition without putting your body under too much stress, swimming is it. Additionally, if you are prevented from doing land exercises owing to knee or ankle injuries, switch to swimming.

3) Regular swimmers can boast of above average endurance, muscle power and cardio-vascular fitness. Additionally, a warm-up session in the pool before starting a land workout is always a good idea because swimming helps increase the heart rate and stimulates muscle activity.

4) Swimming after a land workout is also a good idea, because it helps you to cool down, increases blood circulation through the muscles and helps them recover, and is an excellent way to relax after a strenuous workout. 

5) Those suffering from obesity can adopt no better exercise than swimming. According to research, swimming typically helps burn three calories a mile per pound of body weight. Doesnt seem like much? Consider this: if you weigh 200 lbs and swim a mile, you will burn approximately 600 calories. That seems like a lot, surely? Of course, you may not swim a mile from day one, but gradually increase the distance.

6) Swimming is also an excellent social activity. As you exchange stories, challenge your friends, and share the hard work, you can make swimming a truly rewarding experience. 

7) Which other sport strengthens your body, regulates your breathing, stimulates blood circulation without stressing your joints, while all the time soothing your body? Running or weight training certainly dont, because they concentrate on specific muscle groups, whereas swimming works on your torso, upper limbs and legs, and improves your strength, stamina and fitness.

8) And did we mention the psychological benefits of swimming? No kidding! When you float in the water and empty of your mind of everything but the rhythm of your strokes, you are completely at peace with yourself. Small wonder then that you leave the pool ready to take on the day at its worst. In fact, plenty of people will swear that swimming helps them develop skills like discipline and sportsmanship, which help them in other spheres of life.

Need we really say more about the benefits of swimming?