Considering spending the day at the beach this summer but worried about being unproductive? Don’t worry. Just say that your local physiotherapist told you to do it.
When it comes to exercise, traditional activities like running, cycling, or weightlifting at the gym often come to mind. However, you shouldn’t overlook the amazing benefits of swimming, especially in the ocean.
Physically, ocean swimming provides a full-body workout. The resistance of the water challenges muscles, improves cardiovascular fitness, and enhances endurance. The natural buoyancy of water also reduces stress on joints, making it an ideal low-impact exercise for people of all fitness levels or those recovering from injury.
Additionally, swimming in the ocean exposes the body to the healing properties of saltwater, which can improve skin health and boost the immune system.
Mentally, ocean swimming offers great benefits. The soothing sound of waves, the vastness of the ocean, and the sensation of weightlessness create a serene environment that promotes relaxation and reduces stress. Being in nature has been proven to enhance mood and increase feelings of well-being.
While summertime pools are a popular choice, the ocean adds a whole new dimension to the swimming experience.
Here are some of our favourite benefits to going for a dip in the ocean:
- Great for heart health.
Swimming in any form has amazing benefits for your heart health, however, the ocean offers a unique opportunity to enhance circulation throughout the entire body. The constant movement against the water’s resistance stimulates blood flow, acting as a catalyst for improved circulation.Your cardiovascular system gets a rigorous workout as the heart pumps oxygen-rich blood to your muscles, organs, and tissues. This efficient delivery of oxygen and nutrients promotes their optimal functioning, leading to enhanced physical performance and faster post-workout recovery.
- Resistance training.
As soon you plunge into the open waters, you’ll quickly discover how nature itself can become your personal fitness trainer. With every wave, your arms, shoulders, core, and legs engage in a full-body workout.The water hits your body from every angle, providing a dynamic and ever-changing challenge for your muscles. Unlike traditional resistance training in the gym, swimming in the ocean offers a low impact yet highly effective workout that leaves you feeling refreshed and rejuvenated.
- Immune boost.
While it is advised that you don’t swim in the ocean with an open wound (microorganisms can cause infection), you may experience an immune boost and reduction in inflammation from injury! Saltwater contains minerals such as magnesium, potassium, and iodine that all benefit your immune system.When you swim in the ocean, your body gets an invigorating dose of these essential elements. As they absorb into your skin, they work wonders in regulating and strengthening your immune system, giving it that extra boost it needs to keep you healthy and happy!
- Reduce inflammation.
Saltwater is a natural anti-inflammatory and can aid in speeding up recovery and muscle fatigue. Going for an ocean swim after a run, bike ride or your morning yoga class will leave you feeling refreshed and help limit your muscle soreness the next day. This means there can be a quicker turnaround time to get back to being active and doing the things you love. Additionally, water presses in on injured areas, reducing swelling and improving motion.
- Decreases pain.
Swimming, aside from aiding recovery for bone and joint trouble, helps improve pain in several situations. Water buoyancy reduces impact and stress when exercising, supporting injured muscles and joints during recovery.For example, the act of swimming can alleviate back pain since it works your back muscles in a consistent, rhythmic fashion that doesn’t add wear or tear to an already-aching part of your body. It improves conditioning and builds muscle while minimizing impact.
Water therapy is also beneficial for sprains, strains, and tears. The American College of Sports Medicine recommends swimming or walking in the water among four preferred rehabilitation exercises for injuries to ligaments, muscles, or tendons!
Start swimming this summer!
From natural exfoliation to an immune boost, swimming in ocean water offers a myriad of health benefits that make it a great choice for fitness enthusiasts, nature lovers, people recovering from injuries, and more! If you are recovering from an injury and need some extra assistance, schedule an appointment with a physiotherapist near you! The team at Synergy Rehab can help get you back on track with manual therapy, chiropractic care, sports rehabilitation, massage therapy, IMS, take home exercises, and more.
We’ve got your back.