The Benefits of Swimming and How to Get Started

Everybody loves a good swim. You’re here because you know it. The benefits of swimming cover physical and mental wellness. It’s more than just another kind of exercise. Swimming lessons also teach you how to breathe better, and we can all agree on the importance of proper breathing. Your lungs will love you for it, and so will your heart and the rest of your body as well. Besides, swimming is super fun. If you decide to swim with your friends and family, that’s even better! Anyone can learn it at any age. Need a little more convincing? Read on.

Swimming Is a Whole Body Workout

In regular workouts, you can only really target a few muscles simultaneously. Most exercises help tone your core, arms, and legs. However, if you only stick to those muscle groups, you may notice that many other muscles get left out. Swimming is different. One of the major benefits of swimming is that it targets everything in your body, especially your lungs. It can help you lose weight, increase your flexibility and strength, and reduce stress — an important combination of both physical and mental improvements.

Swimming also does not demand the same stamina you need for cardio exercises nor the endurance for strength training. If you imagine a perfectly balanced scale, swimming lies just about exactly in the middle, making it a great whole body workout and a favorite for many. Additionally, swimming enhances your cardio and strength gains. Swimming lessons teach you how to manage your breathing, improve your form and coordination, and move every limb in order to propel you through the water, all of which will improve your land workouts.

Girl swims with one water wing in the pool
Benefit of swimming is that it targets everything in your body. (Image Source: Shutterstock)

Another benefit of swimming is that it lets you do more in less time. Since it engages your entire body, you get more benefits from a short swim than from a longer workout—and that without any sweating! A quick swim, three to four times a week, will do you tons of good. In summers, when the heat of the sun takes the fun out of morning walks, swimming can be a suitable alternative. It is more versatile than running on a treadmill, so you won’t be getting bored anytime soon.

Unlike burpees and push-ups, you aren’t fighting against gravity with swimming. Do you know what that means? Less stress on your body. And that makes it the perfect whole-body workout for those who are recovering from an injury. There are no heavy weights to lift or tricky movements to master. It is safe and simple.

What to Expect From Swimming Lessons as a Beginner

Swimming for the first time can be intimidating. Once you try it, you realize everyone makes it look much easier than it is. But fear not—with practice and guidance, you too can make the smooth swimming strokes look effortless and enjoy it as much as the most proficient swimmer. If you have never swum before, that is okay. Take it one step at a time, and don’t push yourself too far. The benefits of swimming are not restricted to a certain age, and you can learn it at any time with a little effort.

You don’t need a lot of equipment to learn how to swim. A swimsuit should be enough. Your instructor will tell you whether you should use optional but helpful things like goggles and fins, depending on your learning progress. Don’t hesitate to ask for help when you don’t understand something. In the beginning, you will learn basic skills like breathing exercises, floating, and getting comfortable. Swimming lessons are not intense. The more relaxed you are, the faster you’ll learn.

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As a beginner, getting used to the water takes a while. Once you’ve become familiar with the feel of it, you can start learning how to breathe and when, as well as how to hold your breath for longer. After that, understanding how to float will give you some confidence and control. You’ll need to know how to breathe properly and how to float to learn the swimming strokes. From then on, it’s practice, practice, and more practice. Balancing is key to good swimming.

You’ll reap more benefits of swimming as a beginner if you do it with a friend. Never learn how to swim by yourself. Wait till your instructor gives you the go-ahead to practice alone. There are all kinds of individual and group swimming lessons you can join in the meantime.

Do You Need to Be Fit to Begin?

Fitness is no prerequisite for starting swimming lessons. Some centers teach babies how to swim. That’s another benefit of swimming—you can begin no matter your lifestyle. It will switch things up in your favor. Many people who swim admit that swimming improves their energy levels. This is because it’s a full-body workout, not just another strenuous activity. Furthermore, it is well established that exercise can reduce anxiety, and swimming is great for clearing your head when you have too many thoughts. So you don’t need a clear headspace to start, either.

swimmer stretching his arms to swim in the sea with swimming goggles
Fitness is no prerequisite for starting swimming lessons. (Image Source: Shutterstock)

Some doctors prescribe swimming to cancer patients. It’s ideal for combating the side effects of chemotherapy because it stabilizes the heart rate and improves mobility. In fact, swimming can prevent cancer. Physical inactivity is one of the leading causes of cancer worldwide, and swimming is the perfect whole-body workout to combat this. It’s gentle on the joints and doesn’t require a lot of strength.

While you don’t need to be in good shape to enjoy the benefits of swimming, strength training can actually improve your performance. So, if you’re planning on trying competitive swimming, additional workouts will give you an advantage. Your instructor will also tell you some warm-up and cool-down exercises to go with your swimming lessons. This way, you’ll begin to get in shape without all the muscle soreness and cramps. You’ll definitely be fit by the time you’ve mastered swimming. Stay consistent!


Swimming is a full-body workout loved for its simplicity and lack of strenuous activity. Swimming is a fitting solution when you need to get things out of your head or if you need something to distract you. It works every muscle in your body without elevating your heart rate and improves coordination. No sweating and joint pain are involved, so you can try it any time of the year. All you need to do is grab a suit (and an instructor) and get started.