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What is Swimming? – History, Benefits, Importance, and More

What is Swimming?

Swimming is the recreational or sports exercise of movement and movement on water, using only the human body’s arms and legs. It is a technique.

Also, I learned as a survival method and practiced an exercise, given its multiple benefits to the body. Its approach can be competitive or purely recreational.

As an official sport, it is one of the most practiced globally, including in the Olympic disciplines, and carried out in pools of different lengths (50, 100, 200, 400, 800, and 1500 meters). Specific swimming systems are known as styles and have particular names.

History of Swimming

Since time immemorial, the Swimming practice has evidence of its knowledge in cave paintings more than 7,000 years old. It also mentions in texts from later times, such as 2,000 BC. C.

However, the first book on it was written in 1538 and attributed to Nikolaus Wynmann, a German professor of languages: The swimmer or dialogue in the art of swimming.

What are the Health Benefits of Swimming?


As the guide prepared by the National Institute for Older Adults points out, swimming can improve the quality of life. Next, we will discover why this is the case and the benefits it brings to older people and younger people.

1. Slows the Aging Process

  • The first of the benefits of swimming is that it helps delay aging.
  • It does not mean that it does not occur, but that it will prevent the problems associated with it from taking time to appear.
  • As well certified by research developed in 2019 by the National University of Physical Education and Sport of Ukraine.
  • Swimming will help you feel younger for longer, preventing mobility, flexibility, and bone problems from manifesting earlier.

2. Helps Increase Motor Capacity

  • Thanks to the type of activity that must carry out when swimming, the body is more alert.
  • It causes the motor capacity to increase. Also, it involves coordinating both the limbs and breathing.
  • And it helps to have a better balance with a more efficient and faster reaction time.

3. Improves Memory

  • Another benefit of swimming is that it advances memory. It is because the breathing exercises that are put into practice help oxygenate the brain.
  • As a study published in 2019 by the Life Sciences Journal explains, motor coordination favors the brain having to create “new neural bonds.”

4. Burns Calories

  • It is a complete exercise, and swimming is one of the best options to burn more calories.
  • Of path, this is because the water causes the extremities to have to work harder to move.
  • It means that the muscles work five to six times more than when you run, for example.
  • It makes this exercise an excellent method to alleviate and prevent obesity.

5. Makes the Body More Resistant

  • The fifth of the aids of swimming is that it offers more resistance because, on the one hand, it helps develop lung capacity to achieve greater anaerobic resistance capacity.
  • On the other hand, swimming also has an impact on strengthening bones.

6. Gives more Flexibility

  • You will gain elasticity and flexibility. Thanks to the fact that you use your limbs to practice it, swimming allows you to have greater mobility, exercising the joints.
  • As a result, more flexibility gains while increasing the range of motion in turn.

7. Promotes the Functioning of the Cardiorespiratory System

  • When swimming, you need to perform breathing exercises that could have a positive effect on the body.
  • It believes in leading to increased lung capacity and oxygen to the brain, helping the cardiorespiratory system function properly.
  • However, over time the specialists in the area are not so clear that this is so.
  • Since contact with chlorine could be harmful to people with asthma, it is better to consult with the doctor and keep waiting for further research on the matter because of the current information.

8. Relieve Back Pain

  • Currently, some specialists recommend hydrotherapy to alleviate certain conditions. Especially those that are related to muscle aches.
  • Along these lines, one of the areas most benefited in this regard is the back: swimming, according to a study carried out by specialist Victoria Pennick,  can reduce pain and increase flexibility.
  • Likewise, it also uses as a form of support in therapies for people with motor problems.

9. Improves Circulation

  • Swimming also has benefits for the circulatory system.
  • Swimming also has a relaxing and meditative side. You can let your mind wander while bathed in the soothing water. You focus on your breathing and your movements.
  • This stress-busting aspect could donate to the cardiovascular benefits of swimming.
  • Therefore, it is a perfect exercise for those who suffer from circulatory problems.
  • In this sense, it allows you to be more agile and tone that part of the body.

10. Relax

  • It is a relaxing activity or exercise. When you swim, the muscles make an effort and end up tense.
  • Ultimately, this process causes the same muscles to relax and rest, giving a feeling of lightness and well-being.

The Importance of Swimming


  1. Swimming is much more than a sports exercise. It is also a talent and a technique that, on many occasions, can signify the difference between life and death.
  2. A good swimmer is more likely to live unavoidable accidents at sea or falls overboard from boats (if he is conscious and in full power).
  3. On the other hand, it is one of the most popular sports practices in the world.
  4. It provides many benefits to the human being’s respiratory and circulatory system, as we will see later.

Styles of Swimming

1. Butterfly Style

In the butterfly style, both arms change forward together.

There are many styles of swimming, some personalized or little used. Still, generally, there are four main styles, which are distinguished in competitions and are endorsed by the International Swimming Federation:

Chest or Breaststroke Style

Also known as “frog style,” since the human body resembles certain amphibians in movements, it consists of floating face down with the arms pointing forward and the legs slightly bent.

The head keeps out of the water to take in air, and then the arms move in a circle under the water, propelling the body forward as the movement is imitated with the feet, shrinking and stretching them at the same rate.

Front Crawl or Freestyle

This style requires the swimmer to be straight, lying on one arm that plunges straight into the water, while the other arises with the elbow flexed and the palm extended down, ready to enter the water.

The head leans out from the side to take in air, which is expelled when the torso dips and turns to repeat the movement but with the other arm.

Meanwhile, the legs move, relaxed, with the toes pointed and the feet inwards, giving oscillating kicks.

2. Back or Back Style

  • A style essentially similar to crawl, but face up, with the back immersed in the water, touching one arm in the air with the tribute coming out from under the leg, while the other propels the body in the water.
  • Butterfly style. A variation of the breaststroke or breaststroke style, in which both arms move forward and back together underwater, propelling the torso forward, continuously and accompanied by an undulating movement of the hips.
  • It dips the head as it enters into the water and culminates in a kick called “dolphin” because of its similarity to these animals’ swimming, using the feet together.

Some Risks of Swimming

Swimming, like any physical exercise, involves a series of risks. Some of them are controllable. They can even remove.

1. Risk of New Injury

  • As in any bodily activity, there is a risk of injury. In swimming, you have to be very careful with your technique.
  • Swimming is much more than jumping into the water and moving around.
  • Swimming requires the arms’ continuous movements (requiring a lot of shoulder mobility), back, and legs.
  • If the technique is not useful or more effort makes than necessary, the injury can be generated little by little.

2. Risk of Worsening an Injury

  • Swimming usually recommends to people who have a back problem.
  • Still, we must not forget that depending on the situation (kyphosis, scoliosis, sciatica, herniated disc), some exercises come in handy, and others may be counter-productive.

3. Risks Related to the Aquatic Environment

  • Some people have a calmer time than others to function in the water. Some people are afraid of it and do not enjoy the activity.
  • Others are “drier” and tend to suffer colds or be cold in the water, even if the pool is heated.
  • Other risks are hygiene measures, which are very necessary when using collections where large numbers of people go.


Swimming does not stop at doing lengths in the pool in different styles for those who already have some practice, learning the techniques for newbies, or joining groups of “back school” or activities for those who come because they have a back injury.

Swimming understood as a pool activity, encompasses endless variations offered in public pools and private gyms with these facilities and qualified personnel to teach all classes.

Therefore, there is no excuse for not practicing this healthy exercise, always adapted to each person’s capacities and needs. We do not hesitate to go to professionals to guide us to enjoy this activity with all the guarantees.


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