Can you swim?
I can’t. I wish I could but I can’t and I have always been happy to blame my race.
Have you heard about the stereotype that black people are the worst swimmers? That was the perfect excuse for me not to attempt to swim. However, that stereotype just got shattered at the Rio Olympics so that excuse is gone.
I was still wondering why black people, especially black women, aren’t so keen on swimming then it came to me, same reason we are worried when we are out while it rains, our HAIR!
Also contrary to popular belief here in Nigeria, people from the Niger Delta are not natural born swimmers. I should know, I am most likely to sink than swim.
I know there are many factors that may discourage us from actually swimming or even learning to swim but I hope we can put them aside to reap the benefits.
Health Benefits of Swimming
- All round body work out
It is not a decision between strength training and cardio. With swimming you get to do both
- Builds Muscle Mass
Have you seen Michael Phelps’ body? I shouldn’t say more. Swimming is great for building muscle mass, definition and tone.
- Family Affair
There is no age restriction for swimming. It can even be a fun activity for you to indulge in with the kids
- Stress Reliever
Most people feel better after exercise because of the endorphins that are released during a workout. It is even better with swimming; being submerged in water brings a great feeling of calm
- Low Impact
This simply means even if you are injured or pregnant, it is a sport you can participate in because there is less strain on the joints
- Healthier Lungs
Your body learns to use oxygen more effectively since there is less oxygen in water where swimming takes place
- Burns Calories
I bet you were waiting to hear this. You burn between 500 to 600 calories per hour of effective swimming. I would recommend this with any weight loss program