Summer is in full swing along with those welcome, warmer temperatures. And what’s better than cooling off in the water? Water sports are some of the most popular sports activities both in Germany and worldwide. However, the question remains: in or on the water? The options are diverse.
Swimming, water polo, springboard and high diving, synchronised swimming or perhaps rowing and sailing. Waterskiing and surfing are also very popular as well as canoeing and wakeboarding. When it comes to scuba diving, the emphasis is on the experience and underwater fun along with the physical activity.
Stand Up Paddleboarding (SUP) has really taken off and has quickly become one of the most popular types of water sport. Regardless of which activity you choose: they’re all fun, keep you fit and are good for your health.
Swimming – the underestimated sport
Scientists, doctors and therapists are all in agreement: swimming is healthy. Whether front crawl, backstroke or breaststroke, swimming is gentle on the joints and all strokes keep the body fit. You should still always pay attention to your health and vital signs.
Swimming is all-round fitness
Swimming is a very healthy sport which can be enjoyed at any age. It is an effective cardiovascular workout and strengthens the heart muscle. The motion of swimming can relieve the back and neck muscles and the water pressure compresses the blood vessels on the skin’s surface.
Swimming also promotes strong veins and good blood circulation in the legs, and the water resistance on the skin acts like a full-body massage and works the skeletal muscles. This prevents postural damage and strengthens the immune system.
A nice side effect: muscles are built up giving a swimmer’s physique. More muscles are worked at the same time in water than most other types of sport. The shoulders, arms, chest and back benefit from swimming even more than cycling or running.
The weightlessness and general relaxing effect of water helps reduce stress hormones and is good for the mind. As the saying goes: a healthy mind can only live in a healthy body.
Weight loss by swimming, does it work? Swimming is the ideal sport for those who are overweight. You burn around 531 calories swimming breaststroke for one hour. Believe it or not, calorie consumption when swimming a fast crawl is as much as 900 calories per hour.
Swimming is a cultural asset and benefits public health
The “older” ones among us will most definitely remember this. Swimming lessons were part of school life and hardly anyone left school without earning their swimming badge. Unfortunately, this has changed for the worse and the numbers are shocking.
The results of a Forsa survey in 2017 were alarming. More than half of ten-year-old children cannot swim. In adults, almost 50 percent are non-swimmers. In 2005, a third of ten-year-olds could not swim safely in water. In 2010, this became every second child and now we are at 59 percent. These are dramatic developments according to “Zeit-Online”.
However, there are reasons for these developments and they do not involve children not wanting to swim. Over the past few years, many community swimming pools have had to close due to costs. Parents, children and teachers often have to travel a long way to get to their nearest swimming pool. This also means that many schools can no longer provide swimming lessons. Stephan Wassmuth, Chairman of the Parents Advisory Committee, is also aware that this has to change: “20 to 25 percent of all primary schools can no longer offer swimming lessons because their nearest swimming pool has closed.” The President of the German Life Saving Association (DLRG) also believes: “Learning to swim is a basic right for children, just like reading and writing.”
By looking at the health benefits and fun factor of this wonderful sport, we can only encourage it. So, let your children experience the joy of water sports! Wishing you plenty of water-based fun!