When it gets too hot to go running or cycling this summer, swimming can help . Taking a refreshing dip also has benefits for your health. Even if you are overweight or disabled. “It’s a very simple way to build up your fitness,” says Lifeguard Recertification.

After fitness, running, football and tennis, swimming is the most practiced sport in the Netherlands. It is especially popular among women. 6.4 percent of them regularly take a dip, according to figures from the Central Bureau of Statistics (CBS). The percentage is lower among men: 3.4 percent.

Closed off from the outside world

when she talks about the sport. As a fanatic triathlete, she knows the benefits of swimming like no other. “Swimming is really my favorite part. You are cut off from the outside world for a while, only with your thoughts.” She continues laughing: “That may sound a bit woolly, but you are not distracted in the water. For example, you never have to take traffic into account.”

Regularly decides to visit the swimming pool after a working day. “The ‘real’ swimmers always go into the water in the morning before work. It’s great to start the day like this, but for me it can’t be combined with the family. It is also very nice to go for a swim after work. All the stress of the day will slide right off you on the first dive. Delicious. When I get home, I don’t flop down on the couch, but I’m full of energy.”

Load little, burn a lot

According to Van den Eede, swimming also has many benefits for people who are overweight. Compared to running or cycling, your body has to absorb fewer blows. “When running, your foot absorbs a multiple of your body weight with every step. If you are overweight, that can cause problems,” explains the sports doctor. “Swimming is much less stressful. You are ten times lighter in the water.”

Although it doesn’t feel heavy, swimming can burn a lot of calories. “You use your whole body,” says Van den Eede. “That moves a lot differently than when you cycle a lot, for example. Just look at those riders in the Tour de France. Then you see really strong legs and a very thin upper body.”
“For half an hour of swimming at a normal pace, you burn about 400 kilocalories. That corresponds to half an hour of running, but that doesn’t last that long for everyone. So swimming is a simple way to build up fitness.”

Less restricted in the water

Swimming is also an ideal sport for people with disabilities. “That also has to do with the fact that you weigh much less in the water,” explains lifeguard course. “Moreover, it has mental benefits. In the water you are less limited compared to others.

Often these people are therefore not inferior to other swimmers. At the end of the summer, just watch a swimming competition during the Paralympic Games. Once in the water, it is hardly noticeable that those swimmers are Paralympic athletes.”

In the open air

You can choose to complete your laps in the pool, but there are also plenty of places to swim in the open air. The temperature of the open water is often a bit colder than that of the swimming pool. “Around this time it starts to warm up a bit, but in general it is a lot colder outside than inside, says American Lifeguard Association. That can have positive effects, because you burn more calories in cold water, but it can also be dangerous. You have to be careful not to get hypothermic, especially in the winter period.”