Swimming is known for being great for your health – but can it improve your bone density as well? When it comes to improving your bone health, the summer season is ideal. That’s the time the pool season is on, and you can spend long hours lounging under the rays of the Sun. The vitamin D your body absorbs is especially useful for your bones.
A classic activity that a lot of people enjoy partaking in during the summer season- is swimming. If you have a fibreglass pool at home, then summer is probably when you get the most use out of it. But what kind of an effect does swimming have on your bones?
Why Swimming Is Good For Health
If you want to improve your cardiovascular health, or if you want to improve muscle, then swimming can be great for you. You’ll be putting less impact on your joints. This is why swimming is a recommended activity for people who have conditions like arthritis. Swimming, if you have bone or joint problems, is better for you than many land-based exercises.
When it comes to bone health and swimming, what you really need to consider is the effect that gravity has. Water is dense. So when you go swimming in it, the effect that gravity has on your body is mitigated. The water itself provides a form of physical support to your body. This is why when you go swimming in your fibreglass pool, you won’t have to worry about gravity preventing you from holding your body up. This is what makes swimming a low-impact exercise.
An effect that gravity has is that it creates weight. Try to lift something that you find heavy, while you’re in the pool. You’ll find that it’s easier to lift it, compared to lifting it while you’re on land. This is due to something called hypogravity, which is created by the water.
When you go running or even walking, you’ll need to bear the weight of your whole body. This is why these pool exercises are known for being weight-bearing. When you go swimming, however, you won’t have to bear the weight of your whole body, making it easier for you.
Building Bone Through Swimming
If you want to create new bone, then you’ll need to do weight-bearing workouts. Think of it this way – when you want to increase your muscle mass, you need to apply stress on your muscles. Similarly, when stress is applied to the bones, such as during weight-bearing workouts, the density of the bone might increase. This is due to the stimulation of osteoblast synthesis. These are the cells that are responsible for building bone in the body.
Due to this, there are a lot of people who think that swimming doesn’t really benefit the bone in any way. This is as the process related to increasing bone density isn’t being activated directly. But despite this, swimming does have a positive effect on your bones.
Swimming And How It Benefits Your Bones
To build bone, weight-bearing exercises are more effective than swimming. However, despite this, there are positive impacts on the quality of bones that swimming provides. When doing research on how swimming impacts bone health, researchers tend to make comparisons between two groups of people.
These include swimmers and people who engage in high-impact land-based exercises. Comparisons are also made between swimmers and people who are sedentary. It has been seen that people who practice exercises that are weight-bearing have greater bone density than swimmers.
It’s also been seen that people who are sedentary have a bone mass that’s similar to those who swim. But why is this? When you spend a lot of time in the water, you’re in an environment where you’re exposed to hypogravity. This is what affects your bone density. It’s similar to how the bone density of an astronaut goes down when they spend a significant amount of time in space.
However, despite this, there are merits to swimming, when it comes to improving bone health. Research has also shown that swimmers tended to have better bone turnover when compared to those who are sedentary. This helps their bones stay stronger and more flexible, making them more resistant to getting fractured.
Building Muscle Through Swimming, And How It Affects Bone Health
When you go swimming, you end up building your muscles. This leads to an increase in your muscle mass, which can in turn lead to the formation of bone. This is because the muscles end up adding positive stress to the bones, which in turn encourages the formation of osteoblasts.
How strong your muscles are, also plays an important role in preventing fractures. When you build your muscles, you are increasing your strength as well as your balance. This can in turn help prevent falls. Swimming can also be helpful in the treatment of osteoporosis. When treating osteoporosis, it’s crucial that fractures are prevented. Since swimming keeps the body strong against fractures, it’s helpful for people who suffer from osteoporosis.
Since swimming is a low-impact exercise, it’s also great for people who have disabilities, those who are healthy, as well as people who have joint problems.
Why You Should Go Swimming Regularly
Swimming is a great way for you to build muscle mass, which can in turn have a positive impact on your bone health. However, to build bone strength, you’ll need to do weight-bearing exercises as well.
If you’re someone who has joint problems, then swimming can be the perfect exercise for you, since it’s a low-impact exercise. There are several exercises you can do in the water, aside from swimming laps, that can help you to stay healthy.
Swimming does have a positive effect on your bone health, as well as on the creation of new bone. When you go swimming, you’re in an environment of hypogravity, where you don’t need to pull your body weight up by yourself. When combined with weight-bearing exercises, swimming can be an excellent way to improve your bone density.
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