The health benefits and dangers of swimming

lifeguard recertification
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Swimming has many health benefits. It improves the condition, you burn calories with it, it clears the head and (painful) muscles supple. The disadvantage is that there are also some dangers, but if you are prepared for this, it can benefit enormously both physically and mentally with lifeguard recertification.

Swimming Health Benefits

Swimming may be tough at first, but if you give it time, there is no doubt that progress will be seen. You will (literally) feel better about yourself. Swimming is good for the muscles and stiff muscles function much better in warm water. They relax from the movements you make in the water and it requires much less of the muscles than exercising on dry land. Not only does it relax the muscles, it also relaxes the mind. Swimming can also provide relief for back problems and RSI. It is also good for the heart and lungs. Over time, the body will feel noticeably more flexible. Your breathing capacity increases, allowing you to swim longer distances. You will notice that your speed increases and the recovery time after exercise decreases.

Swimming against obesity

Swimming is great for losing weight. In short, explosive sports, such as fitness, the body burns carbohydrates instead of fats. Endurance sports such as cycling, swimming and walking burn fats. In the water you have much more freedom of movement and you are not restricted, because the muscles and joints ‘float’ in the water and hardly any pressure is exerted on them. Professional outdoor swimmer Susan Houbrake explains to RTL Nieuwsfrom: “It is especially good if you are overweight to go swimming. Many obese people suffer from joint pain due to the heavy weight they carry. It can seem like a big step to start exercising because you’re worried that your knees won’t be able to handle it, for example. But don’t worry: you are weightless in the water. Swimming for more than 30 minutes is an active workout that burns more calories than running for half an hour. It is very intensive, but at the same time the most injury-free sport there is. The chance is small that you overload something with swimming.”

Swimming against rheumatism

Swimming offers many benefits for rheumatic patients. After fifteen minutes in the water, the muscles relax. This allows you to move more smoothly and feel relaxed. In addition, it can relieve pain. It also strengthens the postural muscles. There is no shock load that the muscles, tendons, ligaments and joints have to absorb.

Dangers of Swimming

In addition to health benefits, swimming also carries some dangers. We discuss them below.

Slip

For the location where you are going to swim, it is wise to check whether you can enter the water well and get out easily, without the risk of slipping. In the case of an indoor pool, these are often equipped with steps, but with natural water it is important to check whether the banks are muddy or slippery. A gently sloping bottom is best. Wearing swimming shoes can also significantly reduce the risk. It is also nice if the location is equipped with swimming lines in the water, so that you can clearly see where you can still stand and where it gets deeper.

Water quality

The quality of the natural water in the Netherlands is one of the cleanest in Europe . We do have to deal with local pollution. To find out where you can swim without any problems, you can use Rijkswaterstaat ‘s website swimmingwater.nl . For the indoor pools, up to 3 times more chlorine is sometimes used in connection with hygiene around the coronavirus. You can notice this in your skin, eyes and lungs and it can be a health risk for the elderly and people with lung problems. According to the RIVM, there is no evidence so far that the virus spreads via water.

Temperature and unpredictability of the water

People sometimes underestimate how cold the water in the Netherlands can be. Even when it is hot, natural water can lag considerably behind in temperature. This is especially true for seawater and other deep waters. When in doubt, stay at hip depth to minimize the risk of hypothermia. If you are swimming in natural water for the first time, limit the swimming time and do not immediately lie in the cold water for an hour. This gives your body the opportunity to get used to the water. Wearing a wetsuit is also an option. It not only gives you more buoyancy, but also keeps you warmer. From a water temperature of 20 degrees it feels pleasant enough to swim without a wetsuit. In addition, always be aware of rip currents and any sharp, invisible objects on the bottom, banks and in the water.

Swimmer’s Itch

Swimmer’s itch is caused by small algae that live in surface water. If you swim in water where these algae live, you can get red, itchy bumps. In some cases, fever, diarrhea and headache and nausea may also be involved. Avoiding the algae that cause this itching is tricky because they are not visible to the naked eye. What you can often prevent is itching due to the blue-green algae, a creature that is visible and for which there are frequent warnings in hot summers. Blue-green algae not only causes itching, but can also make you really sick. This is due to the toxins in the algae. A just starting concentration of blue-green algae is not always easy to see, so keep an eye on the warnings.

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