Michael Phelps continues to capture the hearts of millions as he shatters records and wins gold at the London Olympics. Phelps recently became the most-decorated Olympian in history passing Larissa Latynina’s record of 18 medals. Swimming is widely considered a great workout, but what benefit does it provide our bones?
Ironically, since water offers less resistance than weight bearing exercises, swimming is not a bone-booster and won’t help fight off osteoporosis. There are benefits to diving into an aquatic workout though – swimming is great for joints, especially if you have arthritis. It can help promote flexibility, endurance and overall health, and the average person can burn between 500 and 1,000 calories swimming laps, depending on the length of the workout.
With zero impact, swimming offers a way to work out while providing little to no stress on joints. All water workouts are non-weight bearing exercises and promote rehabilitation and increased range of motion. Children, however, do need weight bearing workouts to promote bone growth.