Wave Hello to Open Water Swimming

Jillian Berndtson

| 2 min read

Man diving into lake
Just keep swimming! If you’re enjoying the warm weather, you’re likely looking for ways to cool off too. Swimming during the summer months is a common activity across America and offers many health benefits.
Michigan is the Great Lakes State and chances are, wherever you live in Michigan, a body of water is not far away. In fact, 91 million people over the age of 16 swim in open water every year in the United States. Not only is open water swimming fun, it’s also a great asset to add to any workout routine.
Swimming engages your entire body, conditioning all muscles needed for any other workout or exercise you may be interested in. Swimming also increases your flexibility, strength and stamina which is beneficial for everything from walking to cross fit.
Here are some of the ways open water swimming benefits your health:
  • Blood flow will increase. The cold water causes blood to circulate to our organs, pumping it through our arteries, veins and capillaries.
  • Your skin will glow like the sun (as long as you wear sunscreen). Cold water helps to rid the skin of any impurities, preventing acne and keeping skin looking healthy.
  • Your stress will sink. You’ll feel happier after taking a cool dip in the lake. Not only are you helping your body physically, but your mental state will improve too.
  • Better sleep is a shore thing. The cooler waters stimulate your parasympathetic nervous system which helps to relax your body and promote restoration.
  • Your metabolism will stay afloat. When your body needs to warm itself, it requires more energy. The greater need speeds up metabolism so you keep burning calories.
  • You can keep germs at bay. The initial temperature shock prompts a greater production of white blood cells and antioxidants. Both help to ward off illnesses and keep your body healthy.What’s your favorite lake to swim in?
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Photo credit: Joel Thorpe

A Healthier Michigan is sponsored by Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, a nonprofit, independent licensee of the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association.
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