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Effects of Swimming on the Body

Paper Type: Free Essay Subject: Biology
Wordcount: 2352 words Published: 14th May 2018

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Swimming is the movement through water with the use of any artificial apparatus. Swimming can be the act of a person or thing that swims, swimming is also referred to as a competitive sport. Swimming has been around for thousands of years and has been known since prehistoric times. Swimming is an activity that’s burns lots of calories, easy on the joints, builds muscular strength, and improves cardio vascular fitness. Swimming is an activity enjoyed by many old and young, it is considered one of the best ways to stay healthy. Swimming is a healthy activity that can be continued for a lifetime and offers lifetime benefits, it works practically all of the muscles in the body. Swimming is a very safe form of exercise, the number of injuries associated with swimming is very low than that of other sports. Humans have been swimming throughout history and can considered a sport or an activity, swimming can affect systems of the body in many different ways.

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Swimming has a wide array of effects on the human’s integumentary system. Many swimming pools today contain chlorine, a gaseous element that helps keep free of bacteria and debris. Chlorine is put in swimming pools in forms of powder or cakes it works by breaking down fats located in the cell walls of bacteria making the enzymes harmless, a side from that chlorine is very drying for the hair and skin it does not only eat up the cell walls of a bacteria, it also eats up natural lubricants of the hair. When the hair becomes wet with chlorinated water, the hair shafts begin to absorb chlorine, when this happens a natural lubricant in the hair called sebum is stripped off. Drying of the hair caused by frequent exposure of chlorine in swimming pools can cause the hairs cuticles to crack leading to split ends and breaking of strands. Swimming can also cause skin to dry out, making it feel tight and itchy because the chlorine strips the skin of it natural oils. People with very sensitive skin can get rashes or get irritation from the effects pools. Swimming pools can also be salted. Salt-water pools are a mixture of saline solution and chlorine, salt water pools are better for the skin and hair. Salt water has a softening effect on the skin and is less offensive to those with sensitive skin. Swimmers if not swimming in a indoor pool have tendency to swim when the sun is out, through this swimmers can have a overexposure to the UV-rays that the sun creates and causes skin cancer. Ultraviolet Radiation from the sun is the number one cause of skin cancer. Swimming is can be a risk to getting skin cancer. Overexposure to the sun the amount of brown pigment in the skin called melanin increases as a form of defense and is known as a suntan. A Suntan is when the skin turns browner the tan prevents cancer by absorbing UV-rays and turning them into harmless heat, in doing so blocks the UV-rays from damaging tissues of skin. The integumentary system is very much affected by swimming through the different types of water involved and the exposure of sun to the skin when swimming.

The skeletal system contains many different types of bones and joints and is affected through swimming. Swimming is a great activity that is very light on the joints. A joint is the area where two bones meet, joints are normally protected by cartilage, cartilage allows the joint to move smoothly and it also absorbs shock, when cartilage begins to breakdown inflammation occurs causing a disease called arthritis to occur. Arthritis can be treated through hydrotherapy. The buoyancy of water greatly reduces the pressure on the joints reducing the pain and stiffness caused by arthritis, hydrotherapy involves swimming exercises that perform needed for range of motion movements. A study showing the effects of swimming on young rats showed that bone weight, volume and length were higher to rats that did not swim, concluding that swimming exercises has a positive effect of bone growth on young rats. Human male and women were studied over the course three years one group had been swimming regularly over the time period and engaged in no other form of exercise and they were compared to a similar group that did not exercise very much at all. Their dietary calcium and protein intake were similar between both groups. It showed that male swimmers had greater bone density but relationship between swimming and bone to women could not be identified. Swimming although has maybe little effect on the skeletal system, it is still affected.

When swimming much of the organs in muscular systems are used and are widely affected. Swimming is a great workout for a majority of all the muscles. Swimming requires plenty of muscular endurance. Muscular endurance is the ability of muscle or muscle group to do repeated contractions. Water, although having a gentle look has some resistance, swimmers gain muscular endurance over time swimming through water. Swimming engages plenty of muscles, those muscles will become stronger from use over time and is able to withstand longer periods of use as they get stronger. Muscular endurance is one of the needed aspects for swimming as an exercise. Muscular endurance enables the body to swim for longer time periods and longer distances. Swimming regularly is great way to tone the muscles of the body, swimming does not give you a “buff” look swimming simply makes for a stronger and leaner body.

Swimming in pools is not always sanitary, although many swimming pools contain the gaseous element that kills bacteria, chlorine, it does not kill them all. Many RWIs or recreational water sickness go undetected because many do not think that pool water can make them sick. Sometimes it can take weeks for germs in the water to cause an illness and in addition because diarrhea is common many do not seek medical help for it and many do not report it. People who swim with diarrhea threaten the health and well being of others that are sharing the water. People with a compromised immune system, such AIDS, or is receiving chemotherapy are more of a risk of developing a severe life-threatening illness if they get infected by crypto. Crypto is short for crytosporidium and is present in feces of an infected individual or animal. Swallowing fecal contaminated water can spread RWIs. Swimming for individuals with compromised immune system should be very much aware of the risk when swimming in pools, water parks or even the beach. Research has shown that swimmers who swim at a moderate level get fewer viral infections such as the cold or flu than non swimmers, but swimmers who train heavily become sick as often as those who don’t train, this is because long periods of workouts suppress certain functions of the immune system during the period of heavily working out a window is open for viruses to invade the body. Swimming in cold water actually boosts the immune system, by drastically changing your body temperature the immune system acts on cold water being a mild stressor which activates the immunes system increasing the amount of white blood cells and several other factors of the immune system. When a swimmers immune system becomes weakened they tend to get sick by catching a cold or flu and cannot train. The immune system is used when swimming and is needed when a person is occupying water.

The Nervous System is an organ system that contains networks neurons controlling the actions of an animal or human. Swimming is great treatment for individuals with nerve damage. Individuals who damage to their legs or feet are limited to the kinds of therapy they can do. It is still important for those individuals to be able to do exercise. Swimming is a way for individuals with nerve damage, it allows the body to be active and help strengthens the nervous system. Swimming is advantageous for people with nerve damage because they do not cause repetitive pounding on the legs or feet that can be damaging to a person with nerve damage.

Swimming is considered an aerobic exercise. Aerobic exercises are physical exercise that is low in intensity but long in duration. Swimming and other cardiovascular exercises directly affect the heart. The heart is a muscle and just like any other muscle it responds to exercise by growing. This results in larger chamber size and thicker walls, both increase the amount of blood the heart can pump in a single beat. This improves the hearts efficiency to deliver oxygen to the body, and reduces the resting rate of the heart. As a cardiovascular exercise, swimming affects blood volume and blood delivery, because of the increase demands for oxygen the body increases blood volume and the frequency of both mitochondria and hemoglobin in the blood supply, they work together with the increased heart efficiency to significantly increase the amount of oxygen the system delivers to the muscles. With the increased mitochondrial volume swimmers are able to produce more power at a given effort. Swimming produces gains in capillaries in the arms, shoulder, back and core. While swimming capillaries or small vessels widen this aids in removing muscle waste products, like lactic acid and carbon dioxide.

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The human respiratory system responds to swimming in a positive and sometimes negative way. The lungs are divided into three lobes on the right and two on the left, together they occupy most of the volume of the in the inside of the chest this helps swimmers float. The capacity of the lung and the efficiency of a person taking in oxygen and transferring them to blood vessels determines how fast or far you can swim. Conditions that are specific to swimming make the lungs stronger, more powerful and efficient. When swimmers exert themselves when blowing out air underwater to overcome hydrostatic pressure, that process will eventually improves lung strength. When swimming, swimmers tend to inhale deeply and the increased oxygen intake increases exposure to contaminants from the pool. The chemicals that are used in swimming pools can cause symptoms similar to those of asthma.

The digestive system is affected when food is consumed before taking on the activity of swimming. Eating before swimming is safe when unless a person is “stuffed” or too full to eat anymore. Swimming on an empty stomach is not recommended, swimming requires a lot of energy, and since you’re the bodies main energy is food, it is very important to eat a healthy meal as well as a drink of water two to three hours before swimming. The body requires time to overcome the feeling of being too full, it is recommended that waiting for a few minutes before engaging in the activity of swimming so that a person does not vomit. In competitive swimming, eating a large meal is not recommended because they may cause cramps, but these cramps don’t tend to cause harm or death. Eating easy-to-digest foods are ways for the body to avoid the use of the restroom when swimming. Such foods include fruits, vegetables, and other greens. Lean proteins such as fish and low-fat dairy products are ways for the body to fuel up for swimming. Avoiding foods heavy in fats is recommended before swimming. Too much fats is difficult for the body to break down and digest and may cause your indigestion when swimming. The digestion system can be affected by swimming or by any other activities if the body eats before hand.

The reproductive system, although is barely affected by swimming it is still affected in some ways. Swimming is started even before were born, as a sperm life begins as a huge competition. There are millions of sperms released and swim throughout the female reproductive system, life there starts as a competition many on the way there fail to survive and fertilize the egg of a women, that is why many of them are created. Women have monthly menstrual cycles when swimming or exercising too much, can cause the cycle to extend or even stop completely. When a women stops receiving there period it is called amenorrhea. The purpose of the menstrual cycles is to reproduce and when a woman excessively swims or exercise the body goes into rescue mode, by shutting off unneeded functions such as the menstrual cycle to save energy. Swimming is generally a great exercise, swimming can actually alleviate cramps receive when a women is on there period. When men swim the size of their penis and scrotum start to become smaller and true when men work out or engage in a rigorous activity, the term shrinkage is used for this, the body sends to other places in the body that needs it during a specific activity, when this happens the scrotum and the size of the penis are generally smaller than normal.

Swimming is considered one of the best forms of exercise. It has varying affects on all the systems of the body. Swimming can cause the body’s integumentary system to become weaker or even become stronger against diseases and illnesses. The skeletal system in my research is only a little affected by swimming and generally only affected animals more than humans. The muscular system is widely used when swimming, with the use of different types of muscles needed to swim. Swimming can also cause the immune system to activate by keeping away harsh bacteria found in swimming pool away from the body. I found it difficult to find information about swimming connecting to the nervous, although knowing it was affected in some way I wasn’t exactly quite sure how. Swimming works out the heart making it stronger and less prone to heart diseases. The respiratory system can be affected positively and negatively through swimming. Eating incorrectly before swimming can bother the digestive system and eating right is recommended before you swim. Information for the reproductive system was very hard and little information could be done. I found this report to be quite challenging, connecting information of swimming with systems of the body was difficult for some but there generally all affected by swimming in some way.


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