Lower Risk of Diabetes
Swimmer in pool.

Aerobic exercise, especially swimming, can lower one's risk of diabetes.


When it comes to warding off diabetes, there are few prescriptions as powerful as aerobic exercise. In one study, men reduced their risk of diabetes by an average of 6 percent for every 500 calories a week they burned in aerobic exercise [source: Bobalik]. With just 30 minutes of breaststroke swimming three times per week, you could burn 900 calories -- reducing your risk of contracting type 2 diabetes by over 10 percent. A study that focused on women also suggested the same benefits for the fairer sex: Vigorous exercise just once a week (like the kind derived from a robust swimming session) lowered their risk of contracting type 2 diabetes by 16 percent over inactive women [source: Bobalik].

And, if you already have type 1 diabetes, the aerobic benefits of swimming can be particularly helpful, as this type of exercise can increase insulin sensitivity [source: University of Maryland].

According to the American Diabetes Association, diabetics should get 150 minutes per week, spread across at least three days per week, of moderate-intensity physical activity like swimming to aid glycemic control.