Not only is your pool and its pool liner great on the eyes, it’s also an excellent source of health. Compared to other forms of exercise, swimming is a truly phenomenal way to improve your health and fitness. Even if your pool isn’t as long as the pools at your gym, you can still get a fantastic workout and burn some serious calories. Here are eight amazing health benefits of swimming that you can get by simply jumping into the pool.

Burn a TON of Calories – Swimming is a total body exercise so it is an awesome way to torch calories and lose weight. Swimming burns around 700 calories per hour. The faster and harder you swim, the more you burn. This is good news, especially if you are pressed for time. Turn your swim workout into a 20 or 30 minute HIIT session— that’s high intensity interval training— and get out knowing you rocked it before you head to work or make dinner.

Cardiovascular health – Swimming offers the intense cardiovascular training that running offers except without the impact on your joints. Your heart and lung capacity will improve and get stronger with swimming, especially if you include challenging intervals in your workout session.

Best exercise for people with asthma- Speaking of lungs, swimming is a fantastic exercise for people with asthma, especially if the pool water is warm. The warm moist air of pool environments is less taxing on the breathing tubes making them less prone to drying and constricting. This means easier breathing. Of course, an outdoor pool probably will not have the warm moist environment that an indoor pool has but it will still strengthen the lungs which is a benefit.

Resistance training – Unlike running or walking, every time you pull and kick in the water you are working against resistance. This means that swimming is not only a cardiovascular exercise, it is a strength building exercise. Want to build fantastic triceps? Make sure that you follow through with the pull during each stroke of the front crawl. Do this for 45 minutes every day and your triceps will be looking incredibly toned.

Core strength- When you swim, all the muscles work together. Even though it feels like most of the work is coming from the upper body (and it is), you must remain balanced, long and lean in the water and this takes core strength. It also happens to build core strength.

The development of a long lean body- Swimmers tend to be notorious for their long lean fit looking bodies. Swimming as an exercise tends to produce that look. The fact that swimming forces your core muscles to become pros at balancing and stabilizing you during a total body movement helps with this. Hop into that pool to get a jump start on a toned body!

Flushes out Toxins- A lot of serious runners and cyclists will hit the pool after a hard workout because swimming helps to circulate the acid that has built up in the body from tough workouts. A light 15 minute swim can help you to feel more recovered after a hard workout on land.

Mental and emotional boost- There’s nothing quite like the outdoors and some fresh air and sunshine when it comes to improving mental outlook and emotional health. A swim in your outdoor pool is just what the doctor ordered. Plus, with a gorgeous pool liner to stare it while you’re swimming, your mood is sure to be boosted.

Impressed at how many benefits swimming offers? Well, there are even more than what is listed here. If swimming laps isn’t your thing, you can also do water aerobics in your pool or aqua jog. A pool with a shallow and deep end is fantastic for both these types of workouts.

If you are serious about your health, don’t wait. Start swimming in your pool as soon as possible.