Swimming For Summer
IF YOU’RE LOOKING for a way to cool off this summer and get a great workout, you should consider swimming. It’s one of the best forms of exercise, for many different reasons. Consider these reasons to start a swimming regimen:
SWIMMING IS A LIFETIME SPORT that benefits the body and the whole person. (A lifetime sport is a healthy activity that can be continued for a lifetime).
SWIMMING IS GREAT CARDIOVASCULAR EXERCISE. If you push yourself hard enough, swimming can be comparable to — if not more intense than — running.
SWIMMING IS A GREAT STRENGTH WORKOUT because you use both your upper and lower body to propel yourself through the water. For this reason, you engage more muscles and can actually burn more calories than with running (during which the upper body doesn’t work that much).
SWIMMING HELPS YOU RELIEVE STRESS. Similar to meditation, it allows you to clear your head. You get not only physical benefits, but psychological ones as well.
SWIMMING HAS LESS IMPACT ON JOINTS and bones than other forms of cardio. It’s a great way to cross train your muscles while taking some of the impact stress off the body.
SWIMMING CAN BE REHABILITATIVE. If you’re been injured and can’t put weight on a knee or ankle, swimming can help you. Kicking workouts, water aerobics, pool running, or lap swimming can all give you a great workout without the weight of your body pounding on you with each move.
If you’re starting to swim for the first time, there are some things you should consider:
The day after your first serious session in the pool, your upper body will likely be very sore because you’ll be using muscles in ways you don’t normally use them, especially your shoulders and back muscles.
It’s a good idea to swim on days you aren’t strength training, as swimming is quite taxing on the muscles and you may find yourself unable to put in a good session at the gym.
If you’re just looking for general fitness and are using swimming for another cardio option, go for a 30- to 45-minute swim at a comfortable pace 3-4 times a week. To improve upon your fitness, try swimming “intervals” in the pool — a fast lap, interspersed with a slow lap.