If you’re getting tired of your usual workout routines in the gym, maybe it’s time to diversify by trying a water exercise - swimming. Swimming boosts your general physical fitness. It allows you to workout with very little impact on your body, meaning you can relax your joints and muscles while submerging yourself in the pool. Also, swimming doesn’t feel as grueling as other types of exercises, making it an excellent and enjoyable workout. If you’re still hesitant about taking the plunge, here are some health benefits to convince you.
As with any exercise program, swimming helps you to lose weight. Spending an hour in the pool can burn anywhere between 300 and 600 calories. The exact calorie burn depends on your body weight and the intensity of your swimming workout and of course the type of stroke you use. But burning calories is not all you get from swimming. Most swimming moves use every part of your body and, in performing them, you can actually boost your metabolism during and after your swim, which further helps in losing weight.
Builds muscle mass
Here’s a quick fact: water is twelve times as dense as air. But what does this mean for swimming? It means that swimming is a far more effective way of building and toning your muscles than any other type of exercise on land. Take running for example - when you run you’re only moving your body through the air. But when you swim, you’re kicking and propelling your body through water, which is much denser than air. This turns swimming into a resistance exercise where you can build your muscle strength.
Swimming involves using a lot of body muscles at the same time, which helps your joints stay loose and flexible. Your arms throw into wide arcs, your legs wade through the water and your head turns from side to side. With every movement, you’re lengthening and stretching your body, improving your flexibility in the process.
Prevents health problems
Swimming is an aerobic exercise that can fight off diabetes by helping you maintain better control over your blood sugar and cholesterol levels. Swimming also strengthens your heart, by making it larger and more efficient in pumping blood through your body.
The swimming strokes
You can make swimming more enjoyable by learning how to swim properly, because each of these swimming techniques put your body into different positions and use different muscles.
- Freestyle - properly called the front crawl, this is the most common move because it generates the most speed. The freestyle technique consists of bringing your arms over your head and into the water one at a time, while kicking your feet hard.
- Backstroke - this is similar to the freestyle, except that you float on your back. It is the least intensive of all swimming moves, ideal for relaxing your body after a rough day or an intense workout at the gym.
- Breaststroke - a stroke that uses a frog-style kick. Your arms will sweep out from and then back into your breast. Breaststroke requires good coordination, because your upper and lower body need to sync together.
- Butterfly - the most difficult move to perform. You need to swing both arms over your head at the same time and push them into the water to propel you forward. Your legs will stay straight as you kick them through the water.
Swimming burns calories, boosts metabolism, and firms your body without putting too much stress on your muscles and joints. If you’re interesting in swimming, give us a call and see how our programs can help.