It suddenly dawned on me the other day. Swimming is one of the greatest workouts on the planet and I haven’t written about it other than talking about Michael Phelp’s workout! So in the next few posts, we’ll talk about the benefits of swimming and how to start your own swimming program.
Low Impact Training
Swimming is one of the lowest impact exercise that a person can engage in. Because of this fact, almost everyone (who knows how to swim) can enjoy this fun workout! (Your Swimming Space):
Those with old injuries such as back and knee problems can perform exercises in the buoyant water without any problems. Overweight individuals are actually at a slight ADVANTAGE in the water, you might say because they can often perform certain skills that more lean people cannot due to the added buoyancy that their bodies naturally provide.”
So if you are discouraged from getting started with a workout regimen due to an injury, your age or your weight… don’t fret! Swimming is a great exercise for people of every fitness level.
Viva La Resistance!
No, that’s spelled correctly. Swimming is a great form of resistance training. It’s different from most other cardio workouts in that the water provides a drag, or resistance, much like doing sprints with a parachute, if you’ve actually ever seen someone do that before! (Fitness Health Zone):
Swimming is a notoriously great form of exercise, given that the water resistance gives muscles a greater workout and the cooling effects of water encourages exercisers to exercise longer.”
Cardiovascular Benefits of Swimming
Swimmer’s have good physiques for a reason
For pretty much every stroke, swimming provides a full body cardio workout that’s right up there with running and hiking (Ask Men):
“it is a great cardiovascular exercise. If you push yourself hard enough, swimming can be comparable to — if not more intense than — running. Since you use both your upper and lower body to propel yourself through the water, you engage more muscles and burn more calories than with running (during which the upper body doesn’t work that much).”
But, don’t fall for the old “you sweat more in the pool” tall-tale. To my knowledge, there are no scientific studies to back this claim. In fact, there is one such study which provides evidence to the contrary (Swim City):
In summary, our study showed that swimmers do sweat, although at rates that are lower than land-trained athletes. And we showed that swimmers are able to replace their fluid losses during the session by drinking from water bottles kept at the end of the pool.”
Fat Burning Benefits of Swimming
While aerobic exercises usually burn fat and help with losing weight, this effect is limited in swimming, even though being in cold water burns more food energy to maintain body temperature. (Motley Health)”
This is true only for those who swim for long distances. We’ll get into this a bit more in the next post, but the key to burning fat while swimming is by using the good old High-Intensity Interval Training technique. Doing sprints, drills and even under-water bursts will keep your fat burning potential high.
Swimming: The “other cardio”
Back to that overused saying: switching it up. But, it’s true folks… you should try different exercises so you don’t get bored and fall off the fitness wagon. Incorporating swimming into your schedule will liven up the party and keep you working out for life!
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