Have you ever thought about swimming as an exercise? I never use to but boy oh boy is it a fabulous workout. Here are the top reasons why I will make sure that I make swimming part of my workout routine.
1. Swimming is Low Impact– Unlike jogging or plyometric training, swimming is a way to fit cardio into your workout routine without putting stress on your bones, joints, and muscles. This is a plus for swimmers of all ages and body types, but it’s particularly beneficial for seniors and people with arthritis. It’s one of the best ways to stay active while taking care of all parts of your body.
I recently found myself with a knee injury and was struggling to find something I could do physically. The pool was the perfect answer. I was able to crank out 30 laps and not feel any pain in my knees at all. Do not discount this one friends, being easy on your joints when you get to be an old lady like me is crucial. You do not have to be a pro swimmer either, just get in the pool and move, float and/or doggy paddle. The resistance is working as long as you are.
2. Swimming is a great cardio workout and in my opinion is the ultimate aerobic activity. There is more breath control in swimming compared to running, thus an increased demand for oxygen, causing your muscles to work harder. Because of this, you can get more bang for your buck in a short amount of time. I am all about getting my exercise over. I know you all think I love to exercise but I don’t. I do it because my body loves it and so does my mind. BUT let’s get it over as quick and efficient as we can right?
3. Swimming is one of those exercises that targets almost all of your body parts.
Your core will get a workout, your arms will tone, your legs will propel you through the water and get stronger, your booty even gets stronger when you swim. Mike loves swimming because it is one of the best ways to tone his back muscles.
4. Swimming helps with flexibility– Water is one the best mediums in which to increase flexibility. Water has long been known to aid in increasing flexibility due to the many factors such as buoyancy, water resistance, and water temperature.
The smoothness of the movements helps lengthen and stretch muscles rather than make them bulky, giving one the appearance of being more toned, healthy and strong. I have noticed a greater range of motion in my hips since I started swimming again. I still really need a lot more help in this area but I love the progress I am making.
5. Swimming is an escape from all the noise in the world. I am not talking about traffic noise or the garbage truck clanking down your street I am talking about the phone being in your hand 24/7 or the TV blaring all the crappy scary news at you all day long. This type of noise can really be a buzz kill for me. I love that when I am in the pool it’s just me and the water. I can’t reach for my phone, my ears are free of music distractions, no one can reach me or interfere with exercise. It is like my own little oasis.
Do not swallow the pool water! Full disclosure here- I am a freak about the chemicals in the pool and WHY there are chemicals in the pool lol. I have watched too many documentaries on this so I think I need to chill a little. I DO freak out about the germs in the pool. I only swim where I can verify how often they clean the pool and I NEVER go at the end of the day. Do your research and make sure wherever you pick to swim has a good cleaning protocol. Of course, if you have a pool in your backyard, you are golden and I would like to come over
PS: Check to see if there is a local YMCA in your area. A lot of the time their locations have community pools and are very cost effective.