The other morning I woke up and just was not feeling the gym or any of my other home workout programs. I almost skipped the whole thing then I had an aha moment!!!! I can go swimming. I think the reason I was feeling so blah was my muscles and joints were darn right pooped. I had been working them pretty hard all week and they were in need of a change. Swimming is not the first thing people think of when it domes to slimming down and getting your body in shape but in reality it is one of the best workouts you can do to burn calories, boosts your metabolism and firms about every muscle in your body.
I think what makes swimming so awesome as a workout is it is the perfect marriage between muscle recruitment and calorie burn. According to Janet Evans, from Human Kinetics, swimming is good for you for multiple reasons. Here are just a few of the reasons why she feels swimming is the ultimate all-in-one fitness package.
- While swimming you work most muscles in the body in a variety of ways with every stroke.
- When strokes are performed correctly, the muscles lengthen and increase in flexibility.
- The significant repetition of strokes improves muscle endurance, and because water creates more resistance against the body than air does in land exercise, the muscles are strengthened and toned.
- Swimming also significantly enhances core strength, which is important to overall health and stability in everyday life.
- The hip, back, and abdominal muscles are crucial to moving through the water effectively and efficiently.
- When swimming you build your core muscles better than any abs video or gadget advertised on television.
- Finally, a properly structured swim workout provides incredible improvements to the cardiovascular system.
These are just a few of the technical reasons why swimming is good for you but let me now tell you why I love swimming. There is something about diving into a huge pool of water that just kick starts your whole system into overdrive. It is very therapeutic to me. I love watching the water glide over the edge after every flip turn I do. I love pushing off the edge and seeing how far I can go while holding my breath. I love having the quiet time to just let my thoughts go and live for just a short period of peaceful, rhythmic silence.
Swimming is by far the real deal and should not be overlooked if you have access to a pool. You can swim almost every day without risking injury, ” says Joel Stager, Ph.D., Director of the Counsilman Center for Science of Swimming at Indiana University at Bloomington. There are not a lot of sports or training programs you can say that about. “Our research shows that habitual swimmers are biologically up to 20 years younger than their actual age,” Stager says. The data, which were presented at an American College of Sports Medicine Conference, revealed that a swimmer’s blood pressure, cholesterol levels, cardiovascular performance, central nervous system, and cognitive functioning are all comparable to someone far younger. I do not know about you but that works for me. I say “On Your Mark, Get Set, Go” to that.
Now for the ugly about swimming in my book. There are not a lot of things but there are a few nuances that can really put a wrench in my swim. Googles, ugh man do I despise when these little guys leak. I am sure I am not putting them on properly and this is why they leak but I just cant stand when those things fill up with water. Another thing that is a wee irritating to me is when the pool is not clean. I am not a germaphobe but I do want assurance the pool is kept up and the chemicals are checked frequently. That is it for me in regards to “cons”. Other than that I am 100% onboard with a wet workout.
Next time you are feeling like you want to skip a workout or you are just a little bored, check out your local area and see if there is a pool you can use. You just might be surprised how it makes you feel at the end. It could just become your favorite workout!