A swimming workout can be a new and refreshing way to get or stay in shape. Swimming is a full-body aerobic sport that tones muscles, improves strength and flexibility, increases circulation, controls weight, and enhances body contours.
Swimming workouts give you a low impact activity that can easily be tailored to match your abilities. A good way to gain cardiovascular stamina is to exercise in a swimming pool.
The secret to a good swimming exercise program is to work with the water. To accomplish this, propel yourself through the water by using your abs, hips, and shoulders.
To understand why water exercise works so well, you need to know about water’s unique properties. In water, your body has almost no gravity. You’re relieved of 90% of your body weight so you become very buoyant.
You can float, bob, and relax without feeling like you’re putting out any effort. Yet water provides 12 to 14 percent more resistance than air, so as you move through it, it’s like having weights around you.
Swimming laps is a great exercise in a swimming pool. Try different strokes to vary the muscles you work to keep your workout balanced.
Going vertical or upright is another very effective exercise in water. These types of water workouts include water walking, jogging, water aerobics, water toning, water therapy, water yoga, and water flexibility training.
You can strengthen your muscles with these vertical water workouts because you experience 75% greater resistance than swimming horizontally. This vertical position maximizes the resistance of water against your movements.
Water-based activities can provide significant benefits for older adults too. In addition to increasing metabolism, physical activity can improve cardiovascular health and increase strength, not to mention the psychological and social benefits as well.
Joining an aquatics class or just sharing a swimming workout with a friend can help you feel better about yourself. You can be more socially active, engage in community activities, and tend to not lose your independence because you are more physically fit.
The bottom line is to choose activities that you enjoy and will stick with. It is never too late to introduce physical activity into your life. Swimming workouts can provide a healthy and enjoyable way to get back the fun you used to have as a child.