Have you been considering starting a swim regimen? Perhaps you have always enjoyed swimming, but never thought of adding it to your workout routine. Either way, consider these five – of countless – reasons to get in the pool.
1. Beat the Winter Blues
If you’re in an area that experiences all seasons the gray area between winter and spring can be grueling – no sun, no fun. What better way to trick your mind and body out of its winter slump than hitting an indoor swimming pool?
2. Low Impact
Do you spend a lot of time running or speed walking on concrete or other extremely hard surfaces? Or perhaps playing basketball or soccer, or any other activity that requires a lot of cutting and abrupt movement? This frequent stress is not good for your muscles, bones or ligaments, and can lead to injuries ranging from shin splints to muscle strains, fractures and breaks.
Swimming provides a perfect alternative to switch up a constant routine of high-impact activities. This cross training is imperative, especially in the winter months when we might be over-lifting or subjecting our lower extremities to extra poundings on the treadmill.
A major struggle for many who are trying to start a workout routine is time – making time to get to the gym, time to map out each workout (cardio, lifting, abs, stretching). Lucky for those crunched on time, there’s swimming. Swimming works virtually the entire body – neck, shoulders, back, arms, hands, core, legs, feet – simultaneously. Torch calories, and build and tone muscle with one workout.
Once it warms up, pools are even more accessible, whether it’s the community’s or your own aboveground pool. It’s also simple to add certain elements – a kickboard, for example – to really zero in on an area, if you are feeling ambitious.
4. Any Age, Any Level
While most of us won’t be logging miles on the road or track as young children or elderly adults, swimming is an activity anyone can participate in. Aside from age, level is another factor that is irrelevant to swimming. Experts say that your heart and body benefit from as little as a 10-minute swimming session. So, as long as appropriate safety precautions are taken, swimming is beneficial to any swimmer of any level.
As you continue to improve in your swimming technique and endurance, other challenges are easily available: get scuba or lifeguard certified, teach someone else how to swim, join a water polo team.
5. Sweat Free
Now and then vanity peeks through, even at the gym. What better way to avoid pit stains or a generally sweat-drenched t-shirt than swimming? Some think that swimming inhibits sweat, which is not true. Depending on the atmospheric and water temperature, and swimming intensity sweat will vary. Regardless, while you’re in the pool no one will see (or smell) the difference. Not to mention, swimming outdoors in warmer months (with sunscreen, of course) will do wonders for your tan.
Swimming provides highly effective exercise that is easy on the body at any age or level. What reason is there not to incorporate swimming into your routine?