Health & Fitness
Swimming is one of the best ways to get your heart pumping, exercise all the muscles on your body and protect your joints from stress. Swimming has no impact on joints. The resistance of the water against the body increases the energy required to move through the water. Shred 400 calories in just 30 minute of continuous swimming. Adapt exercises that you do in the gym for an invigorating workout in a swimming pool. Take your light weight or medium set of dumbbells to the pool and join a water exercise class. Public pools or the swimming pool at your local gym probably offer water exercise classes.
Swimming pool exercise tones and firms the entire body. Unlike weight training and high impact aerobic exercise, swimming does not stress the joints or the muscles. Athletes frequently add swimming to their cross training fitness program because of the low risk of injury and the all-over physical workout. Another benefit of swimming pool exercise is a marked improvement in circulation, which may reduce the risk of high blood pressure, stroke and heart attack.
When you add a swimming workout to your fitness program, you can focus on strengthening your muscles without the worry of joint and tendon injury. Use different swimming strokes to strengthen different muscle groups. For instance, the breast stroke works the entire body and is the most popular style of swimming for a great swimming workout. The breast stroke works the arms, chest, abs, glutes, thighs and leg muscles. The butterfly stroke and the back stroke work your chest and arm muscles. The heart muscle gets a great cardio workout, which also helps to increase your stamina and endurance.
Swimming workouts are beneficial as cardio workouts because the heart does not work as hard during swimming as it does during other aerobic exercise. The resting heart rate slows by about 10 beats per minute when the body is suspended in water. During swimming pool exercise, the maximum heart rate can be as much as 30 beats per minutes less than the maximum heart rate. The body weighs about 1/10 less in water than on dry land, which reduces the pull of gravity on the body and may account for the reduced stress on the heart during swimming workouts.
Swimming pool exercise helps to relieve stress, too. Stress contributes to health problems, such as immune deficiency, which can leave you vulnerable to opportunistic infections. When you are swimming, you are focused on the coordination of your arm and leg movements as well as your breathing. The rhythm of your movements and breathing helps to relax your mind and body, and to be honest, swimming is the one exercise at times that feels like it’s a nice vacation day at the beach!