In Water Baby, Part 1 of the Swimming blog series, I talk about my introduction to the water and how it got me through a grueling restaurant server job and boosted my health and fitness. During the last couple of years, I’ve been craving (and pushing myself) to get back into the pool and I’ve finally achieved getting it into my weekly schedule. It feels great.
You too, can feel a whole lot better from a swimming workout. Whether it’s to attain overall fitness, build endurance, train for a triathlon, or recover from an injury, swimming cannot be beat.
Look at the terrific health aspects of swimming:
- Aerobic workout for heart and overall health
- Rhythmic, repetitive movement which is key for toning and conditioning
- Low-risk for injury
- Tops for longevity (check out this article)
- Full-body toning due to complete body use
- A great option for those with mobility issues who can’t walk or run, thereby limiting their exercise choices
- Available in all weather conditions
Even if you are not a swimming enthusiast, you can participate in a water aerobics class and gain improved health. I recently heard about Water Zumba classes. Now that sounds like fun! Whatever floats your water-based exercise boat, get started. Here are a few suggestions and resources to help:
Where to swim:
- Parks and Rec departments
- Community centers
- Community colleges and universities
- Health clubs/gyms
- Backyard lap pool
- Open water
How to swim:
If you need swim lessons for yourself or family members, check with the above noted organizations available in your area and The Red Cross.
Swim Workout Routines:
I’ve watched other lap swimmers refer to a card after completing several laps. It took me a few sessions to figure out that they were looking at a swim workout routine. This site has all levels of plans starting with Beginning on up to Advanced. Choose a plan that will fit your current ability level and start out gently, working up to higher distances and strength/endurance. Remember: it’s the small steps done consistently that lead to sustainable change whether it comes to weight loss, exercise or any other positive habit.
For those turned off by swimming in chlorinated pools, read Hydrogen Peroxide to Swimmers’ Rescue, Part 3 in the Swimming blog series, with a tip for how to neutralize the odor and ill effects of chlorine on the body with extended exposure.