Swimming, compared to other exercises, can seem like a bit of a hassle. If you want to go running, you throw on your kit, lace up your shoes and hit the streets. But if you want to swim, you have dig out your costume, pack a bag, head to the pool, pay to get in and get changed – and you’ve done all of that before you’ve even got your feet wet! Joking aside though, swimming is a wonderful exercise, and here are just a few of the reasons you should try to work it into your exercise regime:
It’s Low Impact
To just compare swimming and running again for a second, running is a very high impact sport. Now, to a certain extent that is good. High impact sports are actually good for your bones and joints – up to a point anyway. But if you want to put in a lot of sessions over the course of a week, then it could be a good idea to incorporate swimming. It is a fantastic cardio workout, well in line with running in terms of calories burnt, but with no additional stresses placed on joints or bones.
Ok, so you probably shouldn’t be doing exercise to relax, right? Well I respectfully disagree. For me, exercise is to me what yoga or meditation is to other people. It’ s an excuse to turn my mind down a few gears, get lost in the rhythm of the movements and be a little introspective for a while.
This can be a little tough in a public pool, especially in the summer which is why I always keep an eye out for public times at private swimming pools near me.
Cardio & Strength Training
Swimming is a pretty unique exercise in that it incorporates both strength and cardio training at the same time. Now, in all honesty it leans very heavily toward being a cardio exercise. It gets the hard pumping, it elevates breathing and it burns through muscle glycogen pretty quickly – all tell-tale signs of aerobic activity.
At the same time however, the water itself provides a bit of resistance. You will have noticed this, for example, if you’ve ever tried to walk through a body of water – it’s harder than walking on land, right? This resistance helps to build strength.
Healthy lungs, along with a good strong heart, are both indicators of a strong and healthy body. Swimming is a great exercise to target your lungs. The deep breathes at the top of a stroke cycle and the long periods of holding your breath actually do a great job of building up your overall lung capacity.
In addition to this, because your body is going relatively long periods without breathing, whilst simultaneously performing aerobic exercise, swimming trains your body to more efficiently use the oxygen in your system.
So make sure that next time you dive right in, because not only is the water lovely, it’s good for your health too!