Swimming - Why Swimming Is One of the Best Forms of Exercise

by Pool Builders on 03-01-2011 in Articles

I usually don't write about things I haven't done, but swimming keeps popping up in my conversations about weight loss. I've heard plenty of facts about how beneficial swimming is so I decided to do a little research of my own. I'm 39 now and have set a goal to learn how to swim before I turn 40 in seven months. With my goal in mind I've searched the web and this is what I've found.

Swimming is a good, whole-body exercise that has low impact and is especially good for people with arthritis, healed bone and muscle injuries, or weight limitations. The water cushions stiff joints or fragile bones that might be injured by the impact of land exercises. When immersed to the waist, your body bears just 50% of its weight; immersed to the chest, its 25%-35%; and to the neck, 10% making the movements easier on your joints.

Swimming calls on all the major muscle groups, including the shoulders, back, abdominals, legs, hips, and glutes. And because water affords 12 times the resistance as air in every direction, it really helps to build strength. Stronger muscles lead a healthier more fit body. I remember taking a water aerobics class that really did help me get stronger. The water resistance made it harder to do knee lifts and walking under water worked a lot more muscles than just walking around a track.

Researchers have been in debate about swimming and weight loss though. Some say that it's more difficult to lose weight when you swim because the water submersion does not allow your body to burn as many calories during a workout. According to an article I read on WebMD, other researchers say that in order to tap into the weight loss benefits of swimming you must do interval training. That's when you push yourself hard for short spurts, and then you drop back to a less-intense level of exercise.

After checking out these facts I decided that swimming will be a good way for me to change up my exercise routine. We all know that our bodies will get used to a certain exercise regiment and that's when most people's weight loss will plato. Swimming will be an excellent change of pace for me.

I also found some great tips on what to do before I dive into swimming.

  1. Find a good coach or swim club that offers lessons for beginners
  2. Get a comfortable swim suite
  3. Get a good pair of goggles
  4. Start with vertical strength training like walking or jogging the length of the pool
  5. Start slow; swim for 10 minutes, then build your way up to 30 minutes
  6. For weight loss try to swim 3 to 5 times a week and push yourself with a good 30 minute workout that includes a warm up and a cool down

I think I'm ready to get started now. I look forward to writing about any other benefits of swimming that I find. It doesn't matter if you chose swimming or not, but change up your workout routine when you feel your weight loss is at a stand still. You will get over that plato and learn something fun and new about exercise in the process.

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