Swimming's Role in Triathlons and General Health Benefits

by Pool Builders on 01-27-2010 in Articles

Triathlons have been gaining popularity in recent years as a great way to increase all-around fitness. Running and biking, if you are not properly trained, can cause repetitive strain and eventually injuries, because the sports focus energies on one set of muscles almost exclusively. By combining the two workouts with swimming, you can tone every muscle in your body and decrease your injury risk. Swimming is the first third of any triathlon. The distance expected for you to swim varies greatly dependent upon your race (anywhere from a few laps to 2.4 miles in the Ironman race).

Swimming holds an important role in cross training, but is also great on its own. Because it can be done in a pool at whatever pace the participant is comfortable with, swimming is great for those of all ages, from toddlers to retirees. And on top of the physical health benefits listed below, swimming has meditative and calming properties.

Swimming tones muscles, increases cardiovascular conditioning, and gives you a stronger lung capacity. All while working every muscle group in the body! The best part is that you can burn the same amount of calories in 1 hour of swimming as in 6 miles of running in that same hour, without straining your leg joints and bones. The fact that swimming is such a low-risk exercise is the main reason for its popularity with older sports enthusiasts. Recent studies have shown that swimming can even decrease blood pressure, which is excellent for heart health and lessening the risk of stroke.

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