Swimming to Fitness

by Pool Builders on 05-08-2010 in Articles

Are you looking for a new way to tone your body? Do you want a great way to get fit at the same time? Swimming might be just the exercise that you should include in your weekly routine. If you are comfortable heading down to your local swimming baths and slipping into your swimsuit then you can take advantage of some of the following benefits of swimming.

Low Impact

Swimming is a low impact activity. So what? This means it is a great exercise if you are slightly older, pregnant, overweight, or recovering from some sort of injury. The feeling of weightlessness while swimming places less stress on your body while still enabling a great cardiovascular workout to achieve your fitness goals.

Burning Calories

As a general rule swimming will burn the same calories as walking fast or a slow jog. Obviously the harder you push yourself the more you will burn. If you are swimming front crawl or freestyle at a medium intensity for half an hour you can expect to burn around 350 calories.

Fun

Swimming is a popular pastime with women of all ages. Not only will it develop your fitness level and tone certain parts of your body but it can also be great fun. Your water fitness activities don't necessarily need to be limited to swimming either. Aqua fitness or aqua aerobics sessions are available at many public swimming facilities so you can exercise in the water with like minded individuals.

Good For Pregnancy

Swimming is a fantastic option if you are pregnant. Again it is low impact and weight less so you can exercise away without impacting baby or body. Perhaps swim a few lengths, or alternatively you could try aqua jogging with a flotation belt simulating running but in water. Make sure that you check with your doctor before you get into the pool to make sure it is OK for you... and always stay out of the hot tub or spa pool after the swim as this can affect the development of the fetus.

There Are Some Drawbacks

As with any type of exercise there are some drawbacks to swimming.

Firstly, swimming is not necessarily the best exercise for targeting your legs. It is advisable to supplement swimming with some land based activity if you want to be toning your legs as well. Perhaps some cycling or even lunges or squats might do the trick.

Secondly... while you will burn calories and get a good workout with swimming, it is not as effective for weight loss as some non water activities. There are many theories on this. One is that you maintain a layer of fat for insulation if you are doing a lot of swimming - as you are typically training in a cool environment. A further theory is that spending time surrounded by cold water increases appetite and therefore you eat more. And finally there is a theory that the body's metabolism increases at higher body temperatures... and cooling while swimming reduces the metabolic effect of exercise and subsequent amount of food energy burnt.

Leave a Comment

 
List YOUR Pool Business