Learn About Swimming as Exercise and Getting Fit in the Pool
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As the first day of summer approaches and temperatures heat up, you may be wondering how to get in a good workout while staying cool. The answer: swimming.
Swimming is a form of low-impact exercise that can build both cardiovascular and muscular strength. Popular to contrary belief, you don’t have to be able to swim laps to get in a good workout in the pool.
Cooper Fitness Center Professional Fitness Trainer Aaron Feldman explains the benefits of swimming and how stay fit in the water.
Benefits of Swimming
Water provides an environment for low-impact exercise, which is ideal for people who need a joint-friendly workout. People who are recovering from an injury, have limitations due to years of wear and tear, or who are overweight may find water exercise the easiest and safest form of exercise. “In the pool, anyone can get a great cardio or strength workout without worrying about putting stress on the knees, hips and joints,” says Feldman.
The buoyancy of water removes resistance from gravity, providing the feeling of essentially being weightless. This makes it much easier for someone who is carrying a lot of extra weight to move around. Someone who has a difficult time getting around on land may find it much easier to walk in the water.
In the water, you can get in a high-intensity workout without creating a high risk for your joints. It is, however, easy to slack off on intensity if you aren’t paying attention while working out in the water. “Make a point of mindful exercise to ensure you are working hard,” says Feldman.
Examples of a Water-Based Workout
Lap swimming, water aerobics, calisthenics and resistance are all different kinds of water exercise. Swimming laps is a great way to get your heart rate up and work your lungs, but it isn’t the only way to get a cardio workout in the water. Someone who may not be able to swim laps could walk or jog laps in the pool instead. The water creates resistance against the body while reducing impact on the joints.
If you want to build cardio, try swimming laps, join a water aerobics class or practice treading water. Side stepping back and forth, or holding onto a kickboard and kicking are also ways to get your heart rate up.
“Any type of exercise where you’re moving the body through the water in a back and forth motion has cardiovascular benefits,” says Feldman.
If it’s strength you’re looking to build, grab a set of water hand weights and push them up and down in the water, or do standing leg lifts in the water. You can even work on strengthening your core with side-to-side twists.
“If you can do it on land or in the weight room, there is some variation you can do in the water to reap similar benefits,” Feldman says.
For a complete workout and the most benefits, combine cardio with resistance training. Watch a video demonstration.
Tips for Swimming Newbies
If you are new to water-based exercise, here are a few tips:
For lap swimming, meet with a swim instructor who can teach you how to swim properly and how to breathe in the water.
Wear a swimsuit that will allow you to move freely in the water.
Purchase a decent set of goggles to protect your eyes and allow you to see under water. If you’ll be swimming outside, get a pair of tinted goggles.
Be sure to wear sunblock when swimming outside. The water may cool you off from the summer heat, but it won’t prevent you from getting sunburned.
Cooper Fitness Center offers swim instruction, water aerobics classes and the opportunity to work one-on-one with professional fitness trainers in the water. For more information about Swim Programs at Cooper Fitness Center, click here or call 972.233.4832, ext. 4380.
Article provided by Cooper Aerobics Marketing and Communications.