We are currently experiencing some of the hottest months of the year and staying in shape can become quite a chore. Instead of sticking to your usual cycling and running schedule, why not take the plunge?
Swimming is one of the best ways to get an aerobic workout while avoiding the scorching summer heat.
Here are 6 reasons why you should give it a go!
1. Health benefits
Swimming for just 2.5 hours per week can reduce the risk of chronic illness and improve the health of people suffering from diabetes and heart disease. Swimming works the heart and lungs therefore training the body to use oxygen more efficiently and is often used to cure breathing ailments such as asthma.
2. Weight loss
Swimming revs up your metabolism so not only will you burn around 500 calories during an hour of moderate swimming in the pool but you will continue burning well after you’ve stepped off the deck. Swimming builds longer, leaner muscles that complement the shorter denser muscles that develop from weight training. For both genders, swimming creates smooth and strong muscles.
3. Happy joints
Water supports and cushions the body, eliminating the kind of pounding associated with sports such as running. Swimming is easy on the joints and muscles and is often recommended for people with arthritis and other chronic conditions. The resistance of water also allows you to work out vigorously with little chance of injury.
4. Increased flexibility
Swimming uses the arms, legs, and other connecting muscle groups therefore improving muscle strength and flexibility. A pool relaxes muscles, increases flexibility and enables important stretching. Also, after intense lactic-acid-building endurance workouts (running, cycling, weights), an easy swim helps flush out toxins preventing muscle tightness and soreness the following day.
5. Core strength
Swimming develops core body strength because it utilizes all the body’s muscles simultaneously. Although 70 percent of a swimmer’s effort comes from the upper body, kickboard and fin workouts can provide an excellent leg workout.
There’s also a relaxing, meditative side to swimming. It can come with letting your mind drift as, bathed by soothing water, you focus on your breathing and your movements.
Jumping into a pool or open water is fun, and you certainly don’t need to be a professional to reap the benefits and enjoy yourself. If all else fails you’ll still walk away with a nice endorphin kick.