Happy Friday! I can’t believe it is November already. And in much of the world it’s not the time most of us think about today’s fitness spotlight: Swimming.
As usual, we’ll highlight the pros and cons in an effort for you to move smartly. But the object is to MOVE. Any exercise is better than no exercise and nothing is perfect. Now on to SWIMMING! Keep in mind that all of the advice below is for lap swimming (with or without a group) executed with a proper stroke. If you’re bobbing around in the pool going no where the below may not apply.
- If you have access to a pool, getting started is relatively cheap. All you need is a supportive swimsuit, a pair of goggles that fit (yes, you may try a few pairs before finding the right pair for you) and possibly a swim cap. That’s all!
- Low impact. We have no risk of impact injuries from swimming. It’s often recommended to people who are injured as well as to those whose joints might not be able to take impact activities like running.
- Full body workout. I get it, you’re in excellent shape. I dare you to swim for the first time in years and not feel muscles that you have overlooked! Now for those who aren’t in excellent shape…yes, you will be sore too. It’s a good kind of sore. So take it easy the next swim and ease yourself back into it.
- Cardiovascular – pick up the pace and you’ll feel your heart rate rise. Swimming burns some serious calories! And, increased heart rate = endorphins = a good mood! Swim happy!
- Increased Lung Capacity. Yep, you read that right. Swimming increases lung capacity that will help you breath easier and stronger in life and other sports.
- Relaxing. If you aren’t nervous in the water, the feeling of zooming through the water can be amazingly relaxing.
Of course there are cons, but don’t let these stop you if you love swimming.
- You need access to a pool or open water source. Depending on where you live this can be pricey or inconvenient.
- In the cold winter months it can be very hard to motivate yourself to get to the pool, never mind strip off your warm layers and jump in!
- Technique matters. I mean it really, really matters. If you are unsure, make sure you get a good coach to help you get started. Bad technique can set you up for a lifetime of injuries, especially to your tiny little rotator cuff muscles which can take a beating swimming.
- Hunger. Yes, hunger. Swimming burns mad calories BUT because there is no jarring sensation to your body (like running) and you are in a horizontal position swimming causes some serious post-workout hunger. Stick to your caloric budget and clean foods to combat this.
Now with all that said, is swimming the right workout for you? Only you can say. If you love swimming or are even curious to give it a try then I have 1 piece of advice for you – Get out and swim!!!
Happy Friday. Whatever exercise you choose, just keep moving 🙂