Recently I have been neglecting a routine that worked so well for me previously. That is including swimming into my weekly workout schedule. I want everyone to know how important it is. It is something that I am going to try and figure out how I can get it back into my routine ASAP. Below I have listed reasons for why you should include swimming into your weekly workout schedule.

It counts as both cardio and strength training

Water is 800 times denser than air so your muscles are under constant resistance. Your forced to constantly be moving so you don’t drown (forced cardio), unless you’re in the shallow end 🙂

It’s easy impact

You can work out at high intensity for longer period of time. It is also uniformly distributed it doesn’t collect in knees or hips where most of the burden occurs during up right workouts. You won’t feel the same wear and tear on your body and it helps with those who have injuries and or issues with their joints due to your change in body weight while in water.

It’s great for your lungs

Oxygen is essential in all that we do. When swimming it is extremely vital since you have your face in the water for most of the exercise. Swimming actually forces your body to take in more oxygen and expel more carbon dioxide. Swimmers have better tidal breathing (air moving in and out during regular breathing) which lowers your heart rate and blood pressure.

It makes you a better runner

Swimming maximizes your use of oxygen which in turn helps with your endurance. If you utilize controlled breathing techniques while in the pool (i.e breathing every 4 strokes) you can increase your times for things like the mile.

Anyone can do it

As long as you know how to swim, it is a great workout for anyone. You are able to control how it goes, how long you go, and how fast you go. Whether you are injured, pregnant, training for a triathlon, or a retiree. All skill levels and ages are able to swim.

It slashes stress

If you work out you know that it helps combat stress by releasing endorphins. Swimming adds a whole other aspect that connects to your senses. Being submerged dulls your senses that may be overloading and too much for your body. It gives an sense of calm and relation. Unless you are afraid of the water then I would not suggest submerging yourself in it.

It targets under-worked muscles

Your arms have to be moving all over the place while in the pool so you are often working muscles you don’t usually use like lats, delts, traps. So much of swimming is about staying balanced. You also work your stability muscles in your core and lower back. Swimming also builds longer leaner muscles and helps compliment the shorter denser muscles from lifting.

It turns back the clock

Swimming affects blood pressure, cholesterol levels, cardiovascular performance, central nervous system health, cognitive functioning, muscle mass, and blood chemistry. It’s no wonder people over the age of 60 are still moving well, feeling good, and seem to be in better health than their counterparts.

It increases your mobility

For those who sit at a desk, and or are upright all day, it is a good change to be horizontal while you work out. This may help improve posture and prevent back injuries and pain that comes from being sedentary. As for flexibility goes, it increases, especially in a heated pool. After intense lactic acid work outs, like running or lifting, it is good to get into the pool to flush out the toxins which helps prevent sore muscles and tightness.

Where should I start

Try 30 min sessions, 3x a week. Take frequent breaks. Drink lots of water. Include this with other forms of working out like; lifting weights, yoga, running, any sport, etc.

Don’t know how to swim yet or need to feel more comfortable?

Find someone at The Foundation who can help teach you (like me!) and help you focus on technique first. Don’t do it on your own. Get a group together for support.