Yesterday I promised I’d follow-up my swimming is hard post with some “expert” swimming info and workout ideas. Would I lie?
In my humble opinion, it seems a lot of people tend to shy away from swimming as exercise. I don’t know, maybe it’s the whole getting into a bathing suit thing. Women love that. Or the whole getting wet thing. That’s problematic too. Committing to a swim is more involved than a dry land workout. You have to get your suit on, your hair gets wet, you have to shower and change afterward. As someone who tends to spend a lot of time with dried sweat on my face and damp workout clothes on my body, going for a swim involves a lot more pre and post preparing.
But really, really, it’s a great workout. A few reasons why:
- it’s easy on your joints–in fact, the Arthritis Foundation recommends swimming and water activities, and they sponsor water classes all over the country.
- it’s a full-body workout–water is about 12 times more dense than air, so you are working against a lot of extra resistance as you move your body. One thing to note, however, is that despite working most muscle groups, swimming does not replace strength training. Swimming is primarily a cardiovascular exercise, so you still need to strength train to improve bone density and muscle mass.
- it’s helpful for those recovering from an injury–people with orthopedic concerns due to injury or excessive body weight can really benefit from water workouts. It’s a great way to start moving or keep with an exercise program if you are unable to sustain your workout on land.
Types of swim workouts:
- aqua aerobics classes–check your gym or local YMCA for class listings. There really is something for everyone, and if you don’t think you can get a great workout, you are way wrong.
- solo swimming–if you already know how to swim, just hop in the pool and get strokin’. Check out this site for some workouts and drills.
- U.S. Masters Swimming–to learn more about this organization or to find a Masters Swim group in your area, check out their website, here.