Where can you find a no-sweat aerobic workout that offers a wide array of health benefits? In the swimming pool!
From cardiovascular fitness to increased muscle tone, swim workouts provide full-body toning while keeping you cool in the water. Even better, if you have arthritis or are recovering from an injury, swimming is a low-impact activity that is gentle on your joints.
If you’re ready to give a swim workout a try, here’s what you should know before hitting the pool.
Before you hit the water, make sure you have the essential swimming gear. The basic necessities include a well-fitting swimsuit or swim trunks and a pair of comfortable goggles to protect your eyes. Additionally, consider a swim cap to streamline your strokes; some pools may require them. You also may want a kickboard and a pair of fins to enhance your workout and build strength.
Find a Pool
If you don't have a pool of your own, look for a swimming facility near you. Local community centers, YMCA and fitness clubs often offer swimming facilities for their members. Also, some public schools or universities may have pools that are open for public use during specified hours. Research and identify the options in your area, and choose the one that best suits your needs.
Consider Swim Lessons
If you're new to swimming or want to improve your technique, you may find swimming classes immensely beneficial. Look for swimming lessons at your local pool or community center, or check with the Red Cross to find adult swim classes in your area.
Qualified swim instructors can guide you through the basics, teach proper form and help you build confidence in the water. Remember, everyone starts as a beginner, so don't be shy about learning to swim!
Pool Exercises for the Non-Swimmer
There are ways to exercise in the water without actually swimming. Since water offers resistance to movement, water exercise is a great low-impact workout. Even just walking in the pool can help tone your muscles! Check with community pools and schools for swimming exercise classes near you.
Warm-Up and Stretch
Before plunging into the water, take time to warm up your muscles and stretch to prevent any injuries. Perform some light cardio exercises such as brisk walking or jogging, followed by dynamic stretches to loosen up your shoulders, arms and legs. Pay special attention to your neck, back and hips, as swimming engages these areas extensively.
It will take time to build your swimming stamina. “Keep your goal small in the beginning and just get started,” advises U.S. Masters Swimming. Begin with shorter sessions and gradually increase your time in the water. Allow your body to adjust to your new swimming exercise routine and avoid pushing yourself too hard at first. Over time, you'll build endurance and be able to swim for longer durations.
Know Your Limits
While swimming is a fantastic exercise, it's important to know your limits and listen to your body. If you feel tired or out of breath, take a break and rest. Don't hesitate to ask for help if needed.
Safety always comes first, so never swim alone and be aware of your surroundings at all times.
Whether you're a novice swimmer or someone looking to reignite their love for swimming, starting a swimming workout can be an exciting and rewarding journey. Once you find the right place to begin your swimming routine, remember to start slowly and prioritize safety at all times.
Embrace the water, enjoy the process, and reap the numerous health benefits that swimming workouts have to offer.