Swimming is a refreshing summer activity that not only burns calories, but is easy on your joints. Are you striving to increase your fitness level and lose weight? This popular cardiovascular exercise can be one of your golden tickets, especially if you’re dealing with achy knees, an injured back or weak ankles. Let’s see how else swimming can help you meet your goals!
The Benefits of Swimming
Regardless of your size and experience, swimming is an excellent low-impact exercise that pretty much everyone can try. Serving as a total body workout, it combines both your upper and lower body to increase your heart rate and burn calories. While in the water, you’ll not only get a great workout, but you’ll also gain benefits from the water’s resistance.
Check-out these other benefits of swimming:
- Increased core strength and balance
- Reduced risk of stroke, heart disease, type 2 diabetes and some cancers
- Lowered resting heart rate
- Lowered LDL (bad) cholesterol and raised HDL (good) cholesterol
- Lowered blood pressure
A Unique Fitness Activity
Lots of different exercises produce similar physical health benefits, so what makes swimming unique? Unlike other popular cardiovascular exercises such as walking, jogging or biking, swimming is a low-impact activity so you can exercise with less pain. This may mean you can exercise for longer periods of time and burn more calories to aid with weight-loss.
Swimming is also a great way to cool off and stay refreshed in the summer heat. If you’re not one to exercise much in the summer due to high temperatures, make a splash and hit the water!
Getting Started with Swimming
Ready to jump in? Start with these important considerations in mind:
- Consult with a physician before starting any type of aerobic routine.
- Warm-up and stretch first. Walk in place and do arm stretches or arm circles. Warm up for at least five minutes before getting in the water.
- Start out slow at your fitness level. Gradually increase your time to obtain the recommended 60-90 minutes of physical activity per day.
- Use pool equipment (noodles, float weights, float belts) to do water aerobics. This can help you add resistance to your routine.
Also aim to swim regularly this summer. Consistent exercise is important for fitness and weight management. Whether you use a pool at your gym, your backyard pool, a lake or the ocean, all swimming counts! You can also do intervals with your swimming speed to spice things up and keep your metabolism going long after you finish exercise.
The key, however, is to just get moving. You don’t need any special swimwear (other than something comfortable that won’t bother you in the water) or equipment to get a good workout. Just dive in, make a splash and enjoy your refreshing summer workout!
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