Press-Republican

Lifestyles

September 17, 2013

Swimming offers excellent exercise

Swimming is unlike any other exercise, primarily because it’s done in water rather than on land. 

The buoyancy of water can be accommodating to those with varying levels of fitness. Swimming is a good fitness choice for just about everyone, especially those who have physical limitations or who find other forms of exercise painful. 

It is a good, whole-body exercise that has low impact for people with arthritis, musculoskeletal or weight limitations.

Not only is swimming easy on the body, it’s a great way to get fit. 

Athletes can use water to rehabilitate after injury or to cross-train. People with arthritis or other disabilities can use water to improve fitness, range of motion and to relieve pain and stiffness. 

Swimming recruits all the major muscle groups, including the shoulders, back, abdominals, legs, hips and glutes. 

Moving through water provides more resistance than moving through air, therefore swimming also helps to build strength. It is both cardiovascular and strengthening at the same time.

GETTING STARTED

Maybe you were once a competitive swimmer and want to get back into swimming laps or you are a novice swimmer with a goal of swimming the length of a pool. 

Regardless of your swimming ability, there are ways to get started based on your specific desire. 

Endurance from other methods of exercise does not necessarily carry over to swimming. It may seem discouraging if you are able to run or walk fast comfortably for 10 minutes straight but have difficulty swimming continuously for even one minute. 

If lap swimming is new to you, try not to get frustrated. Humans are land-based, so the water may feel very foreign. 

TECHNIQUE CRUCIAL

There is more than one way to tackle swimming. 

Beginners can start with vertical exercises in the pool, such as walking or jogging a length of the pool in waist-deep water or doing some strengthening using water weights. 

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