If you're looking for a break from high-impact exercise like running and plyometrics, add a day or two of swimming laps to your fitness routine. Whether you’re cross-training, training for a triathlon or looking for an exercise that’s easy on the joints, a pool workout may be just what you need.
Cardio: Swimming requires deep breathing, which improves circulation and helps you to develop your aerobic base. You’ll notice your heart rate increase from the rhythmic breathing and range of motion. Deep breathing also promotes healthy blood pressure levels.
Strength: The constant resistance of the water provides an environment that strengthens your muscles. You’ll use your upper and lower body simultaneously making it a full body workout. Kicking is an effective leg and glute workout while the shoulders, back, arms and core get involved with each stroke.
Stress Busting: Swimming has been shown to minimize stress and improve mood. Swimmers will tell you the water is soothing and peaceful. A few laps in the pool can help boost your energy levels for the day, clear your head and leave you feeling refreshed. Those with arthritis or osteoporosis find the low impact exercise an especially welcome alternative to land exercise.
If you are a beginner, start with shorter sessions, focus on form and consider taking lessons. Correct form will help decrease risk of injury and improve your efficiency in the water.