The benefits of swimming.

The summer heat tends to keep people indoors with the air conditioning blasting and fans on high cooling them off. While summertime brings longer days, a little more leisure time and often vacations, it can also put a wrench in your usual exercise routine. Walking and running are great cardio workouts, but unless you can escape the oppressive heat in an air-conditioned gym, they could be a little too strenuous. This time of year can be a great time to experiment with your workout regimen and incorporate things like water sports and swimming into your routine. Swimming has some incredible benefits that can keep you in shape and prevent you from overheating during a summer workout.

Swimming is a great low-impact workout, especially for those who suffer from joint pain. If you are a runner, your joints and spine take a blow with each step. Swimming eliminates any impact on your joints that can cause injury or pain. When you are swimming, the water creates buoyancy for your body that counters the effects of gravity. This helps to support your body’s weight and give you a more controlled and wider range of motion compared to exercising on land. It can also improve your balance and strengthen your core.

The water also creates a natural resistance creating friction that you must work against. The viscosity of water gives you the opportunity to strengthen your muscles without weights. You can also strengthen an injury safely – preventing falls due to imbalance while on land. Even if you aren’t rehabbing an injury, you can define and tone your muscles by doing some of these simple movements:

  • While in chest deep water, you can work both your upper and lower body. If you assume a wide stance, jump so that your knees rise above the water and then land safely back on the pool’s floor, your abs will get a nice workout.
  • You can do arm movements under water to help strengthen your back and shoulders. If you feel like these moves are too easy, you can add in water gloves or other resistance accessories to make things a little tougher.

Finally, water puts hydrostatic pressure on the body. Hydrostatic pressure is caused by the weight of fluid putting equal pressure on the fluids in our body. The pressure you feel when you enter the water is good for you! The pressure forces your heart and lungs to work a little bit harder compared to regular exercise. In fact, doing even minimal activity in the pool works out your heart and lungs in a very different way than they are used to. Regular pool workouts can actually allow you to take in more air during land exercises. So, by taking a dip, you are conditioning your body to be a more efficient runner, too.

So why not add swimming to your exercise routine this summer! It’s a fun way to keep you and your family healthy!

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