Looking for a way to stay cool, stay active and enjoy the summer? Try swimming.
Swimming is a fun and versatile cardiovascular exercise that is perfect for long, hot summer days. Not only will it help you beat the scorching summer heat, but it’s easy on the joints. If you are dealing with achy knees, an injured back or weak ankles, swimming will keep you active and help you feel better overall. It’s also a great activity for improving your fitness level and working toward a weight-loss goal.
Benefits of Swimming
Regardless of size or experience, people of all ages can use swimming and water aerobics as cardiovascular exercise.
Cardiovascular exercise is any rhythmic motion using large muscle groups that increases heart rate.
Swimming is an ideal exercise if you are carrying excess body weight and struggle with normal weight-bearing exercises. For those with chronic pain or mobility issues, it’s great for staying active and improving fitness levels.
Other Benefits of Swimming:
- It’s a total body workout
- Water resistance engages muscles and burns more calories
- Increase core strength and balance
- Reduces risk of stroke, heart disease, type 2 diabetes, etc.
- Lowers your resting heart rate
- Lowers bad cholesterol (LDL) and increases good cholesterol (HDL)
- Reduces blood pressure
- Increases mobility and range of motion
Tips for Starting Out
Ready to hit the pool, beach, river or lake? Consider the below tips for making swimming part of your summer activities. But first, make sure you practice safety by consulting with a physician before beginning any new exercise or fitness plan.
The American College of Sports Medicine recommends 60-90 minutes of daily moderate to vigorous activity. Swimming can help you achieve this. Start with 30 minutes of activity and gradually work your way up, including other types of activity as desired. Remember, you don’t have to exercise for 60-90 minutes all at once. Try breaking it up throughout the day.
More Swimming Tips:
- Warm up and stretch first. Do this for about five minutes. You can walk in place, do arm circles, squats, arm stretches, etc.
- Start out slow and at your fitness level. Make gradual improvements.
- Use pool equipment (noodles, water float weights, float belts) for added resistance.
- Try interval training to boost your metabolism. This is where you start out at a slow speed for one to two minutes, then speed up gradually.
- Swim regularly. Exercise is most beneficial when you do it consistently. With the right pool, you can swim year-round!