- Exercise & Fitness
Five Reasons Why Swimming Is the Perfect Exercise
Swimming is just about the best all round exercise that you can do, especially as you get older. Whether you're swimming for technique, flexibility, strength, fitness or something else, there are always new physical and mental challenges you can set yourself in the swimming pool.
This article explores five great reasons to go swimming and suggests different things that we can do to keep swimming interesting, including:
- It builds up your strength, suppleness and stamina
- There's always a new technique to learn when swimming
- You can easily vary how you exercise
- Swimming is a great way to lose weight and keep fit
- It strengthens different parts of your body
Swimming builds up your strength, suppleness and stamina
Whereas many other exercises only focus on one or two areas (for example, weights build your strength, long-distance running builds your stamina), swimming is an excellent exercise for your overall strength, suppleness and stamina.
You'll develop stronger muscles as you tone and exercise your body against the resistance of the water, you'll build up flexibility through the full range of movements in your joints and you'll improve your endurance as you swim greater and greater distances.
There's always a new technique to learn
Whether you're trying to learn a new swimming stroke, perfecting the various movements of an existing one or trying to make your breathing, dives and turns better, there are always new and interesting ways to push yourself.
You could focus on finding the perfect angle for your stroke, getting the rhythm between your arms and legs right or timing your breathing so that it's as effortless as possible.
You can easily vary how you exercise when swimming
It's easy to change things up when swimming; you could try breathing on just one side or only breathing on every second or third stroke. You might want to see how far you can swim underwater or try different kinds of turns.
You could do half a length with one kind of swimming stroke and half a length with another. There are many ways that you can vary what you do in the swimming pool to keep things interesting for yourself.
It's a great way to lose weight and keep fit
Swimming is an incredibly good workout for your whole body. It can be a great way to lose weight, tone up your arms, legs, thighs, tummy, chest and bottom and can significantly improve your overall level of fitness.
It will also help your lung capacity, circulation and your cardiovascular system.
It strengthens different parts of your body
One of the reasons swimming is great is because it's a whole body workout. There aren't many other exercises that will strengthen your shoulders at the same time as strengthening your abs and your ankles!
You're utilizing almost every major muscle group when swimming, and because you're just going against the resistance of the water, it's a safer way to keep those muscles in shape.
How to learn to swim
What do you enjoy most about swimming?
Swimming is one of the best ways to keep fit in a safe, gentle and fun way, especially as we get older.
If you've not started yet, try finding a pool near you to see how much you enjoy it. If you're already an avid swimmer, try out some different techniques and swimming strokes to keep things interesting.