Swimming is a workout that engages the entire body, and because of its relative weightlessness and low impact, it can be done at any age or fitness level. It strengthens muscles and provides a cardiovascular workout, while also strengthening the heart, lungs, and overall vascular system. It is an excellent workout for people with chronic health conditions like asthma and COPD, as it helps improve lung capacity. It can also help manage the pain associated with arthritis, and can prevent back and joint injuries in pregnancy.
It is also great for the joints because it doesn’t cause any jarring movements, as would be the case with other exercises that are more high-impact and can irritate the body’s tissues. It also can burn calories at a rate that exceeds many other activities. The key to getting the most out of a swim session is to mix up the routine to keep your muscles and body guessing. A good way to do this is by doing sprint interval training, which involves sprinting for 30 seconds followed by four minutes of rest.
Whether you are an accomplished athlete or someone who has never picked up a swimsuit, you can get the most out of your time in the pool by making sure you are using the proper technique for each stroke. The most important part of the swimming stroke is the catch, which is the point where your hand enters and begins the push/pull action of propelling you through the water. Incorrect arm entry and catch is a common cause of shoulder injury in swimmers, so it’s important to make sure you are doing this correctly.
Another crucial aspect of the catch is keeping your hand in a more horizontal position when it is at its lowest point, rather than reaching too far down with it. If you are doing this, your arm recoveries will be asymmetrical, which can affect the way your whole body rotates while you are swimming. Finally, it is essential to keep your elbow in a higher position than your fingertips when you are at the catch. This will help reduce the amount of drag you experience, which can slow you down significantly.
Once you have the proper form for each of the strokes, it is a matter of practicing and mastering them. Swimming can be discouraging at times, but it is important to remember that a good attitude will help you overcome obstacles and learn new skills.
Most swimmers will tell you that they feel better and happier after a swim. This is because of the release of endorphins that come from exercising, as well as the sense of accomplishment from completing a tough workout. So next time you’re in the mood to relax, head for the nearest pool and go for a swim! You won’t regret it.