Swimming is one of the most popular, versatile, and accessible workouts. It can be done at any age or fitness level and offers a full body workout without putting the same strain on your joints as higher impact exercises, such as running or jumping. Studies have shown that swimming can also decrease stress and improve sleep and mood. If you haven’t tried it before, it is never too late to begin.
If you are new to swimming, it’s a good idea to get your feet wet by taking an in-person swim lesson at a local pool with a lifeguard on duty. It’s also a good idea to start out in the shallow end of the pool, so you can build up your confidence and water endurance. It’s important to set aside a regular time each week to swim, so it becomes a part of your weekly routine. This will help you avoid making last minute decisions not to go and keep you accountable.
Once you have mastered the basic strokes of freestyle, breaststroke and backstroke, it is a good idea to try swimming laps to build up your endurance. Typically, four laps of any basic stroke is a great swimming workout for beginners. You can increase or decrease the number of laps depending on your goals, intensity and how much time you have available for exercise.
When swimming, it’s important to practice the correct form. It is important to streamline your body during each stroke, so you are using as little of the water as possible. This will allow you to travel farther on each stroke, and improve your overall speed.
It’s a good idea to practice the proper hand positioning during each stroke as well. When swimming, you should always have your hands enter the water together, with your fingertips pointing down toward the bottom of the pool. This will help you glide through the water and cut through it with your hand movements.
Another key aspect of swimming is ensuring that you are exhaling continuously throughout the entire stroke cycle. This will ensure that you are getting enough oxygen and reducing your chances of dehydration. It is also important to not swallow too much water, and to clear your nose or mouth as needed.
Lastly, it is important to focus on keeping your head level in the water during each stroke. This will prevent you from bending too far forward as you move through the water, which can slow your progress.
Swimming is an essential skill to have, and it’s never too late to learn. It’s a great way to get in shape, improve your heart health and strengthen your muscles. It’s also a great alternative for people with certain health conditions, like arthritis or osteoarthritis, because it can help reduce the amount of pressure on your joints.
It’s also a fun and social activity, and it’s an excellent way to stay active with friends or family.