It’s a beautiful Wednesday in summer, you are about 11 years old, and your best friend calls and invites you over for pizza and a pool party on Friday. You count down the days, and when Friday finally comes around, you swim for so long that your fingers and toes look like raisins. Swimming is something most of us grow up looking forward to and end up sort of forgetting about as we become adults. But why? One of the best full-body workouts that you can do, swimming, has many benefits.
Benefits of Swimming
It may be difficult to find a full body workout that leaves minimal impact on your joints but blasts through calories. Swimming may just be one of the best ways to get in and stay in shape. Swimming for exercise for one hour burns almost as many calories as running as well, so don’t worry that you are not getting the maximum benefits out of your time at the gym.
How Often Should I Swim
Experts recommend 150 minutes of workout time a week, and with swimming being a low-impact, full-body workout, you are able to complete all 150 of those minutes in the pool. Many who want to maintain their fitness levels hit the pool 3-5 times a week for 20 minutes or more at a time. And this is not just wading in the water for 20 minutes, you should be lap swimming or taking one of our water aerobics classes. Once you feel comfortable with 20 minutes, work your way up and start to measure your meters.
Benefits of Swimming Laps
An Olympic sized pool is 50 meters long, so an entire lap will be 100 meters. Many public pools are either Olympic sized or half (25 meters) which means that you will need to count your laps accordingly. For new swimmers, we recommend you try and swim for 100 meters at your best effort, and then rest for 20 seconds to a minute and repeat until your body tells you to stop. A significant benefit of swimming laps is that it allows for an easy way to measure your speed and meters to assure that you are getting better each and every time. If you aren’t sure how big the pool is at your workout location, ask the front desk. They should be able to tell you if it is Olympic sized or not.
Benefits of Swimming Every Day
When you are submerged under water up to your neck, your body only has to hold about 10% of its actual weight. Which means you are exerting minimal impact on your joints and muscles. Similar to yoga, in terms of its impact, this allows you to work out in the pool as often as you would like, up to every day. There are several benefits to swimming every day as well that include:
1. | Enhancing flexibility:
While swimming isn’t as effective as yoga or pilates at stretching you out, you will gain flexibility by taking time in the pool. Just try a swim move in your seat right now. Hold your hands out straight in front of you, face them to the outside walls, and pull them around your body until you look like a “t”- you should feel your back and arm muscles stretching, and this is only amplified with the assistance of water around you as resistance.
2. | Toning your muscles:
With stroke repetition and the resistance from water, you will build muscle endurance while toning and strengthening at the same time.
3. | Improve cardiovascular health:
As your muscle endurance grows, so will your cardiovascular health. Swimming is one of the few exercises that allow your heart rate to go up, without making you break a sweat (well, you are sweating, but being submerged under water will, more than likely, make it so that you don’t even realize it.)
4. | Improves asthma:
Increased humidity in indoor swimming pools has been shown to assist in preventing asthma attacks by keeping your airways from drying out.
5. | Ability to do more with less impact:
Many exercises, like Olympic lifting, and running require resting times of 2-3 days a week. But, with the minimal impact of swimming, you are able to swim seven days a week if your body allows it. This means that you are able to complete the exercise more regularly.
Many gyms offer swimming classes. At Chuze you can take classes like Aqua Fit where a certified instructor will guide you through a workout in the swimming pool and teach you new ways to get fit under water! Check out your class schedule to find out which classes are available at your club!
Chuze Fitness Locations with Swimming Pools
Want to swim at a Chuze near you? Check out our locations with pools below!