Whether you’re swimming laps in the high-school pool or swimming out in the open sea, swimming is truly one of the the best workouts you can do for your body!
Given its low-impact nature, swimming is much easier on your joints compared to exercises like walking, running or weight lifting. Why not try incorporating swimming as part of your weekly workout routine?
Where can I go swimming?
You can go swimming at high school swimming pools during certain hours that are open to the public as well as local community centers, YMCA’s and gyms.
If the weather is on your side, look for ponds or lakes near you that have appropriate conditions for swimming (i.e; minimal wake, seaweed and alligators).
Note: Follow appropriate safety precautions when swimming outdoors. Never swim alone and always bring a flotation device like this one here:
Check out this article from Outdoor Swimmer for in-depth information on safety precautions to consider while open water swimming.
What are the main swimming strokes that I should learn as a beginner?
If you are ready to graduate from the doggy paddle and start swimming like Michael Phelps, there are a few essential swim strokes that you will want to learn.
The video below demonstrates these four strokes for you to better visualize and achieve proper technique:
What do I need to start swimming?
Swimming is a great hobby because it takes very little gear to get started. For starters, don’t underestimate the importance of quality pair of swim goggles. Look for a pair that fits snuggly over your eyes to avoid leaks and is also comfortable on the bridge of your nose.
Chlorine in swimming pools can really take its toll on your hair, so you may also want to invest in a swim cap.
Check our recommended links below for more recommended gear to get started swimming…
So what are the health benefits of swimming?
Like we stated earlier, swimming is an excellent low-impact workout for people of all ages. Below are a few of the many health benefits of swimming laps…
- Increased Cardiovascular Strength – Swimming is a cardiovascular workout like no other and will truly put your heart, lungs and circulatory system to the test.
- Improved Muscle Tone – Swimming is a whole body workout that will build and strengthen your shoulders, arms, core, glutes and legs. What better way to get jacked for the beach than by swimming laps?
- Burns Calories – Being a whole body workout makes swimming an excellent way to burn a few extra calories. Just a few laps in the pool can make that extra cookie disappear from your waistline.
- Low Impact Workout – Swimming is low-impact and thus great for people with arthritis, injuries, disabilities or expecting mothers. Take it easy on your body but still get an excellent workout by swimming laps or doing some water based workouts.
- Boosts Mood – When doing physical activities the brain releases endorphins, which naturally boosts our mood. On top of that swimming is fun, and doing fun things boost our mood. Who would have thought? A 2014 study from Australia found that older patients with dementia who swam regularly for 12-weeks showed improvements in their “psychological well-being”.
- Improves Sleep – Of all of the health benefits of swimming, this may be the best. A good workout is sure to aide in your snooze game. A 2010 study found that regular aerobic activity proved to improve the quality of sleep, mood and quality of life for adults suffering from insomnia.
What else can I do in the pool to get a workout?
If the basic swim strokes above just aren’t for you, there are several other excellent pool related workouts that we recommend including using a kickboard, pull buoy, and water weights. These tools used correctly in the pool can give you an excellent full body workout!
- Speedo Swim Goggles (Amazon)
- Speedo Kickboard (Amazon)
- TYR Pull Buoy (Amazon)