The Fitness Benefits of Swimming
By Rebecca Blain of
There are many fitness benefits to swimming. By making it seem like the body weighs much less than it actually does, swimming is the perfect alternative for those who are not capable of performing other types of exercises and activities. Individuals with a spinal cord injury, for example, are able to strengthen their muscles through swimming when they may not possess the strength to walk. By establishing exercise routines in the local gym, you can begin a progressive workout scheme that will help you improve the quality of your health.
Before you jump up, go to the pool, and swim, there are many things that you should be aware of. First, while swimming exercises can allow those who cannot perform in many physical exercises begin to improve their health, it must be done carefully. Jumping in a pool and swimming laps does not mean that you will improve your health at no risk. Getting started in a swimming routine should be a slow process. You should start off with easy breathing exercises, and learning the basic strokes. Knowing these strokes will enable you to begin lap swimming, synchronized swimming, and other forms of swimming based exercises.
When you swim, regardless of the type of exercises you are doing, it is important that you understand how your body reacts to the exercise. Because of the nature of swimming, it can be a rather deceitful activity. It is very easy to do, and makes it appear as if you are not straining yourself. However, every stroke you make exercises muscle groups and works your lungs and heart. If you have any cardiovascular or other conditions, you will need to ensure that you do not strain any portions of your body. This is even more important if you are recovering from a serious injury.
Most importantly, you will need to establish what level of a swimmer you are. Most individuals who have been injured or are just starting swimming exercises will be a beginning level swimmer. At the beginning level, you should focus on the various strokes, and how to breathe while swimming. This is very important, as it can prevent you from drowning in the future. Even if you suspect that you are better than beginner status, start from this level. This will ensure that you unlearn any bad habits, and that you do not strain your body. It is important that when you begin the process, you make use of fitness centers and the trainers that are available to you. This will prevent injury and ensure you are working with a swimming program that will benefit you in the long term.
When you start swimming, there are a variety of different exercises that you can use to improve your stamina and general health. The first of these is lap exercises. By swimming laps, either leisurely or paced, you can exert your body to the level that is appropriate for you. Leisurely laps are especially good for those who need to start off slowly. By augmenting laps with floats and other swimming aides, even beginning swimmers can begin making progress at little risk.
When swimming laps, either over shallow or deep water, make certain that you are not the only one in the swimming pool, or near the pool. Cramps, muscle strains, and other injuries can happen to anyone, even the professional swimmer. While this is unlikely, it is not a risk you should take.
The second type of exercises are most commonly used with synchronized swimming. By swimming in a variety of repeated patterns in shallow or deep water, you can work all of the muscles of the body without the strain associated with lap swimming. This is the style of swimming exercises most commonly used by someone with a spinal injury or other disabling injuries. This style of swimming should always be done with an instructor who can guide you through the basics and ensure that you do not cause yourself any injury.
When you become a more expert swimmer, there are a range of games and other activities that help tone muscles and encourage good health. Including a variety of games like Shark and Minnows, Water polo and water based Volleyball, you can make use of your exercises in such a way where you can participate in sports or leisure games.
There are a wide variety of swimming pools that you can use in order to improve your health. The most commonly used are standard Olympic sized pools. These can be found in many gyms and training centers, and tend to have trainers available for those who require one. Prices for trainers are based on the gym you go to. Some trainers are included in the price of membership.
For those who do not want to go to the gym or local training centers, home pools are more than acceptable for use, as long as you have supervision when you are working on your exercises. Above ground or in ground pools can both be used for basic swimming sizes. If you want to work on laps, you will want either a lap pool, or make use of an Olympic sized pool near you.
As a rule, there are a variety of things that you can do to protect yourself when you are swimming. First, never go into the pool alone. Accidents can happen to anyone, and this is the best protection you can have against drowning. Second, you should never attempt exercises alone without being instructed by a trainer on how to safely do the strokes. This is especially true for those recovering from an injury. Third, make certain the chemical content of your pool is within acceptable parameters. This is usually not an issue at training centers and gyms, but advised for home swimming pools.
When you begin a progressive swimming exercise program, expect to see slower improvement than from other, more intensive, programs. However, as this is perhaps one of the easiest and enjoyable ways to get into shape and stay into shape, everyone can benefit with a little work.
About the Author
Rebecca Blain is a professional and hobbyist writer who enjoys taking care of her fish and educating people about above ground swimming pools at http://www.everything-swimming-pools.com/above-ground-pools.html