Swim Your Way To Fitness

A pool might not be the first place you think of going when you’re looking to shape up and slim down—but perhaps it is. No other workout burns calories, boosts metabolism, and firms every muscle in your body better than a swimming workout.

Whatever your age or ability, swimming is a great all-round exercise. Yes, you heard that right..It helps to stay fit and be active. Swimming regularly can reduce the risk of chronic illnesses, such as heart disease, type2 diabetes and stroke. It can also boost your mood and keep your weight under control.

Swimming is a lifelong skill that could save a life. It’s never too late to learn swimming if you do not know how to swim! When researchers at Indiana University compared recreational fitness swimmers with non-swimmers, they found that swimmers of all ages had more lean muscle and trimmer waists and hips.

Swimming is like a major bonus since it helps you to stay longer. “Our research shows that habitual swimmers are biologically up to 20 years younger than their actual age,” Joel Stager, Ph.D., director of the Councilman Center for the Science of Swimming at Indiana University at Bloomington. The data presented at an American College of Sports Medicine Conference, revealed that a swimmer’s blood pressure, cholesterol levels, cardiovascular performance, central nervous system, and cognitive functioning are all comparable to someone far younger.

Why Water Works:

The body-shaping benefits of swimming workouts are the result of a perfect storm of calorie burn and muscle recruitment. An easy swim burns around 500 calories an hour, while a vigorous effort can torch almost 700. And because water is nearly 800 times denser than air, each kick, push, and pull is like a mini resistance workout for your entire body—especially your core, hips, arms, shoulders, and gluteus. So in addition to blasting calories as you swim, you build lean muscle, which ignites your metabolism so that you burn more calories once you’ve showered and dried off.

Starting out:

The best place to get started is at your local pool. Most pools offer adult-only, beginners’ lessons, which focus on building water confidence and improving your stroke.

If you’re unsure about starting lessons, ask if you can watch few classes to get a better idea if it’s for you.

A 30-minute session of moderate to vigorous-intensity aerobic activity at the pool on one or more days a week is highly recommended. Even small changes can make a big difference to your health and make you feel great.

Stay Motivated: Make it a habit

Try to set aside time every week to go to the pool, before or after work or on weekends. Write it in a diary so it becomes a permanent fixture in your weekly schedule. Consider getting an annual swim pass. This will help you save money and encourage you to go more often.

Swim with a friend:

It really helps to go swimming regularly with someone of about the same ability as you. You’ll encourage each other when you’re not so keen to go to the pool. You’ll feel you don’t want to let your swimming partner down and this will help motivate you.

Join a club:

If you enjoy swimming and want to get more involved, consider joining a club. Clubs are a great way to make new friends, improve your swimming and motivate you to exercise regularly. Most clubs have a lively social scene away from the pool, with trips and nights out.

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