Have a pool? Live by the ocean or a lake? It’s time to take advantage of your surroundings and begin enjoying a daily dip this summer!
Not only is swimming a fun pastime and a great way to beat the summer heat, but it can also be good for your health. Let’s explore some benefits of swimming that might inspire you to get out on the water.
Health Benefits of Swimming
Swimming is one of the best low-impact exercises that works your entire body. According to Healthline, some of the benefits of swimming every day include:
- Toning your muscles, especially your arms, legs, and core
- Building endurance that can help with other forms of exercise
- Building strength across your entire body
Most importantly, what makes swimming a great activity is that it works your entire body without causing too much stress on your muscles. This also makes it an ideal workout for individuals recovering from an injury or who have arthritis or another disability that makes high-impact exercise difficult.
Swimming also effectively gets your heart rate up, making it a great way to burn calories. In fact, Swimming.org explains that a gentle swim can burn over 200 calories in just half an hour! That’s more than double what you would burn walking in that time. A fast swim, like doing laps, can burn even more than that.
Perhaps the best part is that after a swim session, no matter how gentle or intense it was, you will likely feel more relaxed and less stressed. The activity can help lower your stress levels, reduce anxiety, and help improve your sleep patterns. Essentially, swimming is a great exercise to put both your body and mind at peace.
Easy Swimming Exercise
Want to incorporate swimming into your exercise routine? Here are some easy exercises you can do whether you’re in a pool, a lake, or even the ocean:
Flutter Kicks are great for toning your core, hips, and legs. For this exercise, you need a flotation device or the edge of your pool.
Laps are some of the easiest water exercises you can do. No equipment is required and the benefits of swimming laps regularly are some of the most obvious: toning muscles and building endurance.
Pikes work your arms and abs by holding a position in the water. You’ll want to ensure you’re in shallow water where you can touch the ground for this exercise.
Aqua Jogging combines the cardio aspect of running without straining your muscles with impacts on hard surfaces. With the water just below your neck, begin to run as you would on land in 5-minute intervals.
Breaststroke and Butterfly Drills engage your core muscles while improving endurance and speed. If you’re comfortable with waves, consider doing this exercise in the ocean. One of the benefits of swimming in the ocean is that there’s plenty of space and no lanes to worry about, so you can practice these drills to your heart’s delight. Just ensure you’re not straying too far from shore and always have a partner with you.
These are just a handful of swimming exercises that you can practice during your next dip.
Should You Eat Before Swimming?
It’s important to give your body the fuel it needs before a workout, but you’ve probably also heard that it’s not good to eat before you swim. So which is true? While every person’s personal preference may differ, it’s recommended that you allow 2-4 hours before your swim following a larger meal and 30 minutes- two hours for a smaller snack. This will give you time to digest your food pre-workout so that your body can focus on the task at hand – supporting your swim!
Of course, you should also make sure you nourish your body after a swim too! Eating the right foods before and after your swim helps your body be at its peak performance as you work out and recover.