Swimming is one of the best ways to keep cool in the summer, but did you also know that it's one of the best forms of exercise?
Swimming burns tons of calories
Swimming is an amazing way to fit cardio into your workout routine without putting added stress on your bones, joints, and muscles, but it’s also a very effective way to burn calories and lose weight. Swimming for an hour can burn over 500 calories and is much less stressful on the body than going for an hour-long run.
Build strength and improve lung function
Water is denser than air, meaning you need to work harder to move through it. This provides swimmers with a unique opportunity for resistance training (just like when lifting weights) to help build up strength. This training improves your balance, bone health, and lungs! Healthy lungs can take in oxygen more efficiently, and because oxygen is an important source of energy, improved lung health means feeling less tired and keeping you alert!
Improve Mental Health
Ever heard of the runner's high? Swimmers have something like that too. While swimming, your body is constantly stretching, just like it would in a yoga class, and when you combine this with rhythmic breathing and the meditative effects of rushing water, it can have a calming effect. Therefore, lowering your stress.
With all these amazing health benefits, everybody should be using this time of the year to hit the water and give their freestyle a try. But even though swimming is so great for your body, it doesn't mean that you never have to hit the gym again, or ever worry about an injury.
When in the water, you’re working almost every muscle in your body, but most of that stress will be put on your shoulders, back, and core. Whether you are doing a few light laps of freestyle, or butterfly sprints, you will be completing hundreds of repetitive arm motions and shoulder rotations, and whether you’ve been swimming for years, or just trying something new, you want to remember how important it is to keep those muscles strong.
If you work on strengthening your shoulder, back, and core muscles outside of the water, then once you jump in, you can focus on perfecting your stroke and shaving down your time. And having strong deep core, shoulders, and back muscles can make a big difference in your efficiency, strength, and ability to avoid shoulder injuries while swimming.
On days when you’re not in the water, try working on these dryland strengthening exercises.