It’s summertime, and that means a lot of people are enjoying time in the pool, river or lake. Minnesota winters can be cold and snowy, but come July and August, the temperature heats up and people flock to bodies of water for relaxation, fun, and exercise. And, of course, to cool off, too!
Can you “swim your way to health?” Yes. Swimming is an aerobic workout that works well for those who like being somewhat unshackled from the constraints of gravity. When you’re floating in the water, it’s almost like your light as a feather because you’re only feeling ten percent of your body weight. It’s not a load-bearing aerobic exercise like running is. Being in the pool means pressure is uniformly distributed– it’s “easy” on the body.
If and when you run or bike, it’s all about your lower body, right? Swimming, however, works more of your body’s muscle groups, including your core and upper body; it’s ideal for working the muscles of your middle back and upper arms.
For those who have back problems, swimming is good because your body is in a horizontal pose, which is better than, for example, the hunched over position of being on a bicycle. Swimming can also help improve your posture.
Have you been feeling lethargic? Try swimming to boost your energy levels. Not only does swimming get your heart pumping and blood flowing, but it also burns calories and fat. Have you seen swimmers’ bodies? They’re often quite attractive! Meanwhile, time in the pool helps a person reduce stress and feel better about life. That’s because swimming releases endorphins. You also focus on rhythmic movements and breathing to the point where it almost becomes meditative. Some people feel like their time in the pool is a much needed break from the noise and craziness of the world– a chance to tune everything else out and just focus on their body, mind and spirit.
Whether you’re in the shallow or deep end, with goggles or without, a great swimmer or not, time spent exercising in the pool ultimately makes you look and feel better. Try taking a group class at your local indoor/outdoor pool if you’ve never done so before– it could improve your life. This is the year that you should start to swim your way to health.