Tied to a specific routine to achieve your #fitnessgoals? That’s a great way to live a healthy, balanced life. But let’s be honest once and for all – physical activity is beneficial to your optimum health but the concept of waking up to the same, old exercises (with the same pace and reps), as well as working out in the same places every single day can feel a bit tedious and boring. Ergo, it’s a good thing to escape your usual workouts and do something new, refreshing and challenging every once in a while – like hitting the pool.
Needless to say, swimming is a must-try workout for everyone, from fitness buffs to folks who can barely lift a bucket of water. To break it down, here are the top six reasons to incorporate swimming into your daily workouts.
1. Swimming goes easy on your joints
With no going-jarring motions and no trauma of weight-bearing joints to worry about, swimming is indeed everyone’s ideal sport. The low-impact workout provides everyone, even the disabled, elderly, and pregnant women, a chance to get fit despite physical limitations. The magic is in the water. The buoyancy lets vigorous cardio and muscle-building activities to do their work without the pounding forces on your body.
Aside from swimming, some of the exercises you do on land, like bicycle, squats, jumping jacks, and jogging, can have a greater impact when they are executed in the water since it is denser than air. For folks who are guilty of having a sedentary lifestyle (I raise my hand), swimming is the best activity to move those underworked muscles and get a leap to a healthier lifestyle.
2. It is best for cross-training
Take a break from your usual gym, road, or studio workout and get ready to hit the pool.
Swimming is great for cross-training, or engaging in two or more types of exercise in order to maintain and improve fitness. It is a good alternative to certain high-impact activities, like running and cycling, if you’re trying to recover. In fact, even the best runners and fitness enthusiasts need break for their injured and overworked hips, knees, and ankles.
Since the activity provides an all-over body workout, you’re able to work the same muscle groups as well as the neglected muscles. It can also spice up your training routine while leveling up your performance.
3. Stronger core awaits
Working your core? Try to skip those repetitive crunches and sit-ups every once in a while and turn to swimming. When you swim, your upper body works hand in hand with your lower body, which builds stronger core muscles.
It’s also important to take note that the water provides 12-14 percent more resistance than air as if you’re surrounded with weights. This means you’re forced to get involved in creating forward momentum. It also challenges the muscles that are harder to engage on land.
Aside from giving you great-looking abs, a stronger core also boosts your metabolism and improves your balance.
4. It makes you more flexibile
Apart from being a calorie-torching cardio workout, swimming also increases your flexibility, which helps safeguard you from injuries. The activity stretches and lengthens your body – and this is something your body probably doesn’t do every day.
You can use swimming as a cool-down exercise after a vigorous endurance workout like weightlifting, cycling, or running. This will help flush toxins built up in your muscles and prevent cramps and stiffness the following day.
5. It’s good for your heart
Swimming doesn’t just burn calories and tone your bod. Let’s not forget that it is also one of the best exercises for your heart health.
Getting immersed in the water allows your body to learn a new breathing technique which makes your heart muscle to grow stronger. According to Earl Walton, a swim coach and head coach at Tailwind Endurance in New York City, you can force your heart and lungs to process oxygen more efficiently by expanding the depth and volume of each breath.
And since it’s a low-impact activity, a lot of people find it easy to swim for a longer period of time, thus giving them enhanced heart conditioning.
6. Swimming induces good vibes
Stressed out? Maybe all you need is to wear your swim cap and goggles and have a quick dip. Swimming and immersing yourself in the water allows you to relax and rejuvenate.
Scientifically speaking, the activity releases endorphins, the hormones responsible for making us feel good. Swimming also boosts your confidence and alleviates fear and anxiety. Learning it is the first step to feeling empowered. You’ll feel better as you hone the skill. Then the motivating feeling goes on and on. You’ll start getting addicted to it with every lap better than the other.
Author Bio: Carmina Natividad is one of the writers for Swimprint, a go-to shop for swimming enthusiasts, specializing in swim caps in the UK. While she’s fascinated in writing articles focused on sport fashion, health, and wellness, she swears to never give up pizza.