I haven’t been consistent about exercising lately, so last night I decided I’d get up early today and swim. I’m one of those people who needs to exercise early in the day, or it just doesn’t happen. I was home by eight a.m. after a great workout, feeling energized. I was aware of my muscles working as I swam each lap and I felt like I was really doing something good for my body. Above you see my goggles, swim cap and water bottle. All are important for comfortable lap swimming. It is especially important to drink water. You are exercising and perspiring even though you are in the water. Hydrating is always important. I wondered why swimming is so good for us, and decided to research it on the web. Here is what I learned.
- Swimming is a great way to improve your cardio vascular conditioning, especially while swimming laps.
- Longer, leaner muscles are a benefit of swimming. These are the same muscles that boost metabolism when worked.
- Swimming conditions the body, but also gives it a rest from more strenuous exercise like running, cycling and weight lifting. It also helps flush out toxins in the muscles after more strenuous exercise. It’s easier on the joints as well.
- Strengthening of the core is another benefit. While swimming we use nearly all of our muscles simultaneously. Approximately 70% of swim effort is upper body, and by incorporating a kick board and swim fins for some of your workout, you get a great leg workout as well. Swimming is also a good way to strengthen your endurance. When I swim routinely, I notice how my lung capacity improves. At one time I had to take a breath after every other stroke, but that soon becomes a breath after every third stroke with routine workouts. As I take fewer breathes, I am able to travel faster through the water. It was wonderful to be in the pool this morning, and I plan to make a habit of it.