Exercise is good for all of us, but swimming may be ideal especially if you have physical limitations.
Great question. So, swimming has many benefits. What I love about it is that it’s gentle on your joints and muscles, while you’re getting a great workout. You work all your major muscle groups like your shoulders, back, abdominal muscles, legs, and hips. The water evenly puts pressure on your limbs, so you’re not working one part of your body more than another. And it helps to build strength and can improve your respiratory muscles.
Research has linked swimming to a decrease in arterial stiffness. Arterial stiffness can be a risk factor for heart problems. If you have hypertension, swimming may help lower your blood pressure. It’s also a great choice if you have lower back pain, joint replacement, osteoarthritis, are obese and if you have any pain with typical weight-bearing exercises. The buoyancy of water lightens the load on your joints and can help prevent injuries.
Swimming looks easy but it can be frustrating so there’s a few things you should know:
1. If you haven’t exercised in a while, start off slowly. Try walking or jogging laps first. Then set a goal to swim one length across the pool.
2. Focus on proper technique as it’s easier to swim. If you’re not sure how, sign up for classes at community pools, gyms or the YMCA.
3. Be sure to stay relaxed when swimming. Tightening your muscles means you’ll sink lower in the water.
4. Aim to swim 30-minute sessions, 3-5 times a week. Be sure to take frequent breaks while you build your stamina up.
If you’ve been sitting around all winter being a couch potato, or have medical problems like heart disease, a recent injury, joint replacement, an arthritis flare-up, then you should check with your doctor first to discuss what kind of swimming program is right for you.