It has taken longer than usual, but the weather is finally starting to warm up and become spring/summer-like. With the increased temperatures and the return of the sunshine most people find that the idea of working out indoors is less than thrilling. Who wants to get all sweaty running on a treadmill inside when they can get all sweaty going for a run outside? Of course, getting in a thorough workout without the help of gym equipment can present a bit of a challenge, so why not just go for a swim?
Swimming, like the rowing machine I wrote about before, works your entire body. Swimming works your cardiovascular system and increases your flexibility, your posture, your endurance, and your muscle strength all at the same time. The best part about swimming is that it doesn’t overwork your heart, but it helps your body use oxygen better. Think about it—even a slow leisurely swim makes you use all of your muscles, even if the movement is low impact. The water holds your body in perfect posture and even just playing in the water will work your cardiovascular system.
For further incentive to take up swimming consider the following:
- To burn around 500 calories you can either go swimming for an hour or attempt to run six miles in sixty minutes. Which sounds like more fun?
- There is less risk of injury with swimming because you weigh less when supported by water and because you are buoyant and your weight does not have as much impact on your connecting tissues or bones.
- Swimming can reduce high blood pressure, which lowers your risk for stroke or heart disease.
- Swimming is relaxing because it allows oxygen to flow more freely to your muscles and forces you to regulate your breathing.