When we think of cardiovascular exercise, most of us walk, run or cycle. But as the weather heats up this summer, why not beat the heat with some laps in the pool?
Swimming is an all-round workout, contributing to aerobic fitness, muscle strength and endurance as well as a good way to increase calorie expenditure and maintain muscle mass. It’s a fantastic supplement to your resistance training activities. The water supports your bodyweight so when you’re in the delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS) zone and feel a little stiff a few days after your gym sessions, the pool is the place to be! Swimming is also a low-impact activity, meaning it reduces the compression on your joints which can be good for people who are injured or those of us who don’t like high impact activities such as running. Swimming is also beneficial for individuals with chronic conditions such as arthritis. If you’re a fitness enthusiast you can challenge yourself with HIIT once to twice a week in the pool, but no matter your age or fitness level- swimming can be advantageous for everyone.
Swimming technique can take some time to perfect, but don’t worry. Most aquatic centres offer swimming lessons or have Masters Clubs for anyone over 18 to engage in beginner, intermediate or advanced swim sessions where instructors can provide you tips on your technique. Not interested in joining a club? You can still make your sessions social by swimming with friends or family- everyone loves a bit of friendly competition!
Some handy training session tips:
- Always complete a warm up and a cool down
- Train with a mixture of distances and strokes
- Keep a training log and record your lap times or distances to keep track of your personal bests
- Progress by increasing frequency, intensity and duration over time
- Try incorporating kickboards, fins, hand-paddles and buoys to add variety
Adding swimming sessions to your weekly physical activity routine is a perfect way to reap the rewards of a varied exercise program. Don’t forget, the staff at Absolute Balance are more than happy to assist with any questions you may have, you can send us an email to email@example.com or visit the website www.absolutebalance.com.au for more information.
Good luck and have fun!
Bianca Dobrich (B.Sc. – Human Movement, Grad Dip. Exercise Rehabilitation)
Accredited Exercise Physiologist (AES, AEP) (ESSAM)