Looking for swimming tips? The first one is get out there and do it! Swimming is widely considered as the best form of exercise – and this might just be so, considering its numerous benefits for the whole body. It makes use of almost all major muscle groups, eliminating the need for separate muscle exercises. Swimming also exercises your heart and lungs – which gives you a good aerobic and cardiovascular exercise as well. Let's find out why it is so helpful and some tips on how to maximize your workout!
Swimming does not only provide benefits to the muscles of the body, but also conditions the cardiovascular system. Regular swimming (at least three times a week) increases the ability of the lungs and heart, keeping them stronger. The body begins to use more oxygen, and you therefore, will be able to train longer and stronger. After several weeks of training you will become stronger allowing you to have more endurance for everyday activities.
Water provides resistance that’s 12 times more than air – this means that water basically acts like a full set of weights. The resistance on your body tones all the muscles of the body that move, helping it become toned and strong. This means that your back, shoulders, hips, legs, abs and gluteal muscles work twelve times harder than you would if you were simply walking or jogging on land. The resistance provided by water is not strenuous at all, since water cushions the muscles and keeps it safe from harsh impact. Plus a gym targets the core muscle more intensely than other core programs like pilates.
Swimming is advisable for people with injuries and people afraid of getting injuries because it is done in an environment that supports the body. Thus, swimming is virtually an injury – free exercise. It helps rehabilitates injuries and improves flexibility without stressing the joints. Individuals who are overweight can also safely exercise without putting much pressure on their knees. Some overweight individuals may find it tedious or even painful to do simple and light exercises such as walking. Swimming makes it easier for them since it takes the weight off the muscles, yet continues to exercise them.
Swimming is also good for the elderly. Older individuals or people with arthritis or musculoskeletal problems may not be able to do high impact activities as it increases the risk for pain and injuries. Swimming is a low impact activity and can be done by people who have joint strain. It’s good for all fitness levels.
Swimming moves all the major muscles of the body – thus it burns more calories as opposed to walking or jogging. Of course, it’s important to understand in order for swimming to be effective as a weight loss method, you will still need to balance your diet or consume less calories than you burn. With the proper diet, swimming can be a great way to stay fit and lose weight. Many people swear that swimming is a key way to get skinny fast.
All doctors recommend pregnant women to try mild exercises during the course of their pregnancies. Swimming is an ideal exercise for pregnant women as it effectively trains their backs and torsos. Pregnant women need strong backs in order to carry the weight of their bellies.
To leverage the time swimming, we have provided a list of the best swimming tips below that will help you maximize your time and increase the results.
Swimming Tip #1: Join a gym with a pool!
First, find a gym or fitness club with a pool if your gym does not have a pool! Swimming must be made into a habit, and easy access to a pool is a MUST! It will make you so much more likely to swim if a pool is within easy access.
Swimming Tip #2: Invest in swimming lessons!
Swimming is a really good form of exercise but if you don’t know how to swim well or at all it is worth the time and money to invest in swimming lessons to ensure proper technique and enhanced benefits. This may be one of the most important swimming tips – it’s never too late to learn how to swim or to improve. Many gyms or clubs with pools offer swimming classes. When you know the basics, you can start with at least three sessions a week and increase to up to five days a week. Enjoy and have fun keeping fit without the muscle aches and the potential injuries on the side.
Swimming Tip #3: Get a book on swimming!
When I was in college, I was poor, like most students. My university did have a pool, but I barely knew how to swim! So I bought a great book that teaches you the basics of swimming. I never thought it would help because, well, it was a book after all. But reading the book was insanely helpful, and it was jam packed with swimming tips and tricks, including guidance on things that helped me improve my swim strokes right away. I recommend Total Immersion: The Revolutionary Way To Swim Better, Faster, and Easier if you know the basics but are having trouble progressing or are stuck in a plateau.
Swimming Tip #4: Goggles are as important as air!
Unless you are one of those rare people that enjoy chlorine in your eyes as you swim, you will want to head our advice and buy GOOD quality goggles. This tip is important because if your eyes become irritated when swimming it will affect your entire swimming experience. My favorite goggles are not expensive and hold up great are these Speedo Hydrospex Swimming Goggles. One thing that sets them about from others is the use of the same material throughout the goggles, which is much more comfortable - especially the connector that sits on the bridge of your nose. Many goggles use hardened plastic there which can scuff your nose, which will not feel well when the chlorine comes into contact a cut!
Swimming Tip #5: Buy quality swimwear and gear!
We recommend investing in good performance quality swimwear that helps your swimming experience. Designer, boutique and cheap swimming apparel can reduce your performance in the water. Plus poor quality fabrics can often degrade faster thereby actually costing you more! As mentioned above, you'll also want to invest in a good pair of goggles from a reputable brand!
Swimming Tip #6: Warm-up!
Warming up helps your swim performance! A few glides in the water or relaxed swimming strokes can help awaken your muscles, spine and body so that they are prepared ahead for your swimming workout. A bonus is that it will get you warmed up much faster! (I hate cold pools!).
Swimming Tip #7:Check swimming pool schedules!
A number of times I get excited to visit my pool and spend time swimming. But I have had a number of times where I drive to my gym and then the pool is occupied by kids swimming lessons or is closed for a group fitness class. I then miss my swimming time. Check ahead to make sure the swimming pool is open and available - a gym's website should have a schedule.
Swimming Tip #8: Wash your swimming gear after each use!
Besides showering after each swim because of chlorine, you clothes will also need to be frequently washed so they do not prematurely break down from the chemicals used to keep pools bacteria levels low. This is especially important if not using quality swimming clothes and gear (see tip #5)!
Swimming Tip #9: Store clothes correctly!
I used to put my wet swimming clothes and sandals in plastic bags - every so often I'd forget to take them out to fully dry. The smell is horrific! It's important to dry your swimwear and gear as best as possible, but even with the use of tumblers clothes are never fully dry so it's important to store swimming trunks and suits in a separate bag or container. I still have nightmares when I left my wet sandals in a plastic bag for three days in my gym bag! Make sure you always take the wet gear out!
We love this bag by Speedo that has ventilation areas to help dry clothes out - great for those people like myself who can forget to take wet clothes out period!
Swimming Tip #10: Swimming caps are not only for pros!
I used to think swimming caps were overkill but between the chlorine in the water that can dry out your hair and scalp, and the additional drag (especially with long hairstyles), a swimming cap can really help! They are not expensive at all and are worth a few bucks - we like this swimming cap.
Swimming Tip #11: Foggy swim goggles?
As mentioned in tip #4, it's really important to invest in a good pair of swimming goggles. Cheaper ones will not prevent fog, but even good ones eventually will get foggy. First, never rub the lens with your fingers. All swimming goggles are treated for fog when they are made but will eventually lose their protection. To help restore their anti-fogging abilities purchase an inexpensive bottle of anti-fog spray. Be sure to let the application dry before using - anti-fog spray and your eyes do not mix well.
Swimming Tip #12: Mix up routines to keep your body challenged!
It's easy to become comfortable with the same old routine. While swimming works out many muscle groups and areas - you should always vary your swimming strokes. This ensures you are hitting the right areas regularly.
Swimming Tip #13: Buddies make everything better!
Swimming with friends makes everything more fun. And like with weight lifting buddies - swimming with a partner can force you to keep up your activity levels. The social aspect is also great and a partner can help monitor your forms and offer tips.