Whether you are looking to stretch out your muscles or tone and get in to shape, swimming is the perfect exercise and therapy. Avid marathon runners often turn to swimming and aquatic exercise as a way to soothe aching muscles and relieve any soreness. Swimming is not only perfect for pain relief but it is a low impact exercise that can help keep you in shape and benefit your overall health.
Swimming allows for very little stress to be placed on your joints because in water, your body is mostly buoyant. What this means is that you get full range of movement without stressing out your joints. Aquatic workouts are often south by those who cannot partake in traditional exercise due to back or knee pain. Swimming also benefits those who are overweight or those recovering from an injury.
Individuals with arthritis, fibromyalgia and even asthma all benefit from swimming as a gentle and effective form of exercise because it gets the blood flowing to muscles and tendons without the pain of traditional workout methods. The resistance provided by the water is just enough to tone muscles and provides excellent cardio and strength training.
Not only does your body get a break from stress, but your mind can too as swimming has been proven to be a natural stress reliever. Regular swimming routines have also helped to improve sleeping patterns as they strongly promote relaxation. The movement of warm water over your body, whether in recovery or not, is soothing and relaxing. The massaging effect can decrease and even eliminate pains associated with injury or higher impact workouts.
Most people do not realize that swimming burns as many calories as a high impact aerobics class. Because it is gentler on the body, it doesn’t seem to be as much of a workout, but it definitely is. An average 30 minute swim can burn as much as 300 calories and you are not in pain afterward nor completely exhausted. When you are concerned with losing weight, but are not looking forward to harsh impact on your body, give swimming a try instead.
If swimming laps is not for you, there is always the option of water aerobics. The water helps to support your body as you exercise so you are not under as much strain. You can get in shape and get healthy all while having fun. The following exercises in water are great for improving cardiovascular health as well as enhancing your strength and tone.
- Leg lifts
- Lateral raises
- Water squats
- Water jogging
Water walking actually proves a more effective exercise than regular walking because the water gives more resistance than air. While waist-deep in water, walk around as you would on land placing your heel down first and following through with the ball of your foot. Do not walk on your tip-toes and keep your back straight and stomach muscles taught. This along with any water exercise is gentle but effective and will help you recover from high impact workouts or just keep you in shape.