Your body was designed to be active. Sitting all day in front of a desk may be a modern necessity for your career, but it’s not what does your body good. Movement is essential to staying healthy, getting fit, and enjoying a long life.
There are lots of ways to get fit. Each has its pros and cons. Each appeals to different people. But is there one magic bullet, better than all others, perfect way to get fit?
Maybe not. But swimming comes pretty darn close.
Swimmers burn more calories than joggers during training sessions of the same length. That’s because one hour of intense swimming can burn over 700 calories. Spend the same amount of time jogging at a moderate pace and you’ll max out at around 600 calories burned.
Lifting weights, running, cycling, and other popular forms of exercise can put major strain on your muscles, bones, and tendons. But swimming is the epitome of a low-impact activity. Being in the water reduces the strain on your bones and muscles. So you don’t have to worry about a repetitive motion injury like you would with running or cycling.
Your heart and lungs work extra hard while you swim. That enhances both your endurance and your cardio fitness. If you’re training for any other sports, you’ll gain significant benefits from swimming. And according to the CDC, swimming “can decrease the risk of chronic illnesses.” Even more impressive, “swimmers have about half the risk of death compared with inactive people.”
Swimming is essential resistance training since you’re pushing against the water the entire time. Water resistance is over 40 times as strong as wind resistance, so it has a significant effect. You’ll develop strength in your arms while stroking, abs and back while stabilizing, and legs while kicking.
The constant movement in your arms while swimming builds muscles that you might otherwise ignore, especially when doing cardio. Your lats, deltoids, and traps all get a great workout while you’re in the water.
Swimming helps with core training too. To stay afloat and maintain balance, you have to engage your abs, glutes, back, and other deep stabilizing muscles.
If you don’t live near a body of water - or the weather isn’t conducive - find a local gym or club that has a pool. Keep in mind that swimming doesn’t come naturally to everyone and your form is very important to getting the maximum benefits. So consider working with a trainer - at least for a time - to help develop your form and ensure you’ve got a handle on all your swimming workouts.
Don’t ignore your nutrition either. Your body needs plenty of fuel in order to get fit while swimming. Follow a balanced diet with plenty of proteins and healthy fats. To help with this, a whey protein supplement is a great choice. You will also see improvement in your workouts if you use a pre workout supplement beforehand and the best recovery drink once you finish.
Already love to run, lift weights, or do HIIT training? No problem! Swimming will enhance your performance in those activities. So including it in your training routine is win-win.
Swimming may just be the perfect way to get fit and lose weight. Even if it’s only once or twice a week, finding time to do some laps in the pool can make a significant impact on your health.