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Swimming & Exercise Combinations: What To Consider

What to Take Into Consideration When Combining Swimming and Exercise

If you’re looking to increase your physical fitness with a low-impact exercise that’s easy and fun, you might want to consider swimming. This is a great way to stay in shape, improve your range of motion and flexibility and boost your emotional health. These are some facts about combining swimming and exercise and what to consider when adding it to your activity.

Picture of a man doing intensive swimming. Swimming & Exercise Combinations:  What To Consider
Swimming As Exercise

What Is Exercise?

Exercise is a type of physical activity that gets the body moving, allowing both body and mind to strengthen. There are varying levels of exercise that range from low-impact to moderate to high-intensity. Some forms of exercise can help build muscle and strength while others can get you toned and aid in weight loss. They can also help fight off conditions such as heart disease, high cholesterol, obesity, diabetes, depression and anxiety. Exercise can also give you a boost of energy and improve your sleep and mood.

Swimming is one form of low-impact aerobic exercise that is very popular. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 2.5 hours of swimming per week can improve your health and decrease your risk of certain chronic illnesses.

What Parts of the Body Does Swimming Affect?

Because swimming is an aerobic exercise that allows you to get in your cardio, it works out numerous areas of the body. No matter what swimming technique you use, your shoulder and arm muscles, upper back muscles, lower back and abdominal muscles, deltoids, hamstrings and glutes all get a good workout.

The butterfly stroke is considered the most difficult technique in terms of exercise. This is because it works out multiple parts of the body. It’s demanding on your back, shoulders, arms, hamstrings, quads and abdominals. It requires good strength in the upper back, shoulders and arm muscles while the calves, quads and hamstrings help deliver strong kicks.

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The breaststroke gives you a great cardio workout and requires your shoulder, arm and chest muscles to propel you through the water. However, it can also give your hips added strength. If you’re not used to swimming on a regular basis, doing so for at least 20 to 30 minutes each day will help you build up your muscles so that they can get used to such movements. Initially, incorporating swimming as your exercise can result in certain muscles feeling sore. However, as you get used to it, you’ll feel good and no longer feel achy after a swim.

Overall, swimming allows you to burn calories, earn your cardio activity and hydrate your skin, hair and nails. All of these things are essential for your health as a whole.

What to Take Into Consideration When Combining Swimming and Exercise

If your goal is to combine swimming with other exercise, there are things to consider. You might want to start off with a low-impact activity such as walking or water aerobics. After you’ve built up enough strength and your body has grown accustomed to your regular swimming routine, you can move up. For example, weight training is a great exercise to build your resistance and tone up your body.

Obviously, you can’t have a weightlifting routine while in the pool. You might want to do your weight training exercises first and then go for a swim afterward. It’s a great way to get in your strength training and cardio. Depending on how the exercises make your body feel, you may want to switch things up and use weights some days and swim on your rest days. If you’re a beginner, you can get more benefit from going the latter route. It can help you improve your physical fitness and health, in general.

Swimming is one of the best activities to get your heart rate up and your blood pumping. It’s low-impact and doesn’t put excess strain on your body. It might be the best exercise you’ve ever gotten.

Written by Taylor McKnight, Author for HOTWORX


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