Swimming is an incredibly safe way to get fit, tone and lose weight for all ages and fitness levels. It is my favourite way to de-stress, workout and most importantly calibrate. Water is therapeutic and whether you’re an avid swimmer or just starting out it can be a refreshing way to reach your health & fitness goals.
7 benefits of swimming for health:
- Cardio conditioning, improve the condition of your heart as a muscle – anaerobic and aerobic combinations
- Toning – especially legs, back, arms and abs
- Great for asthmatics – regulates breathing, expands lung capacity, encourages full breathing rather than shallow
- Reduce weight-bearing stress on joints
- Perfect for pre, during and post pregnancy
- Fat burning
- Build strength in interval and resistance based training
If you’re regularly swimming and not seeing results in terms of weight loss, toning or improved fitness then take a look at what you do in the water. Mix up your strokes, change the tempo, join a swim squad or head for an open water swim to change the environment. All these elements help create combination training.
Here are my 5 top tips for making a splash for fitness:
1. Technique : Streamline your body position, increase stroke efficiency, don’t forget your feet are your engine. A good kick is essential. To swim efficiently you need to have a good technique. It’s worth paying attention to the quality of your training than time in the water. Use the time as you are building your fitness level to focus on technique and drills. It’s a great way to workout without realising it.
2. Train with a purpose: Hop into the pool with a plan or goal: Download a mini program or write down one of the workouts from my article in the Feb issue of Women’s Health & Fitness Magazine – there is a beginner, intermediate and a challenge box for regular swimmers and shortly a mini guide e-book available 1 March.
3. A quick dip is better than none: If you’re time poor then just do a quick up tempo 15 min swim. If you have children at swimming classes then jump in the adults or lane pool for your own training while their lessons are on.
4. Comfort: Select goggles that fit your face (they should sit comfortably in the eye area and stay on for a few seconds without the strap), a swim cap might not be glamorous but it protects your hair and keeps it out of your face while swimming, select a swimsuit or 2 piece that fits you well, is comfortable and always rinse it with cold water after you’ve been in the pool/ocean. Most brands have chlorine resistant fabrics now. I’m a fan of Hive Swimwear as they make great swimmers that stay on in the surf or the pool and their fabric quality is good value for price. Other classic brands are Speedo, Rival, TYR, VICI or go for a sporty fashion piece from Seafolly, Jets, Tallow or Roxy…For guys you want to check out Speedo, Rival, TYR and many more.
5. Friends!: Make a time to meet a friend to join you in the training and you can follow the program together. Don’t know anyone that likes to swim? Then consider joining an adults casual squad. Enquire at your local pool. On the other hand if you need time to yourself them swimming could be the one place where you can dissolve all your thoughts, calibrate your week and just switch off. Breathe and enjoy the feeling of the water.
More info? :
Read up: For a detailed 4 week swim program then pick up the Feb edition of Australia Women’s Health & Fitness Magazine and head to the SWIM YOURSELF SLIM article either in-store or for iPad . The ipad edition features a couple of technique videos on stroke as well.
Ask me: Swimming is a passion of mine and being in and under the water feels like part of my DNA. If you’ve got questions on fine tuning your fitness in the pool, how to find a good swim coach or just want to share your journey and get some motivation then I’d love to hear from you.
Other useful links
http://www.swimmersguide.com (find a pool near you anywhere in the world)
http://www.aquashop.com.au (for all things swim)
WANT TO SIGN UP FOR MY NEW E-BOOK: “SWIMMING 101 – A MINI GUIDE TO SWIM FITNESS FOR SUPER BUSY PEOPLE” THEN FILL OUT YOUR DETAILS HERE:
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