Ever considered swimming? It’s one of the most effective forms of exercise around. So what is it that makes all that wet tangled hair and chlorinated eyes worth it?
To start, swimming strengthens, tones and improves stamina. It’s also a terrific calorie burner, made all the more effective by water resistance. One session in the pool blasts through four times the amount of calories compared with running for the same duration. (No wonder you always feel a little peckish after a swim!)
While the water forces your body to work harder, it also supports it. Swimming is the epitome of a low impact sport. It removes all weight and pressure from your joints, so is perfect for those recovering from injury, illness or who are pregnant. It’s also great for strengthening the core, improving general body posture and can alleviate back pain in a way that many other sports can’t.
What’s more, swimming isn’t just about the physical it’s also thought to offer psychological benefits. According to a report by Swim England, just three half-hour swims a week can reduce stress levels, improve mood and help give a better night sleep.
So why not go for a dip in your local pool? Not only will swimming leave you feeling great, but it can be sustained all year round. Whether you’re on your summer holidays or at the gym pool in the middle of winter, you can still swim your way to a full body workout.
If you’re not sure where to start, check out the current issue of Women’s Health UK (August 2018) magazine. This provides a handy sofa-to-swimmer plan, which is aimed at those who are new or returning to swimming.
Lengths not for you but you like the sound of taking to water? Ever thought about open-water swimming? Year upon year the popularity of open-water swimming is growing. With many organised clubs across the UK, this might be an exciting option for the thrill seekers and those who enjoy the great outdoors. Joining a local club might be the perfect introduction.
Dive in and find your perfect stroke!