Workout Of the Week: Swimming!

The holidays are over and the dreary mid-winter days are now upon us. For those who love the winter months there are plenty of outdoor activities to enjoy and keep in shape, such as skiing/snowboarding, ice skating, snow shoeing and more. Of course, not everyone though loves to spend their time in the frigid air. For those who aren’t fans of the cold this can be a tough time. If you are one of those people longing for the warm months to return we’ve got a workout of the week for you! We’re talking about an icon of summer, tied together with childhood nostalgia! Swimming! Now I know if you are like us in New Hampshire the idea of swimming when the temperature is a chilly 20 degrees or worse seems pretty ridiculous, but we aren’t trying to get you to jump into frozen rivers. Many towns and cities have indoor pools at local gyms and we encourage you to try it out.

Swimming is one of the best workouts for the body and is beneficial for pretty much anyone. Swimming is especially good for those who are recovery from sport injuries or those who have physical limitations such as arthritis. Swimming is a full body workout that works every major muscle group in the body. It is also both a cardiovascular and strengthening workout, which is a combination that is hard to find among any other exercise. The best part of this workout is that with all of these benefits it is also considered a low impact workout. Swimming has the ability to work out your body without the harsh impact. This means it isn’t going to put stress on your joints like the impact of running does. This is why swimming is the perfect activity for those with ailments such as arthritis or weight limitations, athletes rehabilitating from an injury or those who just want to try something different.   Recover without stopping!

New to swimming and not sure where to start, don’t worry about it! For beginners the freestyle stroke is where you’ll want to start. It’s simple and not as strenuous as the aggressive butterfly stroke! You may notice Olympic swimmers doing flip turns when they swim but you don’t need to do then on your own free swim. We advise just touching the side briefly with both hands, turning, and kicking off with your feet instead. This way you save yourself from the risk of bumping your head against the wall! Another fear many people have are the dreaded speedos and swim caps. Don’t worry, if you aren’t comfortable you don’t have to go out and get the tightest speedo around, a normal bathing suit will suffice, and for women consider a sports bra top or a one piece. Also, it is totally up to you if you want to wear a swim cap. Speaking as someone with long hair that gets tangled easily, I like them and it’s easy to pick up a cheap one at a sports store. Most importantly don’t forget goggles, those are necessary to keep that chlorinated water out of your eyes.

Swimming can be both an incredibly fun and relaxing workout. As we get older many of us get stuck in boring gym routines running miles on the treadmill and neglect to switch things up. This can leave many of us loathing workouts or quitting all together. Make working out fun again! Another big change swimming brings is a relaxation factor. Many people find the absence of headphones and loud music replaced with rhythmic sounds of each stroke matched with breathing to be relaxing.

So this week we challenge you to try out something new and head to your local swimming pool! Always remember to keep your workouts fun and enjoyable! Check out the links below for some tips of strokes and water workouts!

Freestyle tips:

Water Workout: