Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Workout Wednesday: Could Swimming Be the Perfect Exercise?

If you don't know me personally, you might be wondering about my nickname Mystic Merman.  Well, at Sunfood (where I work), we sell a lot of superfood.  Because we all eat superfood every day, many of us have adopted superhero names.  Due to my love of swimming and being in the ocean, my superhero name is Mystic Merman.

Ever since I can remember, I've always loved the water.  My mother took my brother and I (or more often we dragged her) to the beach on many summer days.  While other kids played in the sand, I spent most of my time splashing in the waves.  I always loved the silence and magic of being underwater and I became a great underwater swimmer in the ocean or in pools.  As I grew older, I became interested in bodysurfing, ocean swimming and free diving.  In fact, for me, there is no exercise I enjoy more than swimming.

Swimming has many benefits as a form of exercise.  By learning different styles and strokes, you can exercise nearly every muscle in your body.  The front crawl and the breast stroke are great full body workouts, but you can isolate legs and arms by using one without the other.  In addition to a muscle workout, swimming provides excellent cardiovascular and lung exercises.  Depending on how hard you push yourself, swimming can burn a lot of calories.

Other benefits of swimming that may not be as obvious are advantages over other forms of exercise.  Because of the nature of water, exercising in it has very little impact on your bones and joints.  It's the perfect exercise if you're overweight or suffer from arthritis or stiff joints.  Also, because your body is able to move more freely in the water, it's a great way to increase your flexibility.  I love spending time after a swim stretching my muscles in the water.  Additionally, swimming is a great way to keep from overheating when exercising.  This can be priceless when you are just starting out.  Nothing is more discouraging than feeling like you're going to faint from heat as you pound the treadmill.

According to Discovery Fit & Health, there are studies about swimming that suggest that it can improve your cholesterol, lower your risk of diabetes, reduce stress (it's a great meditation), and help you live longer.  With all these benefits, swimming just might be the best form of exercise out there.  So, do yourself a favor and start swimming a couple of times a week.  If you don't know how to swim, look into free or cheap swimming classes.  You'll be glad you did.  Be healthy!

Mystic Merman

No comments:

Post a Comment