Swimming as exercise is an excellent way to get fit. Just swimming in the pool is great for all round fitness training. Kids love it, so encouraging an overweight child to swim can be great for their health. It is also good for pregnant women and the obese, because the water supports the excess weight. You should see your doctor of course before starting any fitness program, but the pool is a great place to work out for just about anybody.
In this article we will not look at swimming itself but at swimming as exercise that you can do in the pool. For these exercises, you should be standing in water up to shoulder level.
swimming as exercise for arms – To tone the arms, stand with feet apart and hands holding a ball. Arms are straight but without locking the elbows. Move the ball smoothly around in front of you in the shape of a sideways figure of eight, so your arms are going up and down while also moving from side to side. Do up to 10 reps.
The ball stays completely in the water at all times. Avoid this exercise if you have a shoulder injury. Don’t twist the body – only the arms should move.
Toning the waist – Stand with your back against the side of the pool and arms stretched out along the rim to support you. Bring the legs up and stretch them out straight in front of you. Slowly move the legs round to right and then left, keeping the back firmly against the wall. Do up to 10 reps.
Toning the legs – Walk on the spot in the pool. Step up and down, stretching each leg out as it goes down, and pointing the toes. Swing the arms back and forward too. Keep the movement smooth and give the arms and legs a really good stretch each time. Repeat for 2-5 minutes.
Overall body fitness: jumping jacks – There are many swimming exercises for overall body fitness, giving a good cardio workout, but one of the best is jumping jacks. This is a tough exercises even on land – in the water it is harder, so if you are not fit, build your resistance with the previous exercises before adding this one to your workout.
To do a jumping jack in the water, start with your feet together, flat on the floor of the pool, and hands by your sides. Bend your knees and then jump up as high as you can, bringing your arms up out of the water to make a star shape. Land with feet apart and knees bent, then bring the arms back down and bring the feet together. Repeat up to 10 times.
Relax! – At the end of your workout, begin your relaxation by floating on your back in the water. Spread arms and legs to keep you afloat. You will find that the pool is a great place to relax and wind down after your swimming exercises.
Swimming as exercise is a great way to stay in shape and is a great low impact workout. Some of the great reasons to exercise in the water is that it is very low impact and all your muscles are being worked at once. There are a couple of ways as well that you can look at swimming as exercise.
Swimming can burn anywhere from 200 – 650 calories an hour. Compare this to running where the amount would be 600-800 calories an hour and you can see that swimming as exercise is a great calorie burner.
Not only this but as you can see above there is a lot of muscle toning going on. When you bike, walk, or run you are using the lower part of your body while swimming, being done any time of year will work all the muscles in your body.
So it is really time to look at swimming as exercise call a pool and go today.