It’s summer and it’s hot, so it seems like a good time to write about the health and fitness benefits of swimming. Which is exactly what I did in my Health & Fitness column in the Aiken Standard this week.
Swimming is a great way to get in shape, build muscle, and to help you lose (and maintain) weight. Lap swimming is is about as aerobically demanding and burns as many calories as land-based exercise such as walking or jogging. (Obviously, it depends on the stroke you use and how fast you swim).
Since water is more dense than air, aquatic exercise is lower impact that exercise on land. This means that water aerobics, aqua walking or jogging, and resistance training using foam “weights” or webbed gloves can be done by people with conditions such as arthritis or for injury rehabilitation.
Even swimming leisurely or playing in a pool or lake can burn a substantial number of calories, so it is a healthy way to beat the sumer heat.
If you are interested in using your pool for exercise, you can find information about aquatic exercise in general here and links to suggested exercises here. You can learn more about aquatic exercise specifically for arthritis and fibromyalgia, too.