Swimming is an excellent workout for women because it requires you to use every muscle in your body. Just staying afloat takes strength, which means you are getting exercise any time you’re in the water, whether it’s for a workout or purely recreation. Swimming is also gentle on your joints and bones. It’s not high-impact, and there’s less of a risk of injury. Not only do you strengthen all the muscles in your body; you also get a high-powered cardio workout. These are 3 swimming workouts that you can start on immediately.
Invest in a kickboard, or see if they are available at your local YMCA or community pool. As a prerequisite to swimming laps, you can burn calories and gain muscle by using the board to practice your kicks. Holding onto the board with your hands, extend your body behind you and kick so you move from one side of the pool to another. You can also practice jogging across the pool, either lengthwise or width wise. This will be easier than jogging outside of the water because you’re buoyant. However, you’ll notice that your heart and legs are working hard. Another great drill is the simple act of treading water. Start by doing it for 10 minutes and then work your way up to 15 minutes and 20 minutes.
One of the best things you can do for your heart and your muscle tone is to swim laps. Your laps don’t have to be perfect. Maybe the crawl stroke is the only one you know, or your breaststroke looks comical. That’s okay. As long as you are in command of the movement and going from one side of the pool to the other, you are creating a great workout for yourself.
Remember also that it’s not a race. While you want to be able to improve your speed and your number of laps as you continue to practice, don’t focus on how fast you’re going. Just try to complete the lap. Once you’re able to do one, try doing two. Keep increasing the number of laps you can accomplish. Take it at your own pace and experiment with different strokes when you’re ready.
Water aerobics will remind you of the aerobics classes you might have taken traditionally, but you’re trading in your leg warmers for a swimsuit. This type of aerobic activity drives up the heart rate, utilizes all of your muscles, but doesn’t have the shock to your knees, ankles, and other joints. You’ll work in the shallow end as well as the deep end, and sometimes you’ll use balls, noodles, and kickboards. Find a class at your local swimming pool, recreation center, gym, or YMCA. Water aerobics will raise your heart rate in a healthy way and assist in keeping your body lean and strong.
When you’re looking for a workout, there are several different avenues to explore. If you’ve never considered swimming, you might want to give it a try. You’ll get all the same muscular and cardiovascular benefits that you do with other types of exercise, but in this case you get to be in a pool, and you’re being careful of your joints, bones, and tissues. Use your own private pool if you have one, or find a community pool that allows you to try one of these swimming workouts.