If you are new to exercise, swimming is a great way to gently ease yourself in to being more active. It can help you to lose weight and tone and it is a good low impact exercise if you have an injury.
I still like to go a variety of exercise, as I think it's important to mix things up so I can't get bored. However swimming is one of my favourite forms of exercise because it not only is a good workout, but relaxing too. Whether you want to lose some weight, increase your fitness level, or improve your mental health - swimming has something for everyone.
Swimming for weight loss
If weight loss is your goal, then swimming can be a really important part of that. Although it of course depends on your weight and the type and speed of swimming you are doing, swimming can burn between 400-500 calories an hour.
Low impact exercise
Swimming is very low impact on joints, because you pretty much bounce and float your way through the workout rather than putting pressure on your joints.
If you have weak knees, perhaps from carrying some extra weight, then swimming is a great workout to start with.
Nobody is looking at you
Some people avoid going swimming because they don't want to be seen in a swimsuit in public. But let me tell you - nobody is looking at you! Everyone is worries about their own wobbly bits. Plus, unlike the gym when there are mirrors everywhere and you are on show the whole time, once you are in the water all people can see if your head gliding across the water.
No equipment needed
Unlike some other workouts, swimming doesn't require any special equipment. You can get some great value monthly swimming passes and then you just need a swimsuit, which can be picked up fairly cheap. No special shoes needed or weights etc.
You can still listen to music
For me, I need music when I workout. The tempo sets the bar for my workout and it keeps me distracted when I get bored. You can get some decent, and fairly cheap waterproof MP3 players, so you can have a nice swim and listen to your favourite tracks too.
It's a great core workout
I have never seen much results from core workouts like sit-ups or rowing machines before, but I did notice a difference with swimming. You hold your core when swimming and it's a good way to tone it up, especially after having a baby.
It's good for any age or ability
No matter what your age or fitness levels, swimming is for you! If your swimming pool has lanes, then go in the slow land is you aren't very confident, or push out of your comfort zone and go a few lanes over.
If you aren't a strong swimmer, or perhaps your never learnt to swim, then get yourself some lessons. Chances are your local swimming pool has adult swimming lessons a couple of times a week. There is nothing to be embarrassed about - it's never too late to learn to swim.
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