Swim your way to fitness success!

Swim your way to fitness success!

It may come as a surprise, but running on the treadmill and lifting dumbbells offers only a portion of what a swim workout does. From toning your body to speeding up your metabolism, there are many reasons why you should consider factoring a swim session into your workout. Nassim Hamadache, our Pool Manager gives us his top six reasons to hit the pool. 

It maximises your cardiovascular fitness
Many people cycle or run to build up their cardiovascular fitness – but few realise that swimming is the ultimate aerobic activity. During a swim, your body requires more breath control compared to other cardio workouts, so there is an increased demand for oxygen, making your muscles work harder. Because of this, you’ll reap more benefits in a shorter amount of time. 

It helps maintain a healthy weight 
Just one hour of swimming can burn up to 500 calories. This revs up your metabolism, meaning you’ll continue to burn calories well after you leave the pool. As long as your swimming sessions make you out of breath and get your heart pumping, you will see the difference when you step on the scales. If you have a weight loss goal in mind, push yourself – try and increase the amount of lengths you swim each time you hit the pool. 

It’s a total-body workout
Swimming is the ideal sport for tackling everything from sculpting your back to toning your arms – all without having to pick up a weight. Rather than needing a plan to work specific muscles, each different stroke works to strengthen your entire body. 

It bulks up your muscles
As well as burning fat, swimming can also help build up muscle. In comparison to the majority of cardiovascular activities performed on land, swimming is shown to be the most effective way of increasing your muscle mass. This is because water is 12 times as dense as air, so working out in water provides a certain amount of resistance, which has a similar effect on your body to using a light to moderate weight on a resistance machine. 

It helps add a challenge your workout
Swimming several lengths of the pool helps to develop your core body strength as you are using all of your body’s muscles simultaneously. Even though the majority of effort when swimming comes from your upper body, if you integrate swimming with a float into your water workout, you’ll tone those pins and your bottom will become perkier – it’s a win-win situation. 

It’s the perfect endorphin boost  
You can try and argue otherwise, but jumping into a pool is refreshing. Have fun with it and enjoy the freedom of being in the water. Just one swim a week has been proven to lower stress and anxiety levels in adults. So if you’re worrying about that work deadline or a problem at home, hitting the pool is the ideal way to clear your head. 

The great thing about swimming is that it is the perfect exercise, irrespective of your ability. Even beginners will reap the benefits of hitting the pool, so there really is no excuse not to make swimming part of your lifestyle and take the plunge today. 

ymca | 29 January 2015