Swimming is an excellent low impact exercise helping to build muscle, develop your cardio-respiratory fitness and burn major calories. Because it is easy on the joints, it’s a perfect way to begin an exercise program if you are new swimmers, yet can provide even advanced athletes a formidable workout.
Avid swimmer, Jennipher Scoggins swims 5-6 times per week. She exclaims, “The cardiovascular benefits of swimming is quite impressive while being very easy on the joints. All ages and levels can reap the benefits of swimming.”
She adds, “ Swimming is very meditative. It’s just you, your heartbeat, and the black line at the bottom of the pool. It’s a great way to destress, get focused and enjoy the quiet without the noise of computers and the modern world demands. This is what I enjoy the most about swimming. Plus, It’s a great way to start your day.”
Swimming is a fantastic complement to other forms of exercise because it gives your body a break from the pounding on the pavement or gym floor. It actually is an excellent way to strengthen your core by working your abs, obliques, and lower back muscles as you maintain a streamlined position in the pool. Swimming also helps to tone the upper body as the water provides resistance as you pull through the water. Let’s not forget the power your legs must use to help power you through the water.
Scoggins comments, “If you’re a new swimmer, I highly recommend obtaining some swim instruction. Depending on how new you are to swim and how comfortable you are in the water, you may start with private instruction or join a local masters group.” She adds, “There are two masters groups here in Pensacola both lead by certified swim coaches at both Pensacola State College and University of West Florida.”
So what do you need to get started? Scoggins says, “The only gear you really need is a snug fitting bathing suit. Most pools have equipment you can borrow, such as kick boards and pull buoys. After you try some of the different type gear that’s available you might like to invest in your own.” A great pair of googles and swim cap are also good additions to your swim gear.
Leah Seacrest, Corporate Vice President of Fitness & Operations at REGYMEN Fitness, has over 25 years of experience in the fitness industry as a fitness instructor, director and studio owner.