Us Aussies are world renowned swimmers. We adore the sunshine and salty waves as well as our pools! (minus the chlorine that burns our eyes sometimes). More than we’d like to admit, we were usually thrown into the pool by dad and told to swim… prior before we actually attended lessons.
We build more domestic swimming pools annually than any other country, we have 47 Olympic size swimming pools around the country, and Ian Thorpe lives here… he owns 11 World Championship gold medals #winning (not you Charlie Sheen).
Our backyard pools play host to some of the greatest games. Marco Polo and Submarine, Ship and Iceberg where at any point in these games you were the person catching the others, proved great stress and arguing that you did in fact touch the foot or catch the “fish out of water”.
What is more convincing is how beneficial swimming is for your health and fitness. Yes those countless hours spent diving, cannon-balling, pin dropping and blatantly falling into the pool accompanied by some simple strokes are well worth it.
Water is about 800 times denser than air, so you can work harder and burn more calories in a pool than out of it. Different strokes challenge different muscles, meaning you can choose where you tone up. And although you feel weightless in the water, coming out of it after an intense swim will tire you out and probably give you a better sleep at night.
Let’s get physical, top reasons why you should add swimming into your work out routine.
- Helps Your Heart – Swimming provides unparalleled cardiovascular conditioning, simply meaning, it gets your heart rate up whilst taking impact stress off your body.
- Builds Endurance – Cardio is what people run on a treadmill for. It can also be easily achieved outside of the gym, running on a footpath, swimming in an ocean pool, walking up a hill. You, know, being amongst the natural environment. A steady pace of swimming tones you in many places! Swimmers are able to swim longer than they can what they could sustain doing other activities. Being able to train for longer periods of time than running, resulting in more calories burned.
- Improves coordination, balance and posture – As there are four different strokes, you are constantly moving your body to a certain rhythm. If catching or kicking a ball alongside running isn’t your thing, swimming most definitely will be. Adding to this is the relaxing sensation you get from swimming. It’s individual, calming, and there are no whistles ringing in your ear.
- Increases Flexibility – A heated pool relaxes muscles, increasing flexibility and enabling important stretching. Have you ever wondered why a lot of sporting teams go swimming, or hop into ice baths after a big game to recover? After intense lactic acid-building endurance workouts, such as their sporting matches, swimming helps flush out toxins preventing muscle tightness and soreness the following day.
- Helps Asthma and Arthritis – The support of the water for arthritis sufferers allows less painful movements in affected joints as well as toning up the supporting muscles. For asthma, you are breathing in air near the surface of the water that is warmer and more humid than normal air. Swim training can increase the volume of the lungs as well as helping to develop good breathing techniques.
- Adventure – Swimming no longer needs to be done from within a community pool. There are always ocean pools near your local beach which are free! And what better way to start a morning that with the sounds of crashing waves to get you into your element.
As a swim instructor I’m always explaining to my kids the fitness benefits of swimming. What is rewarding to see are not only the skills they learn, but how to interact with the water in a safe manner. Swimming is essentially a life long skill. A significant one for us beach siders any where in the world. It’s not only simple and relaxing, but effective for mental and physical states.
Start making a splash today!