Swimming is one of the best whole-body workouts you can do. Because you're horizontally suspended and need both your arms and legs to propel you in the water, swimming workouts get every muscle group involved. Water also provides natural but safe resistance, adding an element of gentle intensity. The benefits of swimming include increased endurance, better cardiovascular health, and improved muscle strength, core strength and balance. It's also an ideal exercise to add to a cross-training regimen if you want to challenge yourself with a more intense workout.
Some of the many different types of swimming exercise you can engage in include:
Free lane swimming: Your local recreation center will offer free lane swimming sessions which are open to the general public. During these sessions, the pool is separated into lanes, usually in both the shallow end and the deep end; you're free to get in the water and work out as you like in the lanes, performing your preferred swim strokes at whatever pace you're comfortable with.
Water walking or running: In shallow water, you can also walk or run rather than swim. This is an excellent workout, as it combines the cardiovascular benefits of walking and running with resistance; if you're looking to use swimming for weight loss, this will burn more calories than regular swim strokes, which are difficult to sustain for extended periods of time.
Water sports: Water polo and water volleyball are two of the most popular sports you can play in a pool. If you're interested, look for league information at your local recreation center.
Here are some tips to help you get the most out of your workout: