Swim Fast, Swim Far – The benefits of Swimming

As I mentioned in my earlier post, I am doing the Indoor Ironman at the gym at UW-Whitewater.  The swimming is always the most difficult part of the Ironman (in my opinion). Most people are not swimmers. It is hard! I would have to say that swimming is more difficult than running. Again, in my opinion. It engages muscles across your entire body.  Swimming burns a lot of calories, is easy on your joints, builds, muscular and strength endurance, and improves cardiovascular endurance. There are plenty of reasons to swim! Here are some more benefits of this activity.

Low- Impact

There is not ground impact when you are swimming. With running, the way your foot strikes the ground has an impact on your joints as well as the rest of your body. Swimming eliminates that.

Swimming can be done at any age

Any one of any age can swim as a workout. As our bodies age and change, some workouts can become really difficult. With swimming, it is easy enough on our body so we can do it regardless of our age.

Swimming builds muscle mass

All the swimmers I know are pure muscle. Their legs, arms, stomachs, pretty much everything. In a study of men who completed an eight-week swimming program, there was a 23.8% increase in the triceps muscle (the back of the arm). Read more here: http://www.medicinenet.com/swimming/page4.htm

And it is an alternative when injured

Whether you are a seasoned athlete, dedicated runner, or a beginner who is injured, swimming is an option to maintain your fitness level.  Swimming helps you stay in shape, and it’s even part of the rehabilitation. That’s because the resistance of the water makes the muscles work hard without the strain or impact that is experienced on land.

So there you have it! A little information on a great, difficult activity and sport. So go give it a try! Who knows, you could be the next Michael Phelps and not even know it yet!

-Brenna

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