Swimming is like second nature to me, at just 6 months old I learned how to swim at the local “Mommy & Me” class meaning I could actually swim before I could walk or talk… does that mean swimming is my first nature then? Is that even a thing? Anyway by age four I began noticing the synchronized swimmers practicing in the neighbouring (& terrifyingly HUGE looking) “big girl pool”. And although I don’t remember it I’m told that I looked up at my mom with love in my eyes & said “Mommy I want to do ballet in the water someday”. Little did I know that from then on I was destined for a childhood where my signature scent would be chlorine & a day wasn’t complete if I didn’t watch the sun rising from a pool. Swimming was an integral part of my youth & I’m forever grateful for the memories, friendships, & experiences that were forged over my ten year stint. Aside from the mushy the other extremely fabulous perk of the sport was the killer BOD that came with it. A body I wish I appreciated at the time because I’ve spent my entire young adulthood attempting to get it back (nearly impossible considering I’m up against the 28 hours/week of training I used to put in). I’m therefore dedicating today’s blog to my first childhood love: swimming (admittedly also a childhood hate at times… mostly love though) & the numerous & wonderful benefits that accompany it.
Health Benefits of Swimming
Now when most people are looking to get in shape, a pool isn’t necessarily the first thing that comes to mind. But let me be the first to tell you that it should be! There is no other workout that offers the perfect combination of calorie burn, metabolism boost, & muscle recruitment than a swimming workout. Health benefits are endless- here are a few:
- Builds Endurance with no Harsh Impact: Swimming is an awesome form of aerobic exercise that places no stress on the skeletal system. Also by engaging in aerobic exercise like swimming, you’re strengthening the most important muscle in your body: the heart!
- Increases Muscle Tone & Strength: I don’t know about you, but my favourite sport to watch at the Olympics is competitive swimming, not just because I have an appreciation for the hard work & determination that comes with the sport, but because Ian Thorpe (now retired.. sad face) looks incredible in a speedo… and I hate speedos. When swimmers repel themselves through the water, they’re doing so against water (which studies show is 12 times more dense than air) so every move made becomes a form of resistance training
- Improves Flexibility: I’m personally terrible at remembering to stretch after exercising & most people don’t take into account how vital stretching is to their workout routine. The benefit of swimming is that your body moves through a broad range of motion, helping muscles & joints to become loose & flexible.
- It’s FREE: this is perhaps the best reason to start swimming! Community pools will offer weekly (or in some cases daily) lane swim.. for free! Gym memberships can be hard on the wallet so it’s nice to know that swimming offers an incredible, full body workout with absolutely no price tag. Look up your local swimming pool on the web & search for their swim schedule. If you’re a bit more pro & looking for a challenge there are various adult swim clubs that you can join.