Did you know that just one hour of swimming is equally as effective as running, but without any of the painful associated pressures upon your precious bones and joints?! It’s well and truly summer, and we’re so blessed on the Coffs Coast to have beaches, pools and creeks at our disposal, that it’s a shame not to use swimming as a means to build up our health and wellness all-year-round! In this blog we’ll overview the health benefits of incorporating swimming into your weekly routine, as well as a self-guided swim workout to get you started!
First, the why! Why should you swim, when there’s so many other kinds of outdoor exercise to pursue in summer? Our answer is that swimming is a safe, all-over body workout where nearly every muscle is strained and strengthened, as well as your heart and lungs, which will improve your capacity to live and love life for a long time to come! Shall we dive a little deeper?
Swimming is perfect for people who can’t, shouldn’t or don’t want to do high-impact exercises, but want similarly effective results! More energy in the day? Check. Muscle tone? Check. Weight loss? Check. Cardiovascular fitness? Check. There’s so much more than that too! Not only is it an effective exercise, but it completely avoids the long-lasting aches and pains on bones and joints that plague people post-workout in other kinds of exercise like running, rowing or weightlifting. Whether you’ve got arthritis, an injury, disability, or another ailment that make high-impact exercise not for you, then just keep swimming!
Body-improvements aren’t the only benefit, however! Time and time again you’ll hear that mantra, “mind and body” be touted by health professionals and Instagram yogi’s alike, and they’re not wrong. A healthy mind makes all the difference, and swimming is one of the most relaxing, peaceful forms of exercise there is. Not to mention the controlled breathing you need to employ in order to get into that swimming rhythm which will indirectly grant you the benefits often associated with controlled breathing exercises or mindfulness mediation. These are boons such as painkilling sensations, improved blood flow, a boosted immune system, reduced inflammation and anxiety (to name a few). It’s almost unbelievable how effective swimming is guiding into a state of flow!
For the Coffs professional you’ll find your posture benefits also, which makes it an excellent combatant against the back pains and other ailments which stem from the strain, stress and lacklustre ergonomics of modern occupations and desk jobs.
Our final bargaining point is the price-effectiveness! With local pool entry fees and passes rivalling all gyms and health clubs, the very fact that you needn’t invest in much gear at all beyond a basic kit-out of togs, towel, googles and maybe a swim cap or flippers (depending on how into it you get) is a huge bonus when compared to other sports that require a quality pair of shoes, tools or kit of weights to do even the basic form of it. For your convenience, here’s a link to the Coffs Harbour Swimming Pool’s prices!
Now you’re decided on whether or not swimming is for you, where do you start once you’ve hit the pool? While it completely depends on your background, habits, fitness level and goals, here’s a very general one-size-fits-all kind of workout which is an ample starting off point! Though we always recommend committing to classes or coaching to some degree to get more personalised advice.
Length of the workout: 800m
NOTE: one lap is 50m
- 4 laps: Warm up at a light to moderate intensity.
- 2 laps: Flutter kick on one side with lower arm extended and your ear resting on the arm. Your upper arm lies straight along your body. Kick from the hips, look towards the ceiling. Return on the other side. Moderate intensity.
- 2 laps: Flutter kick with arms out front or a kickboard. Keep your head in the water, breathing to both sides. Light to Moderate intensity.
- 4 laps: Swim freestyle or breaststroke at light to moderate intensity for the first lap, moderate-heavy intensity for the second and third, then a light-moderate intensity for a fourth.
- 4 laps: Cool down at an easy swimming pace.
Our final tip is not to swim alone! Whether in a class or with a friend, participating in new healthy changes with like-minds will keep you more motivated, accountable and disciplined than if you are to try by yourself. Set yourself up with success, and happy swimming! If it’s been a while since you’ve been swimming, why not dip your toes in with one of our Hydrotherapy classes!