When it comes to working out your entire body with the least amount of stress on the joints as possible, swimming is the hands down winner. This is why swimming has become trendy among people of all ages. The bradycardic response in babies automatically facilitates instinctive elements of swimming. Infants will hold their breath and open their eyes when placed under water. Although they won’t be able to swim on their own, they will naturally engage in swimming motions that may be related to a primal instinct to swim.
The Benefits of Swimming
There is nothing like the freedom of dexterity and buoyancy that is only possible with swimming. Astronauts train in water to simulate the effects of a zero-gravity environment. Because of the buoyancy, there is no weight on your joints. This makes swimming the ideal recovery exercise for people going through physical therapy or with joint problems like arthritis. Another key virtue of swimming is that it allows you to use all your muscle groups in natural full motions. When you are simply working out a set of select muscles on a weight machine, you don’t improve coordination and fine motor skills.
Swimming also improves your posture, balance, and cardiovascular health. It is fun to swim and, thus, creates a natural challenge to swim more efficiently by improving your form and overall fitness. It also has the added benefit of lowering stress levels. Some people will seep themselves in warm water simply to relax. Swimming increases strength and stamina while toning muscles. There are many places to go swimming: lakes, pools, rivers, oceans, and dams. The choice of venues provides social opportunities and chances to engage in competitive water sports.
Different Forms of Swimming
The other great aspect of swimming is that there are a variety of styles to keep it interesting. The first style that most people learn is a variant of the doggy paddle. You simply kick your legs back and forth in a scissor motion and cup your hands to paddle in a downward circular motion in front of you for added buoyancy. This is an easy way to start off swimming while keeping your head out of the water.
You can start out in more shallow waters and practice using a floating device for support while you learn the leg kick aspect of swimming. It is then possible to stay near the side of the pool, in case you get tired, while you practice perfecting your doggy paddle. The beauty of the doggy paddle is that you can stay stationary or tweak your body to move around while doing the strokes.
The double-arm backstroke is another fun and efficient method of traversing a pool quickly. If you learn the double-arm backstroke at a fitness club, you might just be ready to take out a pool loan to enjoy this method every day after work. When you do the double-arm backstroke, you simply let the buoyancy of the water carry you as you relax and lie on your back. You kick your legs with the same scissoring motion and motion your arms from above your head to your sides in a swift and seamless motion. Slightly cupping your hands will allow you to increase your water friction to push off more forcefully with each stroke.
The butterfly stroke is very hard to master. Competitive swimmers synchronize their body movements to swim the butterfly stroke for the speed. This method requires more bobbing of your face in the water and can be more difficult for people with sensitive eyes. It requires mastering the dolphin kick and a complex push, pull, and recovery stroke that starts out narrow, expands, and then retracts again. The arms move with synchronicity to obtain a strong forward motion.
Swimming is a great activity to enjoy, year-round. If you don’t know how to swim, it is advisable to first obtain professional swimming lessons before trying to learn on your own. The great thing is, once you know how to swim one style, you can practice the other methods alone without worry.