With the walls of an impending winter closing in around us, a pool will most likely not be the first place you think of when you’re looking to keep up your exercise routine throughout the cold season or are looking to tone up and lose weight before the next summer. But no other workout combines the benefit of melting off calories, boosting metabolism, firming and toning every muscle in your body without putting stress on your joints better than swimming workouts.
Just take a look at svelte toned form of swimming legend Stephanie Rice to observe the way water sculpts a trim beach body. You don’t have to be an Olympic gold medallist to get a fit and toned body, or even be a certain age – in a recent university study that compared fitness swimmers with non-swimmers, research showed that lean muscle and trimmer figures were found across all ages in the swimming group.
All you need are three key items – training swimwear, swimming cap and swimming goggles – and you have the same easy convenience as slip-on-your-sneakers running, no matter if the temperature has dropped to a new, wintery low or how dark the afternoons are starting to become.
The Benefits of Water in Your Swimming Training
The shaped silhouette of a swimmer is the result of an effective mixture of calorie burning and muscle recruitment that is sculpted in the pool. An easy, casual swim, like something you would do to clear out your thoughts after a long day, burns around 500 calories an hour without you even thinking about it. An energetic, brisk swim burns up almost 700.
This is where water training trumps almost any other exercise – because water is nearly 800 times denser than air, each time you move a limb propel yourself forward by kicking, stroking and pushing, it becomes its own resistance workout for your whole body. This engages your core, your arms, shoulders, glutes and legs.
Calories are melted off during swimming, and as you train you build a new store of lean muscle that continues to raise your metabolism long after you’ve wrung out your swimsuit and hung up your swimming cap. But the best part is that it’s also quite gentle on your body. Many of the common niggling injuries that are the result of high impact sports or exercise that puts pressure on your body will not get a second thought from regular swimmers, because water neutralizes gravity for you to become weightless and your joints to be relived.
To keep up your good habits all throughout winter, research prices for membership at your local indoor pools (indoor and heated is important!) and designate a few nights or mornings during the week to a good, leisurely swim. Invest in good quality, chlorine resistant swimwear, bring some body oil to smooth over your body after your swim, and excess winter kilos and dryness with be a thing of the past!