Although the corona-chaos rumbles on, and some areas fall under tighter restrictions, pools remain open in the majority of areas throughout the UK for socially-distanced lane swimming.
As well as being great for providing a full body cardio workout and strengthening muscles, swimming is also mindful, mentally relaxing and good for the soul.
Here are six great reasons to add swimming to your weekly workout schedule and benefit both brain and body…
Tone up tone up!
Swimming is one of the best activities for toning your body, as nearly all of your muscles are used during a swim, especially if you vary your strokes. If you’re keen to tighten up your arms, your bum or your thighs, swimming really is the wonder workout!
If you’re concerned about your posture, especially after working from a laptop all year, swimming can help. Swimming can really help to strengthen your core, back muscles and shoulders, which, in turn, can help with your posture if it’s something you have been working on or worried about.
Going for a swim can take your thoughts away from the daily grind, unwind your mind and relax your senses – at the same time as keeping you fit and active. Not many workouts can do that! So if you are feeling a little frazzled or overwhelmed, swimming really is a great way to calm you down and make you feel less stressed. In fact, according to swimming.org, swimming for just 30 minutes, three days a week has been shown to lower stress levels, improve sleep patterns, and lower anxiety and depression.
The weightless feeling of water is relaxing and the motion of swimming can help with mindfulness, so try to visualise something calming and happy as you swim, and switch off your brain chatter to further boost your wellbeing.
Swimming is a brilliant way to stay flexible, and the twists, turns, kicks and reaching motions of the various strokes will all help to keep you supple. If you’ve had a baby recently, swimming is a good way to ease back into activity and regain your flexibility, as the water will support you and your muscles as you build them back up again after a few months off. Swimming is also a great workout for pregnant mums, as the buoyancy of the water will protect your joints as you move.
Although swimming is a lower impact exercise, it’s a cracking calorie burner. Expect to burn around 200 – 400 cals per 30 minutes, depending on your stroke. Website Swimming.org has a handy calorie calculator that tells you how much you’ll burn per swim, depending on time in the water and choice of stroke. If you are aiming to lose a little weight, don’t forget to vary your workout activities and eat a healthy diet full of fruits and veggies for maximum results.
According to our beloved NHS, regular swimming can reduce the risk of chronic illnesses such as heart disease, type 2 diabetes and stroke. With good health at the top of everyone’s agenda at the moment, adding swimming to your life is a sensible choice!
Make sure you find out if your local swimming pool is open because of the Covid restrictions, and please follow all safety guidelines and rules in the pool and changing rooms.