Swimming is an adaptable and low-impact exercise that ranks No. 2 on the list of most popular sports activities in the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Although you can reduce your risk of chronic diseases and premature death if you make swimming a part of your weekly routine, water-based exercise still has some pitfalls.
Reduce your risk of experiencing body strain and poor recovery time by monitoring yourself before, during and after every swim. Do a self-check before you swim to ensure you’re not too tired, chilled or overheated, recommends the Hospital for Special Surgery. Also, do a five- to 10-minute warm-up — such as a walk on the treadmill or some gentle laps — before you engage in more intense swimming. If you’re just getting started on a swimming regimen, don’t jump straight into the fast lane.
Start with shorter and slower swims and gradually build up as your endurance increases. Swim at least 20 to 30 minutes per day, set small and frequent goals and focus on your form and breathing if you plan to improve your endurance. Don’t neglect to improve your balance, increase your flexibility and build your major muscle groups. Do workouts such as yoga or a combination of stretching and weight training to stay strong and healthy for water workouts. Ask a trainer for help with technique if you aren’t sure where to begin.
Open Bodies of Water
Swimming with Children