So many of us swam regularly as children, through swimming lessons and simply by playing at the pool. Somewhere along the way, swimming stopped being part of our lives.
Perhaps it’s time to start again. Swimming has a slew of benefits and is arguably one of the best, most efficient and most body-friendly full-body workouts available. You should always check with your doctor before starting any new workout, but if you get the thumbs up to try swimming, here are a few reasons we think you should give it a go:
Total-body strength training
Because of the natural resistance of the water, you’re working your muscles like a weightlifter with every stroke and kick.
If running or other high-impact activity is difficult for you, swimming is a fantastic alternative. The water is the ultimate cushion! It’s so low-impact, in fact, that many athletes who are injured in their primary sport use swimming as part of their rehabilitation. (We know someone who trained for a full 26.2 marathon using an aqua-jogging waistband in a pool!)
Cardio without the sweat
Swimming is a highly efficient cardiovascular exercise, working your heart and lungs through the total body motion and resistance. And, unlike other intense cardio workouts, you won’t even feel the sweat.
Feel like a fast, all-out effort? Hit the pool for some intense laps. Interested in some leisurely body movement with plenty of space for mental focus and meditation along the way? Swimming can do that, too. Choose from sidestroke, backstroke, breaststroke, front crawl – even the doggy paddle! As long as you do it safely, you’ll get benefits from whatever approach you choose.
As long as it’s okay with your doctor, there’s no reason to stop swimming. Ever. Swimming is an ageless sport that can be enjoyed no matter your stage in life. And it’s never too late to learn. If you aren’t comfortable in the water or want to improve your skills, a coach or trainer can help you get where you want to be.
P.S. Have you seen the St. Paul Athletic Club’s pool? It’s truly a work of art, and it’s unusual both for its elaborate tiling (beautifully restored from the original 1917 pool) and the fact that it’s located on such a high level of the building. Executive members have access to this stunning space, plus the outdoor pool at the University Club.