Swimming provides a range of health benefits. As well as allowing us to work our heart and lungs, increase flexibility within the joints and strengthen a variety of muscles, the relaxing, almost meditational nature of swimming can also lead to a greater sense of mental wellbeing. Here we explore the health benefits and reasons for including swimming in your weekly fitness regime.
As we become virtually weightless in water, our joints are given a rest from the stress usually exerted on them and much less strain is placed on the body. Research carried out at the University of Virginia found that when a person is submerged up to the neck, water can reduce body weight by up to 90%. This reduction of pressure on the joints significantly reduces the risk of injury during exercise.
Most of us would agree that certain land based sports, such as running, often lead to a feeling of aching or stiffness within the joints and muscles. Swimming, on the other hand, can help to ease pain as the pressure is removed from the load bearing joints. For this reason, having a good pool fitness regime is exceptionally useful for those who find land based exercise too strenuous or painful, perhaps due to existing health conditions or previous injuries.
As well as helping to build endurance, physical strength and cardiovascular fitness, swimming is widely believed to help reduce stress and often provides other psychological benefits. Swimming and pool fitness can also serve to improve posture, and a good pool fitness regime can result in a stronger, leaner physique.
Exercising within your pool is not limited to swimming. Water workouts are used by people of all ages and of all levels of physical fitness. Water workouts combine many essentials elements of fitness, including cardio respiratory endurance, flexibility and muscular strength.
As well as aqua aerobics, there are several types of pool fitness workouts that you may wish to consider. To look into learning the techniques to use in your own pool, you may wish to speak to your local leisure centre as many classes are available nationwide. You could also consider purchasing a DVD or self training guide, many of which are available online.
Below is a brief description of just a few of the popular pool fitness training programmes you may wish to look into:
Not everyone has the space for a pool long enough to swim full laps, but there is a solution.
The Badu Counter Current unit will do exactly what it says. It will produce a stream of water that is strong enough to swim against so that, effectively, the swimmer stays stationery relative to the pool no matter how hard they swim.
A pump draws water in through many openings located around the back of the nozzle housing before jetting it back into the pool as a powerful stream of up to 85 m³/hr via a directional nozzle. On built in models, the jet nozzle swivels 60° in each direction allowing the stream of water to be adjusted to suit individual swimmers requirements. The jet housing is produced from high quality stainless steel to create an eye-catching feature within the pool.
A Badu Counter Current unit will let you exercise effectively in even the smallest of pools.
Is swimming part of your fitness regime? How do you use the pool to relax and unwind? How have you got on? We’d love to hear from you. Use the comments box below to tell us about your own experiences.