Swimming is a great way to keep yourself fit and healthy, and what better time to take up a new hobby than the New Year? If you're looking to shift a few extra pounds after the holidays but aren't a fan of the gym, swimming is the perfect exercise for you. Swimming can help to burn calories and speed up your metabolism.
This low-impact yet high fat-burning sport is fantastic as it's suitable for individuals of all ages and abilities, including pregnant women and the elderly.
For starters, swimming is a fairly inexpensive sport as it doesn't require fancy equipment, and in most cases, you only need the essentials such as a swimsuit, swimming cap and goggles. It's suitable for everyone, and even non-swimmers can soon be transformed into great swimmers, as there is an abundance of swimming lessons available for all ages at many leisure centres across the UK.
Swimming also comes with a number of heath benefits, including:
Improved overall health
Regular swimming can help to reduce a large number of chronic conditions including heart disease and Type 2 diabetes, as it helps to strengthen your heart and keep your weight under control.
Although swimming is a low-impact form of exercise, it will still give you a total-body workout, which means it's ideal for even the un-fittest of people.
Swimming allows you to exercise all the major muscle groups and is a great way to tone up, as it can strengthen your core, sculpt your back and tone your arms, all at the same time. Swimming also strengthens your heart and lungs, making it a fantastic form of cardiovascular exercise.
Whereas some forms of exercise can be harmful to the joints, swimming is a joint-friendly sport and is in-fact recommended to individuals who are recovering from an injury, as it helps to build strength and aid sore or damaged joints.
Swim Yourself Fit
You'll never get bored of swimming as there's a range of different exercises you can do in the pool. If you're looking to keep things fresh and exciting, here are several exercises for you to try:
Any time between 1-3 minutes is enough to help you burn sufficient calories and this is a great form of cardio. You could also try jogging backwards as it engages more muscles in your legs and back than jogging forwards, meaning better results.
Core toning with your kickboard
Simply hold the kickboard in front of you at a 90 degrees angle and rotate your body with the kickboard in the water. Make sure to keep your legs still, as this forces your core muscles to work hard as it keeps you upright.
These will allow you to shape your thighs without injuring your knees, as exercising in the water is kind to the joints.
Another way to tone both your inner and outer thighs - simply shuffle side to side in thigh-deep water and feel your leg muscles being worked.
Beach Ball Workout
This is a great way to tone your arms and shoulders, and doesn't require throwing or catching the ball. Trying to submerge a floating ball is a great way to target your upper-body muscles.
These are a great way to firm up and are such a subtle form of exercise that no one will even notice! Stand in chest-deep water with your palms open and fingers spread, then simply move your arms back and forth and up and down.
Are you going to add swimming to your fitness routine this year?