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Swim Not Gym

It's a new year and it's that time when we're all thinking of getting fit and signing up to the gym or forcing ourselves to get back to the gym. But for many people this idea fills you with dread, pounding the treadmills or lifting weights doesn't make you feel good or doesn't maintain your interest for very long. If you sit firmly in this camp, then why not switch it up for 2020 and try a new way to workout - swimming.



Fun for all Ages

One of the great things about swimming is that it is ideal for people of all ages. If you're young and looking to get into fitness, it's the perfect way to start as intensity and difficulty can be as hard or as easy as you decide.

Or maybe you're a young parent looking to fit in workout time around your family? Swimming is an activity the whole family can get involved with so you can take the kids along and get the whole family fit and healthy together.

Perhaps you're slightly older and thinking that the gym is a bit too much, but you want to stay in shape? Then take a dip as swimming is ideal for reducing the impact on your joints whilst keeping you fit.


Fantastic Health Benefits

Swimming also has several benefits for your health that you may not be aware of. NHS Choices states that it can help with a number of chronic illnesses such as heart disease, type 2 diabetes and even strokes.

Or if you suffer from arthritis, swimming regularly is a great exercise choice as 90% of your body is supported in the water and pressure is evenly distributed so it reduces weight-bearing on your joints in ways other forms of exercise do not. 

Not only does it distribute the pressure, but muscle usage is also spread throughout the body. Whereas with running or cycling when you are mostly using your legs, swimming requires you to use many different muscle groups so it builds muscle strength in all areas.

Finally, swimming as a form of exercise is helpful to your respiratory system due to the way in which it makes you breathe. explains that when running or cycling your breath is usually a shallow inhalation followed by a forceful exhalation. Conversely, with swimming, you breathe in quickly and deeply and let the air trickle out due to the submersion of your head as you swim. This aids in strengthening your respiratory muscles and prevents the alveoli in your lungs from collapsing.



Look After Your Mental Wellbeing

 Health isn't just about your physical appearance and body, it's also important to take care of what's going on inside and how you feel. We all experience the stresses of daily life and swimming one of the ways you can look after your mental health. It has been shown to lower stress levels, reduce anxiety and depression, and even improve sleep patterns.

It can also be a fun social activity either by swimming with friends or by joining a swimming group to make new friends. And it doesn't have to be a lane swimming or competitive swimming group, there are other great swimming groups you can join such as water aerobics.


Make Your Workout Smarter not Harder

With other forms of working out, you may feel very sweaty and exhausted at the end of a session. However, with a swim, the water around you cools you down so you never feel sweaty, and according to Swim England, 30 minutes swimming is equivalent to a 45-minute workout on land. Effectively you workout for less time but with a greater benefit.


So grab your swimming costume or trunks and head down to the pool (or outdoor swim spot if you're feeling brave this January!) for a fun and effective workout that will leave you feeling refreshed and ready to take on 2020!