August 06, 2022

Starting a Swimming Workout

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Even though summer is beginning to draw to a close, there’s no reason that you can’t either continue or begin a swimming workout regimen. All you’ll need (eventually) is an indoor pool once you’re unable to take the chilly temperatures.

Swimming is a great total-body workout and is a low-impact form of cardiovascular exercise, so it’s ideal for people of all ages since it has similar benefits as other endurance sports like running and cycling.

Centers Health Care has a step-by-step look at how to turn swimming into an effective workout for you.

  1. Start Slow

Diving right in—literally and figuratively—is more likely to tire you out and discourage you overall. Just like you wouldn’t go from not running to going five miles right away, you need to start slow in the pool as well.

Experts suggest you get a good pair of goggles so you’re able to see clearly underwater without stinging your eyes, then just swim one lap in the pool (down and back). If you’re swimming at home, measure out the length of the pool. Most recreational public pools are 25 yards long (50-yard laps), whereas Olympic-size pools are double that length (100-yard lap).

If you feel good after a lap, take a 15-20 second break and do another. Experts suggest not topping 10 laps on your first day.

  1. Work on Your Form

Just like any other sport where repetition is key, having good form will make your life easier. A few tips:

  • Keep your head down and looking at the bottom of the pool—except for when you need to take a breath.
  • Don’t over-kick because you’ll tire out. Kick just enough to keep your hips and legs on top of the water. You only want to kick more than you have to when you’re racing.
  • Keep a rhythm with your arm strokes and your breathing.

 

  1. Get Into Interval Training

Unlike running or cycling, where you’re going at the same pace for an extended period of time, swimming follows more of a weight-training structure with reps and sets. Once you can swim eight laps without a problem, then break it down into intervals. Rest for 15-20 seconds after each time you touch a side, complete a lap, or finish a 100-yard segment.

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