Top 5 Ways Swimming can be the Most Efficient Exercise this Fall

We all know that swimming is fun, we know that it’s the best when the weather here in Dallas is scorching hot and the thought of going for a run makes you want to jump right in. There’s no better feeling then coming home from work after having to wear an entire suit in the middle of summer and going for a swim to cool yourself off. But did you know just how good swimming is for your body? It’s an always active exercise that burns calories the quickest.

At the YMCA in Dallas we offer numerous ways for you and your family to get involved with swimming. During the summers we offer our fun and interactive swimming camp and during the school year we offer swim lessons for people of all ages. We also have personal trainers that you can speak with that could help you learn the best ways to utilize the pool for your fitness.

Here are five ways that swimming can be the most beneficial exercise:

1. Swimming is a complete body workout.         

While lifting weights can be beneficial, swimming tackles your entire body all at once. Think about it, in the gym you can only focus on one or two body parts at a time. For example, when lifting weights for your arms, shoulders, legs and core it is difficult to get in a quality full-body workout because you have to focus on them individually. Swimming focuses on your entire body, from your quadriceps to your triceps to your obliques so that from head to toe you experience the workout you desire all at once.

2. Swimming helps your body heal while still working out.

If you’re constantly involving yourself in contact sports such as football, soccer or basketball, or you are an avid weight lifter, it’s important to give your body a break from their physically demanding nature. Swimming is a perfect substitute, it gives your body time to heal while still being able to get a solid workout in. This can help you avoid injury by preventing yourself from pushing your body too far. If you have a passion for weight lifting and you have a schedule that requires a few off days a week, then swimming is just what you need on your days off. The water provides a sense of therapy for your aching muscles by allowing them to stretch out.

3. Swimming gives you the stamina.

While running and weight lifting can cause your body to fatigue quickly, swimming allows you to have a longer workout session. The amount of calories you burn can be easily increased due to the stamina you build the more and more you swim. Since swimming doesn’t take a substantial physical toll on your body like football does, you are able to swim for a longer amount of time, therefore burning more calories.

4. Swimming increases your range of mobility.

The consistent motions of elongating your legs and arms while swimming in order to develop the best techniques, provides your body with increased flexibility and mobility. Since your arms and legs, and therefore your torso, are constantly stretching out, swimming gradually lengthens your muscles and you begin to notice a range of flexibility that you didn’t have before.

5. Swimming leans your muscles and increases your metabolism.

One of the reasons why your range of mobility increases with swimming is because it helps your body develop the longer, leaner muscles that you see on athletes such as Michael Phelps. If you watch the Olympics or any swimming event and you see the athletes’ bodies, you’ll notice that their upper body from the waist up is longer than the rest. That is because the techniques involved in swimming, such as the freestyle swim, force you to stretch as far as you can. The result is the opposite compared to weight lifting, where your range of mobility is limited because of the short, stockier muscles you develop.

The lean muscles also help with your weight by providing a boost to your metabolism. Also, once you build the lean muscles, you’ll notice a change in your endurance and a change in your waist line because you’re burning calories quicker.

There a numerous reasons for why swimming at the top of the list of best exercises for people of all ages. It also helps strengthen the heart, it’s a great outlet for people to socialize while getting fit and it’s fun for the kids!

Please don’t hesitate to contact the YMCA of Dallas to enlist your child in our swimming classes or to sign up yourself for our adult swim lessons and make a splash joining the rest of the healthy older adults we have here!

Authored by: YMCA of Metropolitan Dallas