I’ve always been a big fan of pools, just not necessarily for workouts. Recently, however, I have implemented swimming into my recovery workouts and the pool is proving to be beneficial training grounds.
Here are four reasons why you should add some pool time to your exercise routine:
1. Low Impact
I’m a CrossFitter, and like most sports, CrossFit involves a lot of pounding. Between weights landing on my shoulders, dropping to the floor for burpees, and running around the block, there’s rarely rest to the constant impact on my body during a workout. In the pool, this all changes. Though it can still be tough on the lungs, your joints get quite a rest during swimming. You can glide through the water without anything hitting the ground.
2. Better Breathing Techniques
We all huff and puff during a workout, but swimming helps you hone in on when those breaths are necessary. I experiment with different breathing patterns in the pool. Unlike during CrossFit, when I never think about my breath until I’ve lost it, I HAVE to think about breathing in the pool because I’m bobbing in and out of the water. It’s helped me feel more in control during my normal workouts in the gym and I understand better how to belly breath instead of just holding everything in my chest.
Variety is the spice of life and it’s fun to try new things. I’m by no means an expert swimmer, but I really love trying new ways of working out. I found a pool with a temperature I like (warm) and a reasonable drop-in fee and voila! It’s nice to have a new workout that taxes different muscles and it’s nice when you know you can do it all by yourself. After my last swim I noticed the insides of my legs were sore from all the kicking. I imagine my thighs getting thinner by the stroke. And that is solid motivation for me!
4. All Ages, All Skill Levels
I love the pool because it’s easy to start at any age. I watch ladies and men in their 70s and 80s do walking laps across the pool. So start anytime and start getting better today! There’s a long learning curve for becoming an expert, but a short one for starting.
After you swim make sure you hydrate. Even though I tend to drink way too much pool water, I’m always really thirsty. ABOUTTIME‘s ProHydrate is a great option for post-pool hydrating. Not only does it have water, but protein to replenish you. Although it’s low impact, it’s a good calorie burner if you’re pushing yourself!
Lastly, here’s a workout to try that my swim coach gave me:
100m easy swim
100m kick board
6x50m – (25m sprint 25m easy)
10x25m sprint. Switch every 2 with freestyle swim and kick board
200 Total – anyway you like (I prefer breaststroke)