Sure, Michael Phelps may have swum 50 miles a week and eaten 12,000 calories a day in his peak, but of course, you don’t have to go to that extreme to achieve amazing health benefits from swimming. Here are four things that make aquatic exercise good for everyone (even us non-Olympians):
- Swimming is one of the best exercises for aerobic conditioning. If you’ve ever found yourself huffing and puffing after a few laps in the pool, then you will know that swimming know swimming can be harder than it looks. The trick is to start slowly, and gradually work up the distance you conquer each day. You’ll be surprised at how far you can swim with persistence.
- It’s low-impact. Aquatic workouts offer the great advantage of low-impact exercise. This is critical for people who experience joint pain, muscle weakness, or other aches and pains that make traditional exercise a challenge. In fact, many physical therapy programs incorporate water workouts into their rehabilitation efforts!
- It burns a ton of calories. You may not feel the burn as you’re splashing through the water, but swimming is excellent for weight loss. Depending on your weight and how fast you’re swimming, expect to burn anywhere from 400 to 1,000 calories an hour when swimming laps.
- It’s an amazing all-over workout. There are few workouts that employ every muscle in the body as swimming does. Kicking with your legs, pulling with your arms, and using your core muscles to balance, swimming efficiently and effectively provides a whole-body workout.
You’re sure to realize exactly how many muscles you’ve worked when you wake up famished and sore the morning after a long swim. But your backyard holds the answer to soothing sore muscles, too – take a dip in your hot tub!