This summer I have spent 3 days a week teaching my middle child to swim, and amazed at her progress in only a month. It reminded how I loved to swim, not necessarily loving competition, but just the feeling of freedom that water brings. So I have determined to get back in the water 3 times a week, in addition to my running and cycling. I definitely will NOT be doing triathlons again, too lazy, but the swimming also offers relief on my joints. Let’s face it, 200+ lbs, running, does give the body a beating, not only to the joints but to the internal organs as well. So add in swimming and my inversion table, and I believe relief is on the way.
(If you would like a basic swimming program, email me for one- Free!)
The body-shaping benefits of swimming are the result of a perfect storm of calorie burn and muscle recruitment. An easy swim burns around 500 calories an hour, while a vigorous effort can torch almost 700. And because water is nearly 800 times denser than air, each kick, push, and pull is like a mini resistance workout for your entire body—especially your core, hips, arms, shoulders, and glutes. So in addition to blasting calories as you swim, you build lean muscle, which ignites your metabolism so that you burn more calories once you’ve showered and dried off.
The irony is that while swimming makes you lean and mean, it’s also kind to your body. Water basically neutralizes gravity, so you become virtually weightless when immersed, giving your joints a much-needed vacation. “You can swim almost every day without risking injury,” says Joel Stager, Ph.D., director of the Counsilman Center for the Science of Swimming at Indiana University at Bloomington, who has studied the effects of swimming for years. “You can’t say the same for running or strength training.”
And that makes swimming something you can do for your entire life—a major bonus because it can literally help you stay younger: “Our research shows that habitual swimmers are biologically up to 20 years younger than their actual age,” Stager says. The data, which were presented at an American College of Sports Medicine Conference, revealed that a swimmer’s blood pressure, cholesterol levels, cardiovascular performance, central nervous system, and cognitive functioning are all comparable to someone far younger.
Read more at Women’s Health: http://www.womenshealthmag.com/fitness/swim-workout#ixzz22lkJ1vi7
A few considerations:
Start Slowly, and Build
Ease into the routine. During the first week try swimming for 30 seconds and resting for 30 seconds. Repeat, nine times for a total of ten.
Now try kicking: Try the same set as above while doing kicking. Just pick up some fins and go. Kick for 30 seconds and rest for 30 seconds.
Add Variety: Try varying the length of swimming/kicking time in relation to the resting time. When trying to increase the amount of time exercising, start by making the 30 second swimming time into 45 seconds while making the 30 second rest period into 15 seconds. Also, try different strokes, such as backstroke, breaststroke and even butterfly!
Watch the clock. If there is no pace clock where you swim, or if you can’t see it from the pool, consider purchasing a waterproof watch.
Build your routine. Start with two or three days a week, and build your routine to include more days, if you are comfortable. Make sure to take enough rest to catch your breath in between repeats. If 30 seconds rest is not enough between swims, adjust your rest interval.
You can’t swim too slowly. Swim comfortably and you will enjoy it for a lifetime. Don’t worry about how fast other swimmers are, unless you are preparing to enter a lane with other swimmers. Be honest with yourself about the pace you are able to maintain.
Since he is in the news right now I will add this little info on the greatest of all time:
Michael Phelps was born to be a swimmer. He has a 6 ft 7 inch arm reach, which is 3 inches longer than his height. He has short legs for his height, which gives him even more of an advantage in the pool. In addition, his knees are double-jointed and his feet can rotate 15 degrees more than average, allowing his feet to act more like flippers.
In terms of his diet, it has been reported that Phelps eats 12,000 calories a day, around 4,000 calories per meal. For breakfast, Phelps eats three fried-egg sandwiches with cheese, lettuce, tomatoes, fried onions, and mayonnaise. Then he drinks two cups of coffee and then consumes a five-egg omelet, a bowl of grits, three slices of French toast with powdered sugar and three chocolate-chip pancakes. For lunch, Phelps eats a pound of pasta and two large ham and cheese sandwiches on white bread with mayo. He then drinks about 1,000 calories worth of energy drinks. For dinner, Phelps eats another pound of pasta and a full pizza followed by another 1,000 calories of energy drinks. You may think that this is overload and complete overeating. However, Phelps trains five to six hours a day nearly every single day and is giving it his full effort most of the time. His body is burning thousands upon thousands of calories a day. Phelps probably has a very fast natural metabolism as well so this adds to even more reason why he needs to eat that much. The more calories you have, the more energy there is. This is all about energy for Phelps and these types of foods give him plenty of it. Try training that much and not eating thousands of calories a day. You wouldn’t be able to train effectively!