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Summer means it’s hot outside, and you can’t spend more than a few moments in the sun without wanting to cool down with a swim. Swimming is part of the fabric of summertime, the activity around which we gather at beaches and pools. This summer, we encourage you to spend less time on your flamingo pool floatie, and more time actively swimming.
As an exercise, swimming is an excellent choice; it burns calories, is easy on your joints, and engages your entire body. Not convinced? Still prefer your raft and your margarita? Keep reading to learn more about the health benefits of swimming.
The Health Benefits of Swimming
Minute for minute, an hour of active swimming burns almost as many calories as an hour of running, even a gentle swim for 30 minutes burns roughly 200 calories. In the summer heat, many outdoor activities leave you dripping with sweat. However, with swimming the water is constantly cooling you down while still giving you the benefit of health-boosting vitamin D. Research also shows that as an aerobic activity, regular swimming may decrease anxiety and elevate your mood.
Swimming for Joint Health & Rehabilitation
If you have an injury or struggle with joint pain, swimming is the perfect exercise to help you stay in shape while allowing the body to heal. Those with chronic health issues like arthritis may be drawn to swimming as it puts less strain on the joints than high impact exercises. Likewise, those with sprains or other injuries can still reap the benefits of aerobic exercise through swimming without causing additional injury.
How to Get Started
If you want to make the move from casual dog paddler to active swimmer, you’ll want to know a few things before getting started. If you’re new to swimming for exercise and not leisure, you’ll want to invest in a good pair of goggles and a swim cap. These can help you move through the water and will protect your eyes from chemicals. If you aren’t a strong swimmer or want to learn the strokes to increase the health benefits of swimming, look for a local instructor to ensure a solid foundation.
Basics of Swimming for Exercise
You may find that swimming has a steeper learning curve than other exercises, leading many to quit before they’ve truly gotten started. This is because your body is adapting to new breathing patterns and the weightlessness of the water. The easiest stroke for beginners is the freestyle, or front crawl technique. Commit to doing 10 swims over 3 weeks to see how your body adapts to regular swimming before you re-evaluate your plan of action.
Supporting a Swimmer’s Body
If you plan to swim outdoors this summer, it’s essential to protect your skin with a high quality sunscreen such as Mineral Sunscreen SPF 30 from Jason. Also, you may notice that regular swimming does a number on your hair due to increased time in the water and repeated washing. Show your hair some love with Swimmer’s Shampoo and Swimmer’s Conditioner from Aubrey Organics. These products help protect your hair from damage and wash away buildup from the pool. Finally, power your workout with a high quality protein + greens powder like Raw Protein & Greens from Garden of Life.
Are you a swimmer? How will you spend more time in the water this summer to enjoy the health benefits of swimming?