The Perfect Winter Workout

Most of us think of swimming as a summer sport, but it’s actually the perfect winter workout because it can be done indoors too. Most communities have a recreation center with a swimming pool that can be accessed at minimal cost – and after getting in your workout, you may even be able to take advantage of soaking your cares away and soothing sore muscles in a hot tub.

Swimming is one of the best low-impact activities you can do. As a non weight-bearing activity, that means that your joints don’t have to support your body weight, so it’s a great year round option for those who suffer from knee or other joint problems.

But swimming can also be quite challenging as it’s a great way for anyone to get into shape as an excellent overall body workout, burning a ton of calories while increasing both muscular and cardio fitness.

Just like other aerobic activities like walking, running or biking, swimming can improve your health in many different ways, including improving cholesterol levels, lowering blood pressure, reducing cancer risk and boosting your mood.

According to a study conducted by Arnold School exercise expert Dr. Stephen Blair which analyzed comprehensive physical exams and surveys from thousands of people over a 32-year period, swimming decreases men’s risk of dying by about 50 percent compared to runners, walkers and sedentary peers – though Dr. Blair noted that women would likely reap the same benefits.

Research has also revealed that swimming is one of the best ways to build and preserve muscle mass throughout your body. The more muscle one has, the more calories one burns each day, making it a great way to lose or maintain an ideal body weight too.

Slim sportsman swimming.Former United States Masters Swimming coach of the year Mel Goldstein says that with the possible exception of cross-country skiing, few forms of exercise utilize more muscles, explaining that it gives one a “superb whole-body workout,” as the pulling action of swimming recruits muscles not only throughout your arms and shoulders but also in your upper back and chest – and it works all of them over a wide range of motion. At the same time, the kicking motion strengthens the muscles in your legs, hips and groin.

If you’re new to swimming, don’t let that prevent you from enjoying this ideal winter workout – no matter what your age, lessons can help you learn the proper technique to help you get the most out of your workout – and also make it a lot more fun so that you’ll even look forward to doing it.

-The Alternative Daily


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