Swim to good health!

Keeping your health afloat.

The hot weather is here! It’s time to air out the swimsuits or get a new one and get your feet wet. If you don’t have that beach body, swimming may not get you there fast, but it’s a good start. Make swimming part of your workout routine during the summer months and break the hum-drum of the same old exercise routine by waking some sleeping muscles.

Swimming can be for everybody, whether you are a beginner, intermediate or advanced swimmer, and here are a few reasons to start swimming for exercise:

  1. Overall health benefits.
  2. To lose weight.
  3. Diversify your physical activity to get a good workout.
  4. A great overall body workout.

To prepare yourself for swimming exercise Michigan State University Extension recommends the following:

  1. Make yourself waterproof or water safe, see the guidelines set out by the American Red Cross.
  2. Know the water you are swimming in, take the necessary precautions, be aware of Recreational water illness (RWI).
  3. A swimsuit designed for activity and water sports that will allow your body the secure movement it needs.
  4. Do appropriate warm-up and cool-down activities, the same as a “land” exercise routine.
  5. The depth of the water should be proportionate to your experience, fitness and comfort level.
  6. Never go into the water alone, have a partner that observes or exercises with you, regardless of your swimming ability.
  7. Start with short distances and increase slowly. Increase your swimming by adding distance or swimming faster in a given time period.
  8. Whether you choose to exercise in the morning or evening, your pre-nutrition activities should match your level of exercise.
  9. The old adage of “don’t eat before you swim” or “don’t swim after you’ve eaten“ has been found to be a myth.

Swimming is a great low-impact, low or no pain exercise and can be easier on heavier individuals or people simply not wanting the harsh impact running or walking can have on the body. Once you have made yourself ready for the water, safely jump in and have fun!

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