Ester Marsh column: Swimming is great exercise

Published 12:00 am Monday, April 18, 2016

With the Buck Hurley Triathlon only 13 days away, I would like to talk about the benefits of swimming. Many new triathletes who haven’t been regular swimmers have started in preparation for the upcoming event. Some athletes have started to love swimming, others not so much, but everyone agrees that it is great exercise. Today, I am going to share the overall benefits of swimming. As I have previously mentioned, I love to swim. It’s the before and after (preparation, showering, etc.) that has kept me from swimming on a regular basis before I started my half Iron Man training. Before, you would only see me in the pool when I was dealing with an injury. Swimming takes more planning and organization to make sure you have everything you need (bathing suit, towel, shampoo, blow dryer, etc.). And, of course, with swimming, you need a pool. I can go for a run pretty much anywhere, but with swimming and water exercise, a pool is a necessity. However, I do love the water and I feel so much better when I swim. Even if you are not training for a particular event, you should consider adding swimming to your workout regimen or start swimming if you don’t have an exercise regimen at all.

Below are some benefits of swimming:

  • Swimming offers an aerobic workout without harsh impact on skeletal system.
  • The pool is a great place to work stiff muscles and sore joints.
  • A pool workout stretches and strengthens the muscles while providing an aerobic workout all at the same time.
  • Swimming is a great way to increase muscular strength and muscle tone.
  • Swimming puts the body through a great range of motion that will help the joints stay loose and flexible.

Swimming is a great alternative when dealing with an injury. Swimming can maintain your fitness level and helps to keep you in shape while recovering from an injury.

  • The American Heart Association reports that just 30 minutes of exercise a day such as swimming can reduce coronary heart disease.
  • Swimming is now recognized as one of the biggest calorie burners around.

Needless to say, there are many wonderful benefits from swimming. I have been pretty good at staying on schedule with my swim training. I feel great and I can definitely feel a difference when I have missed a swim. So what are you waiting for? Get a swimsuit and join us for a swim!

Ester H Marsh, Associate Executive Director JF Hurley YMCA