Swimming - Get Fit & Lose Weight

Swimming is one of the most beneficial and easiest exercises you can do as a beginner. It's the gentlest and most relaxing, as well. It doesn't jar/grind your bones or damage your joints, but it's still effective in giving you a workout full of resistance.

Swimming as an exercise is especially preferable if you're concerned about injury, have a joint condition, are obese, or are recovering from an injury. Swimming helps tone your body. Additionally, when you swim you help to improve your cardiovascular fitness and flexibility.

There are some out there that think that since swimming is so easy and fun to do, it's hard to qualify as a weight loss exercise. These might be people that remember their last experience as a child when they paddled the pool, used inflatable floaties, or simply lounged around a pool or lake for leisure. It should be known though that there are many levels of swimming resistance, appealing to both those using the water for such leisurely activities and professional Olympic athletes.

Where to swim?

You can swim indoors and outdoors, anywhere from fitness clubs to public pools, your own backyard pool or at YMCAs. If you don't know how to swim, you can take adult lessons at gyms or your local YMCA. Even if you learned how to swim as a child, you should consider signing up for a class -- you can learn how to more efficiently workout in the pool for maximum weight loss benefit in a couple of short lessons.

When taking swimming lessons or trying to find a lesson you should take, you want to make sure you learn about the different kinds of strokes, including the crawl, backstroke, and the butterfly. Those that are familiar with swimming may know a few of them, but a lesson can help you not only perfect your stroke, but identify the one that fits you personally. Some swimming strokes are less strenuous than others, while some offer more resistance for those that are in better shape.

If you use a public pool in your neighborhood or at the local YMCA, you'll have to follow a few rules. It's important that you abide by the listed guidelines, like taking a shower before you enter the pool or not swimming by yourself or when a lifeguard isn't present. You may find that there are certain rules about following lanes of the pool. This refers to the way the pool is divided up and where you're designated to swim so multiple people are allowed to swim at the same time.

If you're recovering from an injury or a certain health condition that keeps you from doing other kinds of exercises, swimming is perfect for you. Even if you think swimming is too strenuous for you, check with your doctor and see if you can swim with the assistance of paddles, a kick board, or some flippers.

And remember: have fun!

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