Swimming At The Y Is Always A Year-Round Activity: Dive On In!


Swimming At The Y Is Always A Year-Round Activity: Dive On In!

Swimming At The Y Is Always A Year-Round Activity: Dive On In! 

Swimming may invoke thoughts of long-ago summers, lemonade, diving boards, and sunscreen. But right here – in the heart of winter, in the heart of Birmingham – swimming is perhaps the most versatile, ageless, and beneficial exercise you can find anywhere.

If you have trouble lifting weights, even your own body weight, the buoyancy of the water is the best workout buddy you could find. It removes the pressure of gravity and replaces it with gentle, free, fluid movement. Once you start moving, the warm water serves as a blissful, refreshing (and constant!) coolant that keeps your body from overheating while working every muscle group and maintaining optimal cardio intensity.

Unlike other land-based aerobic activities, such as cycling or running, the labor required for swimming is evenly distributed across your upper body, lower body, and core, providing a maximum-benefit, full-body workout. Since lap-swimming is a horizontal activity, it also takes the pressure off your back, offsetting years of poor posture and sedentary desk work. In addition, it reduces the risk of impact injury associated with jogging, jumping rope, or repetitive, bouncing aerobic steps, particularly for the significantly overweight.

Since swimming is easy on the joints, it is often the ideal workout for older participants and anyone suffering from arthritis, chronic joint pain, or rigidity caused by other musculoskeletal conditions. Research also links swimming to lower blood pressure, decreased arterial stiffness, improved cholesterol levels, and enhanced blood sugar control (including insulin sensitivity).

Swimming is also great for your respiratory system. While you’re doing laps in the pool, your face is intermittently submerged underwater, forcing your breathing pattern to adapt – inhaling quickly, exhaling super slowly. This adjustment can noticeably improve your respiratory capacity and lung power.

Best of all, swimming is FUN! Like other aerobic activities, lap-swimming and pool classes yield heart-healthy benefits, but with an added dose of mood-boosting cheer. Research shows that those who plunge into water activities are more likely to stick to their workout routines than people who choose other exercise programs.

So if you’re looking to stay in shape, improve your swimming skills, or join a FUN water class, the YMCA is the place to be! We have pools and swim classes at every Y branch. For more information about our water safety courses, swim lessons, lap-swimming hours, and swim team program, visit us at www.ymcabham.org/swim, or consult your favorite branch representative. To learn more about the amazing health benefits of swimming, visit http://ow.ly/pX3n30h7IE7 or http://ow.ly/uNN130h7IET.  #YStrongBham  #DiveIn  #SwimFUN
Posted by Loyd McIntosh at 9:38 AM
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