Make a splash, get fit

By Brittany McLeod
September 27, 2007

A nice dip is more beneficial than you think. Aquatics combine cardiovascular and strength training in one workout and an enjoyable one at that. Who doesn’t like to get wet every once in awhile?

An easy and great workout for the body, swimming, can be advantageous in numerous ways. Water exercise is one of the best nonimpact fitness activities around, said the American Council on Exercise, and just about anybody can do it.

Water exercise is also good for your heart. “Swimming works your whole body, improving cardiovascular conditioning, muscle strength, endurance, posture and flexibility all at the same time.

Your cardiovascular system in particular benefits because swimming improves your body’s use of oxygen without overworking your heart,” said. reports that the buoyancy of water reduces your weight by about 90 percent. As a result, there is less stress on joints, bones and muscles during your workout. All of the major muscle groups are worked as you swim and water provides 12 times the normal resistance, which assists in building strength.

A member of the swim team and lifeguard, a senior psychology major Deborah Williams, said, “It’s a total body workout. It works everything in your body: arms, legs and abs. Many older community members participate in a water aerobics class in the mornings because it’s a much easier workout on their joints.”

Williams has been swimming on a team since seventh grade and said it’s much harder to get a total workout when swimming by yourself. Since she is on a team, she feels she is more likely to be motivated to achieve her fitness goals.

Swimming can also help you lose weight. However, since swimming is more appealing than running on the treadmill, it’s harder to push yourself to your limit. WebMD recommends to push hard for short spurts, then drop back to a less-intense level.

So how do you get started with a water workout? Check out your local gym and try to enroll in swimming classes. Also, practice swimming drills in a group or with a friend and gradually build your strength until you can practice multiple times a week. Remember to keep it fun but don’t forget to focus on getting fit!

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Brittany McLeod

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