Swim to Sweat
By Do Lee
UVA has offered swimming for fitness classes to adults for a while now. Hopefully this post will inspire you to add swimming to your workout routine.
What is swimming for fitness, exactly?
I talked to Justin Anderson, Aquatics Facilities and Program Manager, to learn more.
Anderson said swimming is an excellent workout because it builds both muscle endurance and strength. When the strokes are performed properly, swimming helps increase in flexibility and lengthen the muscles. Swimming also teaches you to control your breathing, which promotes greater lung capacity. On top of this, it engages the hip, back and abdominal muscles, making it a great core workout.
Swimming is also a great way to clear your mind. When you’re in the pool, there’s nothing between you and the water, giving you space to think while working out. It is like yoga, except underwater!
Learning to swim for fitness involves improving your stroke mechanics to ensure your workouts are efficient and productive. With these basic pointers, you’ll be on your way to a successful exercise.
Justin’s pointers on swimming for fitness:
- Swim for a steady 45 minutes if you want a good swim workout. This does not include warm-ups and cool-downs!
- Swimming with friends is a good way to keep you going. You and your friends can depend on each other to help each other finish your workouts.
- Since water creates resistance against the body watch for your muscles to become stronger and more toned with regular practice.
Just getting started?
- Fundamentals come first! Firm grasps on the basics can make your workout easier.
- Don’t be afraid of the Master Swimming class. It is not what you’d expect! You just have to be 18 or older to participate in the class and able to swim proficiently for a few hundred yards.
- Be consistent. Take your time with it, and go at your own pace. It will take you more than one class to get the hang of swimming for fitness.
- Keep an open mind. Just because the workout isn’t going smoothly as you would like it to, don’t give up.
- Listen to your instructors. They know what they are talking about, and their suggestions are definitely worth considering. Trainers will help you reach your goals, so let them!
Do Lee is a second-year student in the College and is a member of IM-Rec Sports' Marketing team.