Swimming – You just will not find better, more fun and more challenging form of exercise. When you swim you burn MANY calories, the chance of injury is almost equal to 0 and it is also very good fitness training. Surely it can not get better? Have you ever tried the most common types of exercise, but never found the perfect one for you? Running is just too boring in the long run, cycling takes too long and you never get up regularly in the fitness center. At the same time, the kilos have just quietly started to settle, while you restlessly do not know what to do with lifeguard training.
Then it’s shown swimming you should try! It is a different and relatively undiscovered form of exercise where you set the possibilities yourself. Almost everywhere in Denmark there is a swimming pool that you can easily and cheaply use. Swimming is also a form of exercise that with almost 100% certainty does not cause injuries (I have not yet experienced this despite 6 years with an average of 5 workouts / week). So one can practice swimming over a very long period of time without worrying about injuries or other things that prevent one from swimming. This also means that swimming may be the very best form of exercise for people with back pain, bad knees and arthritis, as the joints are not equally stressed when it takes place in water where the body is “weightless”.
1. Swimming quickly becomes YOUR favorite form of exercise!
There are already many who use swimming as their weekly form of exercise. And there are quite a few different reasons for that. Whether you can swim or not, are thin or thick and are old or young, a regular trip to the swimming pool can mean that your muscles are strengthened, your breathing is regulated, you get better mental relaxation and balance and your posture and agility improve. All at the same time. As an added bonus, you achieve all these things completely without straining your joints and knees, because the water carries your weight, such as. jogging and running otherwise do.
In addition, there is another great advantage. Swimming also strengthens your circulation and heart. Because by swimming regularly, you also prevent the possibility of getting cardiovascular disease. Swimming in particular is good for prevention, because you can easily and in no time get your heart rate high in the air. Do you remember e.g. swimming lessons from primary school? There you were really breathless after just a few lanes. And it’s actually not bad, it’s really good for the heart as well as your circulation in the body.
2. It costs a blade of grass to get started
As a swimmer, you need almost nothing. With a pair of swimming trunks / swimsuit and a pair of glasses, you are really well on your way. The swimming trunks and swimsuit are almost self-described as a swimmer – the same as running shoes are for a runner. And just like in the running market, there are all sorts of different kinds in all sorts of colors, patterns, sizes and lengths.
As an exercise swimmer, it is not particularly important which swimsuit or swimming trunks you have – but we have here at watery.dk made a test with swimming trunks here (LINK) and swimming trunks here (LINK). They just have to be relatively tight, and not be sloppy, then they actually sit perfectly (PS: if you want to make it a little harder and challenge yourself a little, then you could with swimming trunks choose to swim with the loosely hanging. It does it a little harder). And if any ladies should be in doubt, then you can well swim with a bikini if you want this. That is not a problem. Such a pair of swimming trunks or bathing suits usually costs no more than DKK 300.
In addition, I would recommend that you get a pair of goggles. It is not necessary as the swimming trunks / swimsuit is, but I even thought it is decidedly uncomfortable to swim without. Even if you intend to swim with your head above the water. It’s just really annoying that you occasionally get water splashes in your eyes – it almost makes you have to just stop and “dry” your eyes. Therefore, I really thought one should get a pair of goggles. See vet. our test of the best goggles. (link)
That way, for less than 500 kroner, you can get off to a good start with exercise swimming. Much cheaper than many other forms of exercise. If you want a little more equipment, or have found out that swimming is really fun, then you can also invest in a swimming cap , a pair of flippers and a plate .
3. You can not do anything wrong when swimming.
I know the uncertainty well: “What do the others not think about my swimming style”, “Which course should I now lie on, which course suits my level?” and “How to act on such a trajectory?”. These are all questions that many ask themselves before jumping into the swimming pool. And that’s pretty normal. There are no definite answers to such some questions, for everything is okay. In swimming you can not do anything wrong. Nothing. Everyone swims the different styles in different ways and thus there is nothing wrong in how to swim.
Another very common question is which lane to go on. Often in the swimming pools around Denmark, the courts are full (especially in the morning from 6: 00-7: 30 and the same in the afternoon) with exercisers. Here it is just a matter of getting an overview of the exercise swimmers. Who swims fast, who swims less fast. And then you just have to find the path you fit in best. Then there should be no problems. However, this is not a requirement, but just good advice. You really have to lie down on all the tracks. In general it’s just about taking each other into account – then everyone gets a good swimming experience 🙂
4. An extra dimension: Get free calorie burning
Let’s just start by dispelling a myth: You do not burn fewer calories because swimming takes place in water, and you do not sweat as such. You sweat, it’s just not something you discover or notice. Strange enough because you are in water ;-)Also , it’s no secret that the swimming pool can often seem a little cold at first. This is because the body is approx. 37 degrees, while the water is only between 26-27 degrees. And when it’s a little cold, the hot pool at the other end of the swimming pool calls a lot. But then this is where one should try to turn it around, and think of the cold water as a positive thing. Because when the water is cold, your body needs a lot of energy to stay warm, and thus burn even more. Hey, that was very smart!
But as you get started with your workout, the water will also automatically feel warmer. You just have to be more discriminating with the help you render toward other people. Do not take several minutes break at each end, and be careful not to fall into too much talk with your swimming buddy. Then it first gets really cold to get started again.
5. Swimming increases your oxygen intake more than any other form of exercise
In swimming you use almost all muscles. Also the very large muscle groups such as the thigh, back, chest and arms. When these muscles are trained and used, they need a whole lot of oxygen to keep going. A lot. When you then repeatedly expose your body to this pressure after oxygen, your lung and heart capacity are expanded and thus your condition and shape are improved. And it happens much faster in the water than any other form of exercise.
If, for example, you have to compare swimming with running, the oxygen consumption is much greater in swimming. Where at rest you use between 0.15 and 0.25 liters of oxygen per. min, you use in moderate running approx. 8 times as much, while in swimming you use up to 12 times as much oxygen. That’s something I learned in school :-)Against this background, it is therefore extremely effective to swim. You get in shape very quickly and thus lose a lot of calories – fat right?
6. Swimming is just back and forth, right? That’s not funny, is it?
Yes, usually you just swim back and forth. Continually. For several hours. Turn after turn. But it does NOT have to be. There are plenty of opportunities to make the workout a little more varied and fun. Because after 8 years as a swimmer, where I have swum more lanes than many others, it is still just fun. That has not changed. It’s just about making some variation in the training.
You can, for example, make a small competition with the one next to it. “Shall we see who comes down to the other end first?”. Then you get your heart rate up, and it gives a little variation in the otherwise streamlined training. Another option is to make use of the tools provided by the swimming pools. You can swim a little leg with the plates lying on the edge, take a pillbox between the legs and swim arm or buy your own snorkel and flippers.
One could also try swimming disciplines other than just crawl or breaststroke. Try some backstroke (good advice: look straight over the shoulder so you do not bump into anyone) or what about some butterfly (Good advice: Try to lie down on your own course where you do not bother so many, especially not the older ladies, who usually get a little angry when others squirt ;-)). It provides some good and fun variation to the workout, which at the same time helps to strengthen all muscles. You do not use the same muscles in all 4 styles, it is different muscles that are working. In breaststroke you use e.g. mostly the thigh muscles, in planes it is mostly the pectoral muscles while in back crawl and crawl it is the core and arms. Therefore, it is a good idea to try in all four kinds of styles.
You can also swim at different speeds. Eg. swim two lanes at a moderate pace and then 1 lane quickly, and you could do that a couple of times. Then you really get your heart rate up and your body used – and that’s why you swim, right?
7. What if you can not swim?
If you can not swim, it is a little difficult to use swimming as an exercise in the beginning. But of course you can learn that. In almost every swimming pool / swimming club there are teams for adults who want to learn to swim. Then you are with other adults who also want to learn to swim. Also, you have a teacher to teach you that. Super nice. Otherwise you can use my 10 week swimming guide here, where you get programs, tips and motivation – then I promise you that you can swim!