SWIMMING LAPS – The Best Low-Impact, Transformative Exercise
Recently, my grandparents bought a condo in St. Pete Beach, Florida, so I decided to come visit and re-experience the Florida ‘salt life’ (a decoration at their place I enjoyed saying). It was an incredible trip, getting to bond with them on my own, go to the beach every day, and take in the sunshine.
But, one of the main things I was excited to do while in Florida – swim every day!
I hadn’t really properly swam since around one year ago in the ocean during a trip to Central America. And every time I start doing it again, I remember how much I absolutely LOVE swimming.
I think I’ve always loved it since a little girl, wanting to stay in the pool all day until my hands were pruning and my mom was telling us we had to go. I loved being underwater. Feeling weightless. Doing tricks. Pretending I was a seal or a mermaid with my little sister. Water man, it’s just the freaking best.
Funny how revisiting those things you loved as a little kid, but with more intention and skill, creates so much joy in your life as an adult. 🙂
In high school, I started going to this place called The Pointe, where they had an indoor swimming pool. Sometimes instead of running for a workout, I would go down there with my goggles and just see how long I could swim. Then, whenever I could find a pool with a lap lane in college, I would also try to take the opportunity to swim laps.
Now, my favorite way to swim is in the ocean, because you get all the natural elements while also exercising. Salty ocean water (great for your skin!), fresh air, and sunshine. And sometimes its an added workout depending on the waves 😉
10 REASONS WHY SWIMMING IS THE BEST:
1. It works your ENTIRE body all at the same time.
When in correct or at least correct-ish form, you feel it in – your arms, your abs, your legs, your butt, your back. All of your major muscle groups getting strong and toned. Oh ya!
2. It’s a extremely relaxing way to move and connect with your body.
Underwater, you hear no noise from the outside world and are just completely alone with yourself and your own thoughts. Sometimes, when you get in the flow, it feels like a meditation. Weird to think of any exercise being relaxing, but it is!
3. An obvious one – YOU DON’T SWEAT!
Which, for those of you who really hate exercising because you don’t like sweating, I recommend trying this! You are never constantly wiping the sweat dripping down your face because you are just wet all over!
4. It builds your endurance and lung capacity.
You gotta hold your breath while under the water, unless you are some half-fish person 😛 So your lung capacity is improving over time, as well as your endurance as you see how long you can swim.
5. It creates a slimmer, toned look.
You are constantly lengthening or stretching your muscles while working them in the water, which I feel creates a slimmer, leaner body type. Compared to when you lift weights, where sometimes you can get more bulky. That is just my opinion though.
6. It’s low-impact exercise.
With swimming laps, you aren’t exerting as much on your body as other forms of exercise. At Chico State, at the Wildcat Center, they would have the track team swim laps sometimes to help heal their bodies from the high impact exercising.
7. Little equipment needed!
All you need is a swimsuit, goggles, pool or body of water. Swim cap optional. So therefore, its inexpensive – which is right down my alley!
8. It is a MAJOR calorie burner or metabolism booster.
I remember my friend in high school that swam could eat like 10 lunches every day and still be in crazy shape! Granted, he was also probably growing as well. But still, I think it says something. Research shows that compared to other forms of exercise however, you can burn more calories swimming in a shorter length of time.
9. The stronger swimmer you become, the more water sports you can try!
The more you are swimming, the more comfortable you will be in water – which may be holding you back from trying some fun water sports – such as surfing, water polo, or kite-surfing!
10. Water is just FUN!
Like I said, its like being a little kid again! And water is pretty! Especially the ocean! Ah, so blue… <3
Ya sure, maybe at the beginning you will be floundering a bit and might look a little weird. Don’t let the fear of what you look like stop you from trying something new that you know is good for your health.
When I’m swimming in the ocean, I get weird looks sometimes. But I’m also feeling strong and the most alive ever.
And I’ll trade that for people thinking I’m a freak any day, in any way.
Do what you love and what makes you happy. Especially if its good for your health too! 😊💪🏽