Life @ U of T

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Benefits of hitting the pool

Benefits of hitting the pool

There’s something so calming about swimming. I love just being able to get in the water, and let everything else from my day literally wash away. I used to swim a lot when I was younger, and I always looked forward to jumping in the pool and being able to clear my head. I’ve been trying to get back into it lately because I know how I could I feel afterwards. There are so many wonderful benefits of swimming, so here are just a few!

Low Impact

One of the best things about swimming is that it’s a low impact exercise! It’s an awesome option for people who may have past or present injuries, and need to take it easy on their joints. One of the main reasons I decided to get back into it was because I had hurt my hip last year, and had been hesitant to start running again. I didn’t want my hip to start hurting again, but really needed an alternative cardio exercise! Swimming is perfect because it’s great for cardiovascular health, but removes the impact component.

Full Body Workout

Another great reason to jump in the pool is to work your entire body! I think we often worry about which muscle groups we’re hitting during our workouts, and have to be creative in finding different exercises and moves to do to work our core, legs, shoulders, and back. But when you swim, you pretty much work all of these at the same time! Both your arms and legs move simultaneously, and you strengthen your core by engaging it in order to keep kicking those legs. Arms, legs, and abs all in one go? Yes, please.

Improves flexibility

This is one that I’m really excited about! I don’t know about you, but I hate stretching. And as a super inflexible person, I really should stretch more. When you’re doing freestyle, the continual motion of reaching forward with your arms helps to stretch those muscles. Plus, you are in a position where you need to keep your body fairly straight, which also helps with flexibility. I know that if for no other reason, this is why I will “just keep swimming” (yes, a shameless Finding Nemo pun, I had to!)

Relaxation

As I mentioned, I find swimming super relaxing. Of course, this might depend on the person, but I think there’s something really soothing about being in the water. Another unique component of swimming is that you can block out everything if you want to, because your head is underwater! It’s an awesome way to just focus on your movements, and slow down your thoughts a little bit. It’s also a great way to relieve stress, and who doesn’t need a little stress relief from time to time? (midterms, anyone?!)

Exercise is not a one size fits all approach, but luckily, there are so many different movements you can do in a pool to meet your own workout needs. So, now that you know about all the awesome benefits of swimming, are you going to give it a try?!

 

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