Water-ExercisesWhether you are trying to beat the heat or add some spice to your workout, the pool is a great option to enjoy the weather this sunny summer in Seattle! There are actually many benefits to be had from adding water workouts to your daily regime. Along with adding variety, activities like  lap swimming offers a number of health and fitness advantages for athletes and physical therapy patients.

Our friends over at Foot Hills Sports Medicine in Arizona, have put together a great list of the  top 5 reasons to make the pool your second gym – Let’s check them out!

1. You can swim for a lifetime.

Simple lap swimming is one of the few activities that is truly accessible to all ages. When submerged up to your neck in water, your body carries less than 10% of its total weight. This allows older people, who may have less resilient bones and joints, to reduce stress on their bodies while working out core muscle groups. Freestyle swimming can help build and retain strength in your legs, arms and core muscle groups. These muscles are critical for standing and performing basic movements as you age.

2. Pool workouts offer full-body resistance exercises.

Swimming with your body fully submerged, engages your entire body in a resistance training exercise against the water. Along those same lines, water aerobics are great for anyone exploring ways to incorporate low-impact exercises into their physical therapy routine.

Walking, running, or practicing forms of conventionally land-based activities, underwater, can help you improve your athletic performance outside of the pool.

3. Lap swimming promotes cardiovascular health.

Light to intermediate lap swimming for 20-30 minutes, can be the key to a healthy heart and lungs. To strengthen your cardiovascular system, set personal fitness goals and track your progress. If you are able to swim 4 laps on day 1 of your swim routine, you may want to try swimming 6 laps by day 4.

Continue to set small goals for yourself as you train. Because swimming is a cardio-intensive activity, it is important to remain conscious of your breathing and heart rate. Pace yourself; find and maintain the most sustainable speed, while continuing to push yourself to improve over time.

4. Lap Swimming can relieve stress and its effects.

Very few activities can provide the same level of calm as lap swimming. Finding your body’s natural rhythm while swimming increases feelings of well-being and reduces anxiety. These psychological health perks translate directly into physical health benefits by helping relieve neck pain and soften tension in the neck and back.

5. It’s fun!

Water has a way of maximizing fun. From traditional lap swimming, to water running and aquatic Tai-Chi, water sports offer exciting training conditions you cannot experience on dry land.