If you’re a native from Florida or you’ve lived in Florida for at least 6 months, you’ll know how popular swimming is. Actually, even having a pool is very popular as well, if you’re a Floridian. On the west coast, you’ll see the streets filled with runners. They take it very seriously with their running shoes, music playlists and Fitbit bands secured on their wrists. Here in the Sunshine State, the people seriously run to their backyard pools for exercise. But why is swimming such a popular exercise here?
Unlike many other places in the country, Floridians have ample access to water. Not only are pools more common here, many people have a pool in their backyard. Just about every community across Bradenton, Sarasota, Lakewood Ranch, and Ellenton has a neighborhood pool. We are also much closer to the Gulf of Mexico. Those people who like to exercise by swimming in the Gulf can do it much more frequently than those who don’t live near water.
Comfort And Ease
One of the biggest benefits of swimming is how easy it is on the body. Unlike other workout regimens that require you to have specialized equipment and have a steep learning curve, swimming is comfortable. Most children take swimming lessons at a young age. Most people already have their swimsuit and goggles that swimming requires. You don’t need weights, special clothes, activity tracking apps or an expensive gym membership to swim for exercise. You just need your swimsuit and water!
Swimming is one of the lowest impact exercises available to people. Unlike running (or even walking), lifting weights, biking, or weightlifting, swimming can be performed even by people with joint issues. Many medical conditions can preclude people from performing high impact exercises as listed above. Swimming, however, is routinely recommended for those who need the exercise but cannot safely participate in other exercises. The resistance in water is steady and allows for greater flexibility.
Heat Up Your Backyard Swimming With Sprint Laps
Instead of swimming normal laps, try sprinting. Sprint from one wall to the other and get competitive. Set records and aim to beat it by pushing yourself hard to knock time off your laps. Be sure to give yourself adequate rest between those laps. Our team recommends taking a solid 30 seconds between sprint laps to reset your breathing. You’ll also give your muscles a moment to breathe as well. If and when you’ve mastered different strokes, incorporate sprints into your routine for some added fun.
Bring a swim partner with you or get a hold of a waterproof timer. With that, you can place it at the head of your lane. Once you set your baseline sprint lap, you’ll be able to more easily break your own records. Working harder in the water means you’ll look better out of the water!
Posture And Balance
Swimmers often have a go-to stroke for doing laps in their favorite pool. What about trying new ways of swimming? Changing up your stroke means utilizing muscles in different ways and building your overall core strength. Swimming is a core exercise. Therefore, when you’re back on dry land, your core muscles will translate to a stronger posture and increased balance.
For example, if you primarily use the butterfly stroke, change it up to go freestyle. Why not the try out the backstroke or the breaststroke? Give your most used muscles a break and recruit some new muscle fibers. Additionally, using more than one type of stroke regularly will build you up; you’ll be training your body in multiple ways at the same time.
Bring #LegDay Into Your Backyard Swimming
Some see a kickboard as a crutch. Maybe, maybe not. We believe a kickboard is a great way to work all the major muscle groups from your hips down. By kicking yourself down the pool lane and back, you’ll recruit muscles in your hips, your quadriceps, hamstrings, glutes and even your lumbar. At the same time, you’ll use more of your core to propel yourself when holding yourself up. Give it a try!
According to the American Arthritis Foundation, it’s highly suggested that pool water be maintained between 86º and 88º F. This temperature is optimal for anyone with health issues who wish to use their backyard pool for exercise. Overall, backyard swimming is one of the best ways to lose weight and build strength. Swimming always has been and will continue to be a great cardio and core workout for people of all ages. Before you jump in with both feet, make sure your pool is in top notch shape and that you’re diving into safe waters.
Read our blog more pool maintenance tips and tricks to keep your pool at its optimum condition for your backyard swimming workouts. Erik’s Aquatic Care is always here to answer questions you may have as a current or future pool owner. Cheers!