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Find indoor and outdoor swimming pools at gyms and community center, and parks with places for swimming like lakes, rivers and ponds.
When deciding on a gym, check to see if they have a swimming pool or an infinity pool. You could jump in the pool before a workout. Swimming laps is a great no-impact cardio workout and compliment to weight training.
National parks often allow public access and swimming at their lakes, rivers and ponds. Community centers and public parks are also great places to find outdoor swimming pools with cheap membership and inexpensive lessons.
If you're a swimmer, you'll need a few pieces of gear. Check out a nearby sporting goods store for all the latest in swimsuits, goggles, caps and more. There are also many stores that specialize in only swim wear and gear.
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Swimming is perfect for individuals who want a great low-impact workout with many benefits. It is ideal for anyone with joint conditions like arthritis or who are recovering from injury. Swim workouts give you a full body workout with a very low risk of injury as is present in other sports. Swimmers still see increased muscle definition after a few workouts. It is a great, year-round way to incorporate both cardiovascular work and strength training into your daily routine.
Swim strokes include freestyle, breaststroke, backstroke, and butterfly. Most recreational swimmers practice freestyle. There are a few key things to remember while you are swimming freestyle. Ideally, you should rotate your body from your hips, spending 1/3 of your time on your right side, 1/3 on your stomach, and 1/3 on your left side. When doing a swim workout, flip turns can be your friend. Learn how to do flip turns if you don't know how; a few days of practicing these will make your workouts much smoother. When you swim laps, time your sets: set a goal for yourself in terms of number of laps within a certain time so that you can see your progress instead of just saying “I’m going to swim for 30 minutes.” Try swimming 300 meters, or try swimming 300 meters in 6:00 minutes. To keep seeing progress, vary your workout with kicks (with or without kickboard), pulls (with or without pull buoy, hand paddles, etc), breathing drills, sprints, and longer distances.
Aquatic Exercise is beneficial to everyone. It is low impact and overloads the muscles without straining them. It is particularly beneficial to older adults because there is no risk of falling and breaking a bone, and to overweight exercisers because they will work their muscles and joints without putting undue strain on them due to the excessive weight they are carrying. Aquatic shoes are recommended by almost every aquatic instructor because they cushion and support the foot as well as provide traction. Better traction allows more precise pushing off of the wall and better grip on the bottom of the pool which leads to a more effective workout and ultimately more calorie burning. Speedo, Ryka and Avia make aquatic shoes. Flotation belts are helpful for deep water exercising and jogging in the water because the swimmer won't have to worry about sinking or getting too much water in their mouth; they'll be able to concentrate better on their workout. Styrofoam 'noodles' are also helpful, as are webbed gloves and water dumbbells. With all of these different tools at your disposal, aquatic exercise can be a lot of fun, social, and great for a safe but challenging workout.
Breathing on both sides is a great habit to get into because it balances the workload between both shoulders and sides of your neck. Also, try to do at least one stroke after pushing off from the wall before you take your first breath. When you breathe, don’t lift your head straight up out of the water and look forward and then to the side; instead, keep your head in line with your body and just tilt your face to the side to take a quick breath with your mouth, then put your face back in the water before your hand reaches into the water again with your stroke. Try to keep your breathing as steady as possible instead of gasping for air as you lift your mouth out of the water. Take regular breaths with a set of strokes, such as breathing every 2nd stroke, 3rd stroke, or 4th stroke. Blow bubbles regularly and steadily, starting a slight exhale just before your face is in the water again so as to not get water in your nose or mouth.
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