Swimmers need many training hours and discipline, as they use their entire bodies to achieve fast times on the water. But even without aiming for speed, swimming is a great way to get your exercise: you use nearly all of your muscle groups, it’s relatively low-impact and you don’t feel like you’re breaking a sweat!
Swimming is also a lot of fun, and a very convenient form of exercise for most. Regardless of your age and ability, staying active can do wonders for your overall health and wellbeing.
Here are some tips to help get you started.
Eat a medley
We all know that eating a varied and balanced diet is important. The nationwide government campaign called Change for Life aims to teach children and their caregivers about the importance of having a variety of food on your plate – fruits, vegetables, grains, proteins and dairy – to ensure their daily nutritional needs are being met. NHS Live Well portal offers similar dietary tips.
Additionally, taking a comprehensive multivitamin that’s specially formulated for your gender and age can help support your diet and top up on any nutritional gaps. Taking a multivitamin is like a good dive from the starting block: it’s helpful to support a healthy diet & lifestyle.
When you are more physically active, your body requires more than the usual recommendation of six to eight glasses of water each day. To increase your water intake, carry bottled water so you can take sips throughout the day, and flavour your water with citrus fruits or berries to make it more appealing to drink. When dining out, order still or sparkling water to go with your meal instead of alcohol or soft drinks (this will be particularly beneficial if you’re trying to reduce your calorie intake).
Another simple pick-me-up is deep breathing, which helps to relax the body and mind. There are various deep breathing techniques you can try, but the important thing is to practice consistently. It’s also something that can be done in almost any given situation, so make time in your day to pause and breathe deeply. It will also promote a better night’s sleep, which is important for recharging your mind and body.
Go for gold
Get inspired by the Rio Summer Games and make exercising an essential part of your day to improve your overall fitness and health. The World Health Organisation recommends children and teens engage in at least one hour of physical activity each day, while adults need to aim for a minimum of 30 minutes daily.
It’s possible to squeeze in some physical activity at any time of the day, whether it’s stretching at your desk, taking a flight of stairs, riding a bike or scooter, walking the dog, or going to the local pool for a swim. Swimming is highly regarded as a safe, effective and therapeutic form of exercise and all-round workout. It helps your body to achieve a number of positive results, such as increased circulation, endurance, flexibility and strength.
Exercise is more about being active than feeling pain or pushing yourself beyond your limits. Adding variation to your activities will help motivate you towards keeping fit. Have fun!