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Swimming as Part of Your Workout Routine

Cardio exercise can be the most tedious and boring part of working out. Running isn't for everyone, and can cause stress to bones and joints. Additionally, if you live in a hot climate it's often way too hot to run in the blazing sun, even in the morning.

While running is probably the most popular way to get cardio exercise in, it is hard on a body:

  • Running can be taxing on your joints. "Pounding pavement" is actually an appropriate description; repeated and regular running on concrete surfaces can permanently injure your knees.
  • Running uses less muscle. Although legs will looked toned eventually, it's going to take quite some time, and all of your muscles are not going to be utilized. However, swimming requires arm, leg, chest and back muscles to be successful.
  • Although swimming might look easy, that isn't the case. This statement is a common misconception. People tend to believe this because it's impossible to drip sweat in a pool. If you are curious what's best then the best way to test this out is with an empirical exercise. Go for an hour run one day. The next day, swim for the same amount of time.

Another great thing about swimming as an exercise option is that it's actually fun and relaxing. Not only are you not dripping in sweat running in the hot heat, but you're in the soothing environment of water. Swimming is a great way to quiet your mind and focus on nothing but the water and your body in motion. A lot of swimmers try and choose to go swimming at the pool on "off hours" times so they get the whole pool to themselves. Swimming is great too because older people can swim where they may not be able to run or do other types of cardio exercise.

Can't swim? Then learn! If you don't know how to swim already, no worries! Sign up at your local pool or YMCA for swimming lessons. Don't feel embarrassed— a large number of adults do not know how to swim. But, it's so much fun and an important skill everyone should have.

If you're ready to step it up even more then consider aqua fitness. Water aerobics, which takes swimming as an exercise option a step further. Water Aerobics— or aqua fitness— utilizes swimming and water resistance exercises for an overall full body water-based workout. Many local pools and YMCAs offer aqua aerobics classes for all age and ability levels. Give it a try as part of your workout routine!

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