Do you love to swim? Some of us feel genuinely addicted to swimming and wish we could hang in the pool all day, every day. But is this okay? With most exercise, rest days are suggested, but what about swimming?
Maxine has the answers to all those questions and more. Keep reading to discover all you need to know about swimming every day.
Why Should You Swim for Exercise?
First, if you are not already a person who swims for exercise, we’re about to convert you! There are many reasons to use swimming as a significant part of your exercise routine. Here are our favorite reasons why you should swim for exercise:
Swimming Is a Full Body Workout
One of the biggest draws of swimming as a workout is that it truly works out your entire body. If you vary the strokes you use, you can ensure that you work out different muscle groups evenly. For example, the breaststroke and the backstroke work different muscles.
Swimming Is Amazing Cardio
In addition to building lean muscle, swimming provides one of the best cardiovascular workouts. It is an incredibly effective way to burn calories if you are trying to lose weight. Swimming blazes through calories, unlike other low-impact activities like walking, yoga, or the elliptical trainer.
Swimming Is Easy on the Joints
If your knees hurt watching someone do squat jumps, you are not alone! People of all ages need low-impact options for various reasons, but especially as we age, it becomes necessary to find gentler ways to exercise. The buoyancy of water means you can get your workout in without working your joint cartilage to the bone (literally).
Swimming Is Fun!
The best reason to swim — it's so much fun! Remember being a kid and going to the local pool? That was the best time of the summer! You can relive that in adulthood by throwing on your favorite swimsuit and incorporating swimming into your routine. The versatility of swimming is part of what makes it so enjoyable.
What Does a Typical Swimming Workout Look Like?
First and foremost, swimming is classified as an aerobic activity, or more specifically, an activity that involves coordinated muscular movements and stresses endurance growth. A regular aerobic exercise program can improve a person's overall health.
It can, however, be dangerous for someone with a preexisting cardiovascular problem such as blood clots or who has had a cardiac event such as a stroke. As a result, before adding any aerobic activity to your fitness routine, you should always consult with your doctor.
We should also add that no single typical swim workout exists. The type of workout you do will depend on many factors, such as your physical fitness level, age, and fitness goals.
Logging Some Laps at Your Local Pool
Arguably the most common way to get water exercise is by swimming laps at the pool. Swimming laps can sometimes be tedious, but it's a terrific way to stay active, especially as you get older. One example of building endurance is working up to 100-meter laps with minimal rest times in between.
You can engage different muscles by alternating face-down strokes like the crawl or breaststroke with the backstroke. Stay comfortable in the water, and don't worry about your speed. If you aren't a strong swimmer, you can do laps with a kickboard and still reap many of the same benefits.
Though not technically considered swimming, water aerobics is a fantastic way to stay in shape, burn calories, and even socialize! People often forget that socialization with others is so important, and studies have shown that when people have a workout buddy or some kind of accountability, they are more likely to stick with a program.
Water aerobics is terrific because it is easy on the joints, plus the water adds gentle resistance to every movement. It can help you develop coordination, flexibility, and strength, which are crucial to staying young, fit, and healthy.
Sport Specific Swim Training
For those looking to swim as a means to train for a specific sporting event like a triathlon, it may be necessary to seek more structured training than just continuously swimming laps in a pool.
Swimming for ten, twenty, or thirty minutes nonstop is a terrific overall workout that will help you improve your speed and strength. However, if you don't include some form drills and swim sets with rest in between intervals, your speed and fitness will plateau.
The internet is rife with websites that offer tutorials and videos on different swim drills. In addition, working interval training into your swimming routine is something you would want to do if looking for a more intense and focused workout.
Is It Okay To Swim Every Day? The Positives
So let's get down to it: Is it okay to swim daily? The answer is not as simple as you might think and depends on various factors.
The short answer is yes. You can absolutely swim every day if that's what you want to do! However, you want to consider the pros and cons of doing so. Here is what will happen if you start to swim every single day.
You Might Lower Your Blood Pressure
Keeping your blood pressure under control is vital for optimum health. Your body will not get the nutrition and oxygen it requires without it. High blood pressure, often known as hypertension, affects over half of the adult population.
The constant movement and activity level of swimming has been found to reduce blood pressure. Swimming every day, in particular, has been shown to reduce blood pressure in persons with hypertension.
So, if you're thinking about swimming every day to improve your health and lower your high blood pressure — that's a fantastic choice.
Stress Levels Can Go Down
There's just something about being in the water when it comes to swimming. There's a sense of calmness and serenity, even while getting in a good workout. Typical gym sessions just don't compare to it.
Swimming necessitates a high level of concentration and leaves little room for distractions from your surroundings. You have to be in the moment while you're in the water.
In addition, swimming, like other types of cardio, has been shown to decrease the release of stress chemicals. Many things in our lives cause stress hormones to rise, so why not engage in a stress-relieving activity?
The aforementioned benefits of swimming for exercise are apparent. Building muscle tone, improving cardiovascular health, losing weight, and improving bone density, are all fitness benefits of swimming.
Is It Okay To Swim Every Day? The Negatives
Potential for Skin Rashes if Swimming in a Pool
If you love swimming, chances are you'll spend a lot of time in a bathing suit, so it is nice to look and feel your best.
Though technically it's not going to hurt to swim everyday, if you're spending a lot of time in the water, you'll want to be wary of heavily chlorinated pools. You may even consider alternating your swimming venues to prevent too much chlorine exposure.
The majority of pools utilize chlorine to clean and disinfect the water. While this protects us from bacteria reproducing in the water, overexposure to this chemical can cause minor rashes and discomfort.
While not everyone gets chlorine rashes, it's something to keep an eye out for and be aware of if you plan to swim every day. It can cause lumps and red rashes that itch and swell, which is no fun for anyone.
Your Eyes Could Get Red From Daily Swimming
Just like there is the potential for skin rashes, that same chlorinate water could make your eyes a bit red if you're constantly in the pool. The more you are exposed to pool chemicals, the more likely you will get some minor eye irritation.
Of course, this does not happen to everyone. Some people are just more prone to eye irritation than others. A simple solution is to always wear goggles when swimming. This will hopefully prevent the vast majority of eye irritation.
Potential for Sun Damage
Unless you only go to indoor pools, you will likely have a lot of time in the sun. If you are not properly protected, this can lead to painful sunburns and skin problems later on.
It's essential to wear sunscreen while you swim. And when you take breaks out of the pool, it's always good to have a cover-up that can give you extra protection from the sun.
How To Recover From a Tough Swimming Workout
You may be wondering if there can be too much of a good thing when it comes to swimming. Well, depending on how hard you are swimming and how much you are exerting yourself, there is some truth to the idea. We will give some tips on how to recover from a tough workout to prevent overtraining.
Warm Up and Cool Down
We are all busy people, but taking the time to warm up before a workout and cool down after will pay dividends in muscle recovery.
A proper warm-up is key to having a productive workout and recovering more quickly and completely in the coming days. Cooling down at the end of the workout will protect your muscles and help prevent injury as well.
Fuel Your Body Well
If you have just had a taxing swimming workout, you must replenish your body with healthy, nutrient-dense food. It's been suggested that people should eat a snack with a blend of protein and carbohydrates within 30-45 minutes of completing their exercise.
Use Active Recovery Days
Yes, you can swim everyday! However, you might not want to go all out everyday. If you love to be in the water, we suggest alternating more intense swim days with lighter ones.
For example, if you did swim sprints and interval training one day, the next day you could do some slow, steady laps. Other options for active recoveryinclude going for a brisk walk or doing some yoga.
It's true: Your body needs rest after a tough workout. However, as long as you care for yourself, there's no reason not to do what you love.
Swimming has so many health benefits. It's impossible to ignore as a source of stress relief and exercise. And for those that know and love those benefits, we're happy to say that it's possible to go swimming everyday!
Just be prepared when you go for your swim. Always bring a healthy, protein-packed snack, wear sunblock, and be aware of the potential irritation of pool chemicals. And don't forget that taking a break now and then allows your body to recover and be ready for even more time in the pool.