Swimming

I am not a swimmer. Although I don’t sink like a helpless rock to the bottom of the pool, I’ve never been especially effective at displacing water with long gliding motions as some other more amphibious of us seem naturally fitted to do.

Don’t get me wrong, I love to swim. I am invigorated by the ocean and would freely jump into a lake and swim amongst the reeds and trout. But here in Tempe, Arizona rivers, lakes and oceans are a distant dream. We are a city full of backyard pools which are very often merely accessories to a population of sun bathers. So serious swimming is not a consideration when a pool length might not exceed 20 ft or a depth of 5.

Olympic ambitions notwithstanding, these lounging pools do little to encourage the couch potato from their sun-dried recliners into vigorous water churning. And so here in an unquenched desert we bask beside these outdoor tubs and refrain from the physical engagement these water holes might provide even with such limited space.

Here are three essential advantages with exercising by swimming:

1. Buoyancy:  This water property allows people to do exercises that are difficult on land.  90 % of your body is buoyant when in the water up to your neck, so you are not hitting the floor as hard as you would on land.  No pounding or jarring!
2. Resistance:  There is continual resistance to every move you make.  The water offers 12% – 14% more resistance than when you exercise on land.  Resistance does not allow for sudden body movements.
3. Cooling Effects:  Water disperses heat more efficiently, so there is less chance of overheating.  The water continuously cools the body.  Exercise in the water is cooler and more comfortable than it is on land.

And swimming is a full body workout so it is useful for every aspect of your functional body and is utilized very effectively as a means for therapy and rehabilitation.

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