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By Gunjan Parulkar
With the tasks most Indian women juggle every day, we naturally tend to put our health and fitness on the backburner. Take the effort to incorporate swimming in your routine and you will get back feeling refreshed and rejuvenated.
We all know swimming is one of the most natural instincts human beings are born with. It is also one of the best forms of aerobic exercise. Have you ever wondered why? The biggest advantage swimming has over other aerobic exercises is that it does not impact your skeletal system. What this means is that once inside water your body has to bear less than half its weight. The more immersed in water you are the less weight your body has to bear while exercising. So, compared to other forms of aerobic exercises like running, jogging or cycling where you have to carry your weight while exercising, swimming is low intensity but better rewarding to your health.
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Here are examples of how common health problems in women face can be corrected with swimming.
A dip in the pool will lift your spirits and rejuvenate you like nothing else, thanks to the endorphins or happy-hormones that swimming causes to release. Call it the magic of water if you may but just like a shower refreshes you, a swim puts your mind at ease and can help you alleviate your tensions and anxieties.
The technique of alternately breathing under and above water that swimming involves, is good for you. It empowers your lungs and helps them breathe better. The continuous rhythm that it forms is also akin to meditation – a mantra of sorts.
Swimming makes your muscles firm and increases your energy levels. Something as simple as floating on water is known to strengthen body muscles.
The repetitive movement that swimming stroke requires, makes your body flexible and leads to considerable weight loss.
As women get older they need to watch out for signs of their body complaining. It becomes crucial to take notice of our health before it is too late. Here are common health problems one should consider and how swimming will help:
Walking in waist deep water is good for your joints. You could hold on to the rod on the side of the pool and just walk effortlessly to ease pain on your knees. It is advisable for people with arthritis to avoid high impact exercises such as running, tennis etc. This makes swimming the most joint-friendly option available.
Doctors recommend aerobic exercise to keep diabetes, heart diseases and cholesterol related problems at bay. Thanks to the power of aerobic exercises it lets your arteries contract and expand which keeps the thin lining around them in check. Your heart will pump better leading to a better blood flow throughout your body.
Here are quick tips on how you can incorporate swimming in your daily schedule:
– To overcome your fear, start at the shallow end of the pool. Make use of the metal rod fixed at the shallow end. Try walking in waist-deep water for a few days till you conquer your fear of water. Once you have achieved that, try wading or kicking the water surface while holding on to the rod. Move further away from the shallow end after you have gained enough confidence.
– Try hitting the pool on alternate days at any time of the day for 40 minutes according to your convenience. All you need is to spare 120 minutes a week. Quick math will tell you that is barely 2 hours in approximately 170 hours of a week. As you begin to enjoy the swim, you will find yourself making more time for your swimming sessions.
– You can make swimming a fun activity by involving your family or friends and splash around together.
– Wear a comfortable costume that doesn’t restrict your movement. Wearing a swimming cap will keep your hair from getting wet. Learners are recommended to wear a red cap so that it is easy for lifeguards to spot you. In any case it is good to let the life guard know if you are a learner. Wear a jacket after your swim routine to keep your body warm.
Happy swimming! Hope you enjoy it and come back re-energized to your routine.
*Photo credit: Jim Bahn (Used under the Creative Commons Attribution License.)
Nice write up, Gunjan!
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