Now the darker nights are here, walking for fitness may start to become a little more difficult if you don’t want to go out wandering in the dark. Why not get fit indoors… in your local swimming pool! There are loads of health benefits to perfecting your front crawl. Here is our mini guide to getting started in the pool…
Swimming is a great all-round exercise – all the benefits of cardio without breaking out too much of a sweat. It’s a total body workout, lighter on your joints than a run, it’s also said to reduce risk of heart disease and help with weight loss, as well as boosting your mood.
To begin with, look at your local pool’s timetables. You may wish to start with some beginner lessons if you’re not a confident swimmer yet – don’t feel like you need to rush straight into swimming 50 lengths, remember any activity you do is always better than not doing anything.
To start building your fitness, work out how many lengths you can swim before you feel tired/out of breath. Each time you go to the pool aim to beat that number by one or two lengths.
When that starts to feel easy, try mixing your strokes – front crawl, back crawl, breast or butterfly stokes, to give yourself more of a challenge and target different muscle areas on your arms, back, glutes and legs.
Why not try this mini circuit to get you started
- 4 x lengths front crawl, warm-up (rest between laps if needed)
- 2 x lengths front crawl, counting strokes per length (try to keep to an even number of strokes)
- 4 x lengths front crawl, resting 30 seconds between each length.
- 2 x lengths front crawl, counting strokes per length (try to keep to an even number of strokes again)
- 2 x lengths crawl, warm down (swim slowly and relax)
Have a look on 100 Swimming Workouts for more inspiration on turning your leisurely swim into a fat burning exercise.
Have you tried swimming for fitness? How did you get on? Let us know in the comments below.