Whether you are working on your stamina, trying to lose fat or working on your over-all agility and endurance, cardio exercises take center-stage when it comes to fitness. Contrary to popular belief, even muscle building and putting on weight requires a certain amount of cardio, if you’re doing it right, that is.
Cardiovascular exercises gained popularity in the past few decades, mostly due to the benefit of fat loss and the fact that most of them require almost no equipment. While this holds, we believe the distinct yet hidden-in-plain sight kind of reason to start and regularly do cardio exercise is simple; it is to improve your cardiovascular health.
Even Strong Muscles Need Exercise
The heart is one of the most powerful muscles, appropriately located in the center of the body; it is quite literally at the center of all things. With inappropriate diets, smoking, sodas, and lack of physical activity, even the most active muscles start giving way to weakness and disease.
Besides circulating blood all over the body, the heart is also responsible for providing nutrients and getting rid of any toxins in the system.
Don’t Wait Until It’s Too Late.
Unfortunately, most people start taking cardio health and exercise truly seriously only after they get into some trouble with the heart. Do not apply the ‘don’t fix what’s not broken’ principle to your health. Physical activity is vital to our body, and our mind and regular rigorous movement not only keeps your blood flowing but your joints – loose, your skin – tight and your mood happy.
Researches have shown that our neurological health is in an interactive relationship with our bodies and is dependant on movement. Working out impacts not just our looks but also how we feel internally and has been proven to boost confidence, memory, and problem-solving skills.
Does Swimming Help with Cardio?
Generally speaking, the first thing that comes to your mind when thinking of cardio is running or jogging. A lot of people see treadmills, steppers, skipping, and HIIT (High-intensity interval training) in their heads when they think of cardio workouts.
Not long ago, hardly any non-swimmers considered swimming as a solid cardiovascular exercise. However, studies, athletes, and swimmers have proven swimming is not just a regular cardio exercise, but it may also be one of the best forms of cardio workouts you can do.
The definition of a good cardio workout is any exercise that elevates your heart rate as well as your breathing rate and keeps it there. Swimming does this beautifully without putting a strain on your joints and improves the provision of oxygen throughout the body.
Sadly, most people who do not learn to swim at a young age do not learn to swim at all. While taking swimming lessons for young adults is exceptionally beneficial, there is no right age to start. However old you may be, it’s never too late to learn to swim. Sadly, a relatively large amount of the population remains non-swimmer, and this is especially alarming as drowning remains the 3rd leading cause of unintentional deaths worldwide. Even Australia, which is surrounded by water, has seen an increase of drownings and hospitalization due to non-fatal drowning.
Top 5 Reasons Why Swimming is the Best Cardio
If you try comparing it to a different cardio exercise, swimming wins on almost all accounts. Here are our top 5 reasons why we think swimming is The Best Cardio workout you can get.
1 – Immersion & Resistance
Swimming is an all-immersive experience, and the water you have a resistance that you will not get in HIIT or running. After all, water resistance is far higher than air resistance, at least 14% more resistant to your muscles than movements outside the water. The resistance tones and sculpts your body over time while the immersion improves your breathing in a unique way that you couldn’t get outside of water. Unlike running, being immersed in water, positions you horizontally, and this ensures the blood is flowing throughout the body instead of pooling in the legs.
2 – Better and Healthier Lungs
While all forms of cardio exercises improve lung function and breathing, swimming takes it to the next level. No matter what you’re doing outside the water, you don’t have the added challenge of water. This simple yet profound change forces you to work out in challenging breathing constraints and trains your lungs to maximize capacity and efficiency that no other cardio workout provides. Don’t take our word for it; it’s what the scientists are saying.
3 – Less Pressure on Joints
The leading cause for injuries when working with weights or running is due to the pressure on joints. Running and working with weights results in long term wear and tear of the joints and increases risks of further injuries with prolonged strenuous activities. Whereas, when in the water, you do not experience the same pressure on joints, and even if your form is weak, you are less prone to injuries.
For people with bone-related issues and arthritis, swimming allows them to work out their complete body without the extra pain due to pressure, and the fluidity and weightlessness in water does not put sudden pressure on the body compared to when pushing or pulling weights.
4 – Water is a Calming Element
Whether it is natural springs, lakes, ocean, or an indoor pool, water as an element, carries with itself an intrinsic soothing and calming quality. You feel this calm, sometimes just by being near water. It has a high impact on our hormonal balance and nervous system whether or not we are working out in it. To be able to play in the water, on a day to day basis has a profound impact on your daily life, and it reflects in your mood and general decision making. In any case, swimming beats the clinking and clanking of metal plates, the loud music, and the sweat you have to wipe off every machine before you use it, any given day.
5 – Swimming Makes You Mindful and Alert
We can’t ignore the fact that most people in the gym waste time during and between sets, usually stuck in front of the mirror admiring the ‘pump,’ taking selfies or worse, chatting people up and wasting other peoples’ time. Thankfully, most of this is not possible with swimming. We have experienced this feeling of absolute present-mindedness, as the moment we enter the water, we become alert and mindful almost instantaneously.
During the entire physical activity, we are focused and not easily distracted. Swimming has long term effects even outside the pool with our ability to focus and be present throughout the day.
How Long Do You Need to Swim to Get a Good Cardio Workout?
Like any good cardio workout, you must do it regularly, three or more times a week, to be able to see tangible improvements.
The duration of the swimming workout will depend upon your individual goals, but the general rule of thumb is not to miss more than two days in a row. The good thing about swimming is that you can even do it every day without risking injuries and over-straining muscles and joints.
So, if the idea is to stay fit and keep your heart healthy, follow the
3 – 4 days a week routine for at least 20 – 30 minutes. If you are looking for an athletic and toned body, losing fat, and apparent physical changes, your baseline should be at least 4 – 5 days a week with a minimum of 1 hour of training and working out.
Swimming Lessons for the Cultural and Linguistically Diverse
Swimming lessons for all ages are provided throughout Australia, covering all aspects and stages of swimming from beginner to advance. Australia is a multi-cultural, all-inclusive society and has no shortage of swimming teachers who’ll speak your language. Sydney has some of the best swimming lessons for the cultural and linguistically diverse, so no matter where you come from and what language you speak, there is a teacher for you.
Swimmers experience increased confidence and better mindfulness, not to forget the toned body and healthier organs. It is, without a doubt, a superior choice with several advantages over any other kind of cardiovascular exercise. If you do not know how to swim, the good news is, it is never too late to start. You can learn to swim at any age as long as you give it a proper shot and take it with seriousness, and this may turn out to be one of the most fun as well as rewarding activities you’ll ever do.