7 Tips to Swim for Fitness

Sunday, May 22, 2016 | 8:00 pm

Liz&KidThinking about implementing a new workout? Try swimming – it has a number of health benefits and requires minimum equipment. How to swim for the best performance?

1. Go against your instincts – swimming isn’t second nature to most humans—especially if you haven’t done much swimming since you were a child. So you may be able to run a 5K with ease, but can’t do two laps in a pool to save your life. Once you understand that getting started is difficult for everyone, you can stop letting this sinking feeling (literally) ruin your swim workouts!

2. Be patient – After about a month or so anyone can get comfortable working their body in the water and when you do, you’ll really begin to enjoy the feeling of moving weightlessly through the water. Swimming efficiently is like getting a workout and a massage at the same time.

3. Use your legs – grab a kickboard and see how you measure up against the best of the best. If it takes you 5 to 10 times longer, then you need to work on your kick. It will give you most of the power needed to take you through the pool.

4. Count strokes, not laps – It’s easy to get caught up in completing a certain number of laps. But the best and simplest way to measure efficiency is to count your stroke per pool length. The more strokes you take, the more energy you expend, which will tucker you out sooner than you’d like.

5. Save your breath – The secret to breathing correctly isn’t only turning your head to gulp air on every third stroke. It’s about keeping your body in the best position to inhale and use your oxygen efficiently. This means keeping your hips high in the water and making sure your head is neutral with a long, straight neck and your eyes are looking down.

6. Don’t try to be perfect – rather than waste time and energy setting impossible standards for yourself, follow a more realistic plan. Make some days about swimming longer sets that focus on endurance, and other days about swimming shorter, faster sets that build up speed.

7. Join a team – it’s actually much harder to swim alone and push yourself than to swim with others, even if they are sharks next to your guppy. Most teams have a wide variety of swimmers, from beginners to more advanced.

If you want to start working out in the water, visit Waterworks Aquatics at 2290 E. Foothill Boulevard. Call (626) 836-1200 or visit their website for more information http://waterworksswim.com/.




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