Swimming is a type of aerobic exercise that works your entire body. Each different swimming stroke challenges different muscles and tendons. The warm water of a pool can help to keep you limber and reduces unwanted muscle contractions and cramping. Consider these benefits of swimming as it relates to your muscle and tendon structures.
Building Strength and Endurance
Including swimming in your exercise routine helps to build a woman’s tendon and muscle strength. While in the water, your body becomes buoyant. The water reduces the pressure on your joints and bones while still challenging your muscles and tendons. Regular swimming, water aerobics and treading water can all work the muscles and tendons in your arms, shoulders, back and legs.
If you are new to swimming, start with short sessions and add time as you get stronger. Most adults should get at least 2.5 hours of vigorous exercise every week, and swimming counts.
Swimming and Yoga
What do these two have to do with each other? Much more than what might first come to mind. Because swimming builds a lot of core strength, practitioners of yoga who also swim on a regular basis find that they can more easily perform at maximum capacity while doing their yoga routine. Also, because both require you to be aware of how you are using your body, your motions are much easier to control.
Taking Swimming Lessons
If you do not yet know how to swim, taking swimming lessons is a good way to learn. Many private and community pools offer adult swimming lessons in NYC. In one of these classes, you will be joined by other women who also want to enjoy the health benefits of swimming. The instructors are certified and will begin by teaching you basic skills. Even if you have no plans of becoming a championship swimmer, taking lessons will help you to learn the correct swimming techniques.
Proper technique will help to minimize wear and tear on your ligaments, tendons and muscles. When you use the right postures and techniques for swimming, your body will not by achy or sore after your time in the pool.
Reducing Joint Pain
Land-based aerobic exercise such as walking, jogging, running and dancing puts a lot of pressure on your joints. Joint aches and pains often result from inflamed or torn muscles and tendons. When you have pain, you may have to stop exercising and allow the injured parts of your body to heal.
When swimming, there is less impact and a lower amount of pressure inflicted on your muscles and tendons. This minimizes joint pain. Therefore you are able to do more activities that support your health and wellness, like yoga, for instance. If you have rheumatoid or osteoarthritis, swimming is an ideal exercise because it allows you to move your joints without putting much pressure on them.
Moving your joints regularly can actually reduce arthritis symptoms and slow the progression of progressive arthritic disease. Combining your swimming routine with regular yoga practice can lead to increased flexibility and endurance. Because you have to control your breathing when swimming, you can easily apply that same principle to your yoga routine. It is amazing to see these two different forms of exercise support each other for greater health and wellness.
Maintaining Bone Health
Swimming strengthens your muscles and tendons. Because tendons attach muscles to bones, swimming can help you to maintain your bone strength. Maintaining strong bones is important for all women, but it is especially critical to women who have reached menopause. Menopausal and post-menopausal women are at an increased risk of loss of bone mass and degenerative bone diseases such as osteopenia, osteoporosis and degenerative disc disease of the spine. If you have brittle bones, the buoyancy delivered by the water in a pool can reduce your risk of hairline cracks in your bones.
Regular swimming helps to maintain your bone mass. Because some of your weight is supported by the water, there is less of a risk of fracture when compared to land-based aerobic exercises that have a high impact and increase pressure on your bones.
If you do not already know how, learning to swim is a great life skill and excellent form of exercise. Swimming a few times each week helps to build or maintain your bone mass and the strength of your muscles and tendons.
This type of exercise is particularly beneficial to women who have reached menopause and are starting to experience symptoms of arthritis or a loss of muscle or bone strength.