Swimming is an excellent way to break back into working out when you need to get your behind in shape quickly. Behind = your entire body, not just your backside.
It’s always hard to get back to the gym when you don’t exercise for a few months. Even if you motivate yourself enough to make it there, you’ll have to deal with those first few painful post-workout days (up to 72 hours).
The area of pain depends on which muscle set(s) you choose to work. Thus, you can get a sore bum, ouchy arms, or excruciating thigh muscles that hinder your daily activities while you heal and strengthen.
Swimming is an effective choice for kick-starting your exercise routine because it gives you a cardio workout and wakes up your muscles without shocking them. If you do regular swimming movements, you’ll work all these muscles at once without overstressing any of them:
Swimming is also just as effective for cardio as running or jogging. Your lungs expand; your heart rate rises; you get hungry as crap, which means you burn calories. And let’s not forget all the feel-good chemicals that generate during a vigorous workout.
You’ll feel fantastic during the session, and then you’ll stuff your face and take a nap. But you won’t feel like crap when you wake up, and you most likely won’t have any pain.
Our “newbie” fitness blogger took a swim the other day to get back into exercising. It was quite pleasant, and only her glutes hurt the next day, but not too much. Thus, she concluded that her booty was the only thing severely out of shape. Everything else worked and responded well to the exercise.
You can use swimming to transition from a sedentary lifestyle into regular fitness center workouts and then something more. It’s the perfect bridge exercise for that reason, but it can also stand alone.
Who shouldn’t go swimming?
- Sick persons
- People with major wounds
- Those with current neck, shoulder, or knee injuries
- Certain (not all) heart disease patients
- Unattended little ones
How long should you swim when you first start?
Some experts say 15 minutes is reasonable for beginning sessions, while others say 30. It depends on your health and how your body responds to the session. If you feel like you can go for an hour, do it. If your body tells you to stop after 15 minutes, don’t push it.
I have asthma. Can I swim?
Yes, you can swim if you have asthma, especially if your attacks are allergy-and-illness-induced. Simply avoid the allergens or take a non-drowsy antihistamine. Exercise-induced asthmatics can still swim, but they may want to use their inhalers beforehand and keep them by the pool in case of an emergency.
Quick Tips for Swimming
- Shower from head to toe before and after swimming.
- Wear comfortable swimwear.
- Eat a protein-rich meal no later than 90 minutes before swimming.
- Pack on the calories if you don’t intend to lose weight.
- Take little breaks in between laps. Thirty seconds is the recommended breaking period, but you can adjust it according to your needs.
- Don’t try to be in the Olympics your first time.
- Drink a lot of water before and after swimming.
- Warm-up before you get into heavy movements.
- Eat a protein-rich meal after swimming to help your muscles recover.
- Buddy up with one other person if possible.
Disclaimer: This blog writer does not have any knowledge, education, skills, talents, or experience in any subject matter whatsoever. She just talks out of her behind and makes up stuff. All of her posts are based on opinion and imagination. Please consult with a professional—or hell, anyone but her—to get the “real story” on any information you read here.