For both those who simply want to improve their health and those who are focused on optimizing their physical performance, a combination of strength training and cardiovascular training is the best option to achieve your goals.
Strength training consists of movements in which the body works against resistance and allows muscles, tendons and bones to be strengthened, as well as promoting hypertrophy . There are many ways to work strength. This can be done using external loads such as bars, dumbbells or pulleys or with your own body weight doing calisthenics.
When it comes to cardiovascular training, the most popular modalities are running and cycling, as well as elliptical work. However, there is a type of training that provides comparable benefits in terms of strengthening the heart and respiratory system, but also works the entire body, has virtually no impact on the joints and, as you will see below, is related to lower mortality compared to other types of exercise . It is, of course, about swimming to your training.
SWIMMING IS ONE OF THE MOST COMPLETE SPORTS
That is a very popular claim and there is a good reason behind it. To move efficiently through the water, a large number of muscles are needed to work together, from the arms, shoulders and back with the stroke to the core that maintains proper posture and assists in the kick, where they are also involved. the legs, especially the calves and buttocks.
The activation of each of these muscle groups will depend to a large extent on the style chosen: chest, back, butterfly or front crawl. But in all cases there will be virtually no muscle left out of action .
SWIMMING IS THE PERFECT CROSS TRAINING
Runners know that building an aerobic base through high-volume, low-intensity training (in zone 2) is essential to perform well in a race, but one limitation that running imposes is the impact on joints. .
Accumulating a lot of volume in this modality, we are talking about running many hours a week, increases the risk of suffering from muscle overload to a stress fracture. One way to still get the cardiovascular benefits you’re looking for, but give your joints a break, is to include swimming to your lifeguard training program.
Of course, there are adaptations that are specific to the activity being performed, so just swimming to your training won’t make you a good runner, but there are shared benefits between these modalities, the same with cycling.
SWIMMING CONTRIBUTES TO LONGEVITY
This is what a study published in the International Journal of Aquatic Research and Education reveals . This research, conducted by scientists at the University of South Carolina, compared the death rates of people who led sedentary lives, people who walked frequently, runners, and swimmers. They found that those who had the lowest risk of all-cause mortality were those who practiced swimming to your training.
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WHAT YOU SHOULD KEEP IN MIND
One thing that immediately comes to mind for most people when discussing exercise is whether the activity in question, will help them lose weight. The answer is more complex than a simple yes or no.
For there to be weight loss, a caloric deficit is necessary . This is that the calories you burn during the day are more than the ones you consume. This includes both calories used simply to perform necessary body processes (we call this basal metabolic rate) and calories used in processing food, calories used during movement that is not intentional exercise (standing up to bathroom, cooking, walking, etc.) and physical training.
As you can see, exercise is only part of the equation. Speaking specifically of that, yes, if you swim you will burn a good amount of calories and this will make it easier for you to reach a caloric deficit . But it’s not as simple as saying: swim and you will lose weight.