Many people who embark on an exercise regimen might look to jogging and weight equipment, but such exercise isn’t for everyone. Running can be too high-impact for some due to the repeated pushing against concrete that the activity entails, while weights carry various strain and sprain risks when not conducted under the watchful eye of a personal trainer.
For persons turned off by these activities, swimming provides a healthy alternative. It carries none of the impact dangers that running does and won’t put excessive strain on a person’s body like weights could. All it takes is a pool and a basic understanding of how to glide through the water to get started.
But if you’re looking to take your swimming exercises to the next level and make sure you’re getting the most out of the activity as a whole, then there are certain small steps (or strokes) you could take to dramatically improve the quality of the exercise. A new report provides some essential guidance.
First, make sure you’re taking breaths at opportune moments. The column advises that a breath should be taken every three strokes. If you go every one stroke, you’re gasping in too much, and if you go every two, you’re always facing one side instead of alternating. Make sure you’re exhaling while you’re in the water so that you’re sending out carbon dioxide at the same rate at which you’re inviting in oxygen.
Ideally, your body will be straight in the water. Think about how you would stand up straight while on your feet, and just imagine yourself being turned 90 degrees. This kind of body extension is healthy for your spine.
Also be sure that you’re not initiating new strokes before your former one is complete. That means that you should let yourself be propelled through the water, initiating the next action after the forward momentum of the prior one has reached its apex. And when you have to turn your body in order to get your arm in the proper position needed in order to push you forward, never let your body to turn to the side by more than 45 degrees. If your body runs parallel to the wall of the pool, your methods are fine, but if you find yourself turning back further or significantly less than that, alterations might be needed.
Finally, imagine that you have a straight line running through the center of your body, dividing the two hemispheres. Never let your right arm go past this line to the left and vice versa. By staying within the lines, you encourage symmetry and won’t emphasize one side of the body over the other or contort your body into an awkward position.
If you’re really looking for the best experience possible, consider seeking out the assistance of a qualified personal trainer who can offer additional guidance.