Swim Your Way to a Better Body

The hot, often humid, days of summer are upon us. What better time to enjoy a refreshing dip? And while you’re cooling off, why not swim your way to a better body? Since many of us spend a lot of time at the pool, lake, or ocean over the summer, this is a convenient way to get fit.

Swimming is a low-impact cardiovascular exercise, which means you can work your heart without putting undue stress on your joints. Many older people, and those with ailments like arthritis, choose swimming as their primary form of exercise because of its gentle nature. In addition, the rhythmic repetition of swimming laps or doing water aerobics aids in stress reduction and relaxation.

Dr. Agatston advises working up to 20 minutes of cardio intervals (where you alternate between short bursts of intensive effort and easier recovery periods) into your swimming routine. In other words, swim as fast as you can for a lap of the pool, for example, doing the crawl, breaststroke, or whatever stroke you feel most comfortable with. Follow that with a slower recovery lap, then repeat, changing up your strokes, as desired. If you can’t do 20 minutes at first, don’t fret. You’ll get fitter with practice.

If that's too much effort, at least get in the shallow end of the pool and try to run in place, or walk back and forth across it. The resistance of the water will provide a good workout.

For more information on how cardio interval training can help you lose weight faster and become more active, visit the Get Fit section of southbeachdiet.com. Not a member? Sign up today!

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