I am a big fan of swimming – it helped me gently ease in to exercise, it helped me to lose weight and tone and it was the perfect low impact exercise when I injured my knee. I wanted to share with you the benefits of swimming, as well as my interview with an Olympian about how great swimming is.
If you want to be kept up to date on more posts like this, then please subscribe to the blog mailing list (it takes 30 seconds) and you will get sent the new recipes straight to your inbox. Your email address won’t be passed on to anyone and you will never be spammed. Click here to sign up
Here are some facts about swimming:
- Thirty minutes of exercise in the water is equivalent to an hour of land-based exercise
- Swimming is the perfect “feel good” exercise, with 68% saying that being in the water helps them to feel good about themselves
- Thirty minutes of steady swimming can burn between 200 and 350 calories
- Swimming burns approximately three calories a mile per pound of bodyweight – so a woman weighing 150 points can burn approximately 450 calories for every mile swum
- No impact on joints and no DOMS
I still like to run and do other forms of cardio, but swimming has to be my favourite because of how it is a total body workout. After about 10 days of swimming being a main part of my workout routine, I can really feel it in my core, which is an area that I definitely need to work on. I have never been injured whilst swimming whilst I have with other workouts and although it can be very exhausting, it can be relaxing too.
Team GB volleyball player Zara Dampney, who is training for Rio 2016, has undergone a six-week training programme with an Olympic Speedo coach to supplement her training. She did fitness testing at University of Bath before and after the programme and she’s improved on every aspect of her training (as well as losing half a stone!). I chatted with her about the benefits of swimming and what she has gotten out of it.
- What advice would you give to someone that is a total beginner with swimming?
I would say just jump in the pool and go for it! I would recommend taking it slowly, begin with strokes you’re more comfortable with and gradually build confidence length by length.
- What advice would you give to someone that has always enjoyed swimming, and would like to take it more seriously?
Set yourself a programme that is varied and keeps things interesting, that way you won’t get bored and can keep your motivation levels high. For example, my swim programme incorporated five different training aids (Hydro Discs, Centre Snorkel, Elite Pullkick, Boifuse Fin and Biofuse Power Paddles) so it was really varied!
- What are your favourite pre and post workout snacks?
I try to avoid eating just before a swim session as it can make you feel a bit sick, so perhaps something light at least an hour before (cottage cheese and crackers is a good example). Afterwards I’ll usually have a nice salad or steak and vegetables, to restore energy. I also like almond milkshakes with raspberries and some oats if I am struggling for inspiration.
- What is your favourite swimwear brand and why?
My favourite brand is Speedo, the swimsuits are great quality and chlorine-resistant, so they’re durable when you’re in the water a lot. There are also lots of lovely designs, with lovely cuts and colours, which keeps it feminine.
- What mental and physical benefits have you seen from swimming?
The physical benefits have been huge, I feel much fitter and leaner. We did fitness testing at the University of Bath before and after my programme and the last set of results showed great improvements in my upper body strength and aerobic/anaerobic fitness. I also feel like my metabolism has really increased and I have good energy levels.
Mentally I feel as though I don’t ever dread a swimming session, like I do with other cardio sessions. You need power through each session but you feel mentally strong and happy when you do it!!
- What would you say to someone that is put off of swimming because they have to be seen in public in a swimsuit?
I would say it isn’t about appearance; it’s about feeling good inside and getting the satisfaction from completing a session and leading a strong and healthy lifestyle.
- What did you enjoy most about your Speedo swimming programme?
Having a new training method that I can keep doing into old age and not struggle with the impact you get from running. I have been able to add another training method into my overall exercise regime, so now I can make sure I’m always doing something active.
- Did you learn anything about swimming that you didn’t know before you started the programme?
That you should look at the end of the pool when swimming rather than the bottom, that was news to me! Also, to twist and use your whole body with a stroke, I used to try to keep my body still!
- What is the best thing about swimming?
It’s a brilliant all-over body exercise that doesn’t have the same impact on your joints that you find with running, this means anyone can do whatever their age!
Zara Dampney is the ambassador for the Get Speedo Fit range and has undertaken a six-week swim programme to supplement her volleyball training. Swimming twice a week for 45-60 minutes each time, the programme incorporated sessions to target the following areas: speed, power, lung strength, flexibility, muscle toning and fitness/aerobic endurance.
Not only did Zara lose half a stone during her 6 weeks training, but she reduced her body fact percentage by almost three per cent and improved on every aspect of her fitness
Please see here for more information: http://store.speedo.co.uk/c/get-speedo-fit
Do you enjoy swimming? Have you noticed any specific improvements through swimming? Leave a comment below.
*This is a sponsored post*