Swim your way to health

Published 10:56 pm Thursday, February 2, 2006

By Staff
We've all heard that swimming is a great workout. In fact, most doctors or fitness experts are suggesting swimming as part of a normal routine. It tones your entire body while providing an excellent cardiovascular workout; it strengthens your heart muscle and improves delivery of oxygen to muscles. Swimming is also a relaxing activity.
So, how do you get started?
Simple! You should first contact your doctor to find out if swimming is alright for you. Once your doctor gives you the OK to swim, it's time to get going.
Swimming equipment may be very helpful for those who cannot swim or need support while in the water. Some of the most common kinds of equipment are a kickboard and a light foam board that supports your upper body, like a noodle. Upper body support is useful when doing kicking exercises.
Pregnant? No problem!
Pregnant women can benefit from swimming by helping them strengthen their abdominal and shoulder muscles, which are areas that are often taxed by carrying a baby. Water exercise can also reduce the joint stiffness, high blood pressure and discomfort associated with pregnancy. You should check with your doctor before hitting the water.
Don't have a pool or access to one?
You're in luck. There are plenty of places to get your workout accomplished. The Niles-Buchanan YMCA has a pool and offers swiming classes. This is very helpful, especially with the cold winter months when swimming outdoors is not possible.
During the summer months though, you can get your workout at a local beach. Just remember your sunscreen!
These are just a few of the endless benefits swimming can offer. Don't forget to check with your docto first.