The oppressive heat in some parts of the country can cause more health problems than benefits when the risks of heatstroke and dehydration are factored in. If expensive gym memberships are out of reach, where can we get some fresh air and exercise while still having fun?
Swimming is Fantastic Exercise for the Whole Family
Moms, are you worried about your child spending too much time in front of the TV this summer? Worried about getting your own exercise while having to make sure they stay out of trouble?
Put on some swimsuits, grab towels and sunscreen, and get them, and yourself, to a pool. Swimming is what fitness professionals call a full body workout because it works almost every muscle, including you arms, legs, torso, and even your derriere.
If the exercise benefits aren't enough, consider the family recreation time that you will be spending. Your kids will be active, away from the television and spending long stretches of quality time with you.
Swimming is especially good exercise if you have an injury, are overweight, or have joint problems. Swimming is a low-impact activity, which means that stress is taken off the joints.
If you want to burn some calories, however, low-impact doesn't mean low-intensity. There are a multitude of activities that can be done in the water that will get your heart-rate up and burn fat and calories quickly.
Also, there are many websites that can give you an estimate of how many calories you can burn by swimming. For example, just leisurely swimming without doing laps, a 150 pound person will burn close to 500 calories per hour!
Full Body Relaxation
As with exercise in general, swimming can increase your overall wellness, both mentally and physically. Even if you just float on your back in the water, letting your thoughts and worries drift away, you will end your time at the pool feeling more positive, relaxed, and more likely to get a good night's sleep.
The mental benefits of swimming are a bit more difficult to quantify, but anyone who has taken a refreshing swim after a stressful day understands that. If you haven't already done so, make the effort to get access to a pool in your area. Your body and your kids will thank you for it.