Water is great for your health. From drinking it to swimming in it. It should be part of our daily lives. The health benefits are for all ages, young, old and everyone in between.
Health benefits of swimming
Low impact: less impact through the joints, allowing for greater intensity without the wear and tear on the joints. It is particularly helpful if you are recovering from injury or suffer from arthritis.
Good for your cardiovascular system: swimming with your face under water allows your body to adapt to using oxygen more efficiently. The results can include lower resting heart rates, lower blood pressure and improved performance in other sports such as running.
Improves endurance: the more efficiently your body can use oxygen and the stronger your body gets the more performance your body with have when participating in endurance sports such as running.
Improves flexibility: the swimming strokes can get you moving in ways that you wouldn’t normally do in day to day life. This can make it tough to start with but will soon help improve your flexibility and get you moving more freely.
Reduces the risk of illness: taking up swimming can reduce the risk of stroke, heart disease and type 2 diabetes.
Everyone can do it: as long as you are actually able to swim no one is restricted. Whether you are recovering from an injury, a triathlete, a pregnant or new mum swimming is a great workout.
Stress release: as with all exercise the lift of mood that can come from completing a workout can be hugely beneficial. Boosting your mood and reducing your stress levels.
An exercise for life: swimming is one of the few skills you learn for life (and why it is so important that everyone takes the time to learn) not only could it save your life one day it can open up many experiences in life. Ever wanted to swim with dolphins or go snorkelling or jet skiing? Being able to swim will allow you to try such an experience should the opportunity arise.
It’s never too late to learn
As someone who has taught people to swim I know how important it is. It is a life skill and something that you can pass on to your children. Ideally, you would learn to swim as a child and over all childhood hobbies I believe swimming should be prioritised as it could genuinely save your life one day. If you have reached adulthood and think it is too late I highly recommend you getting some lessons, you will be surprised how quickly you can pick up technique and be a competent swimmer before you know it. Not only would that allow you to work out by swimming it also helps when you are trying to keep up with your children
Don’t fancy doing lengths at the pool
Another way to get fitter in the water is aqua aerobics. You could do a class or even do some moves by yourself. Simply trying to walk in water is a challenge, give it a try next time you head to the pool. The resistance of the water really does create an environment for a great workout.
Opening water swimming can be done all over the country, so if you are looking for a challenge or don’t want to be stuck in the pool go online and find your nearest location.
Don’t forget that the water can be dangerous and should always be treated with respect, something to be aware of and perhaps go through with your children and grandchildren is the WATER SAFETY code.
S pot the dangers, check for hazards before you enter any water and when out and about do not get too close to the edge of banks.
A dvice should be followed. This includes reading signs that are situated around water, swimming only in safe zones, ideally with a lifeguard present and wearing safety equipment when appropriate.
F riends, you should never swim alone and someone else should be aware of where you are swimming, if something should go wrong someone needs to be able to know where to look.
E mergency. It is important to know what to do in an emergency situation, call 999 or 112, shout loudly to attract attention and make sure you never enter the water to save someone.
As always, any questions please comment or get in touch.
You may be considering getting help to achieve your health and fitness goals, and looking into getting yourself a personal trainer. Many people may see the price of personal training sessions and think they are expensive. This is understandable but there are many advantages to getting yourself a good personal trainer. By taking a look at the reasons why people may need a personal trainer and what a P.T. can do may make the price tag seem better value for money than you first thought.
Why would you want or need a personal trainer and what can they do for you?
1. You are not seeing results from your current training. A trainer can look at your current exercise and dietary habits and help you make changes in order to achieve your goals effectively.
2. You don’t know what to do or where to start. They can help you determine goals, hold you accountable and motivate you. A personal trainer can give the knowledge needed to carry out complete and effective routines to achieve your goals. This knowledge is something you can potentially use for the rest of your training life and habits that will stay with you.
3. You find your current workouts boring. They can give you fresh ideas or reignite your interest in healthy living and training effectively to achieve the body that you want.
4. You want/like to be challenged. Motivation is extremely important. For example within a session if you have a trainer pushing you to do that extra rep and spotting you in a safe manner if you are lifting weights, the chances are you will get pushed harder than if you had trained by yourself. This in turn should also help give you greater strength and more confidence in your own abilities.
5. You want to learn and have the ability to work out on your own but lack the knowledge to do so. Once you get given this foundation of knowledge it gives you the freedom to be confident that you know how to start.
6. You need accountability and motivation to stay on track. You are much less likely to skip a workout if you have an appointment with a trainer, this can help you get into the routine of training making it easier to carry on if you stop having regular P.T.
7. You have a specific illness, injury or condition that needs to be addressed in some way. Training can be focused depending on the needs of the client. An injury or area of weakness can be focused on and improved.
8. You are training for a sport or event. Training can be designed to focus upon performance goals to achieve in a particular sport or event.
9. You want supervision and support while you train. Having someone able to observe and step in when needed whilst you train is useful as this is safe way to learn and check technique. Even with mirrors there can be certain techniques that can be difficult to pick up on by yourself, a good P.T. will constantly be checking and adjusting your position when necessary.
10. You want to be able to work out at home but need guidance in order to do it safely and effectively. A trainer can design and show you how to execute home workouts. Once again, gaining the knowledge to carry out workouts effectively.
Having a personal trainer can mean different things to each individual. Where one person may be looking for a long term training mentor, others may just need a few sessions to keep them motivated and on track with their health and fitness goals. Knowledge is the key component to training and achieving results. There are many training packages available, personally I try and tailor them to an individuals needs. By offering different session lengths, the option of training with a friend so you can share the cost and being flexible helps make it more affordable for all. You can book a FREE consultation to discuss your requirements further.
Many people who come to me want to look and feel better. Some have never done structured exercise before and others may have joined a gym at some point. Many also come under the umbrella of a yo-yo dieter. For some a quick fix is all they want, being able to get into the outfit for a special occasion. Most people ultimately want to achieve something that is going to last long term. A lifestyle to last a lifetime.
In order to look and feel good it is necessary to have a healthy lifestyle and for many this means making lifestyle changes. Two main areas to consider are diet and exercise. You need to have a good, balanced diet and exercise regularly and consistently.
Healthy habits include drinking at least 2 litres of water every day, drinking little alcohol and removing processed food, in particular sugar, from your diet as much as possible.
People are time poor.
We now live in a fast food nation. Takeaways, fast food we can pick up on the go in petrol stations and corner shops, microwave meals to name just a few. The fact that people are time poor means turning to these options are becoming more common. People are trying to juggle all of their commitments, work and family, this is challenging and that is often why a healthy lifestyle can slip. But lack of time should not be used as an excuse! Planning and organisation is key, fail to plan, plan to fail. It is possible to achieve a healthier lifestyle if you apply some of these methods to your weekly routine.
Planning and preparation
Make a plan of what you are going to eat for the week ahead. This means you can write a shopping list and ensure that you have everything that you are going to need. It also allows for you to be prepared for potential mid-week shops knowing exactly what it is you need and when. Restocking on the items you need without the temptation of those you do not. It is also a good idea to plan preparation times, when you are able to cook and more importantly when you need to prepare in advance. If you are fortunate to be able to cook each meal fresh that’s great but chances are this is either rarely the case or at the very least will occur. The easiest way of having balanced and nutritious meals throughout the day is meal preparation. Cooking in bulk is a great time saver. Something that you can eat within a couple of days can be boxed up and put in the fridge ready to take when you need it. For some even preparing a couple of day’s food is not enough. You can also freeze meals that you have bulk prepared and then get them out of the freezer the night or morning before you want to eat them.
If you are out all day preparation is especially important. Boxing up your meals (essentially a packed lunch) can ensure you don’t miss a meal. The problem if you don’t is you may end up grabbing fast food that you’d rather not eat or reaching the point of hunger and overeating because of that. If you go long periods of time without eating your blood sugar level, energy level and metabolism will drop and these are things that you want to try and avoid.
The same amount of planning should go into your exercise routines. Decide when you are going to work out during the week ahead. What you are going to do for each workout and what your goals for the week ahead should all be considered. Being methodical and organised should keep you on track and potentially increase your enjoyment as you will be achieving goals each week. A feeling of satisfaction at the end of the week is a great motivator for wanting to keep going next week. Focusing on improvements and positive steps will lead you to a healthier lifestyle.
Prepare, be organised and make it a lifestyle.
Vicki is a Personal Trainer, Coach and Swimming Teacher with the aim of helping others achieve their health and fitness goals.