According to health experts, people in their teens to those in their sixties should get around 150 to 180 minutes of moderate exercise in a week.
Moderate exercise should also include activities that involve strengthening exercises which will help in keeping the muscles fit and healthy.
People beyond their sixties can also do exercises as long as their health permits.
Among the different options available, many people tend to choose swimming for a variety of reasons. Swimming is not only very inexpensive but can be done at a pace that suits you.
Swimming gives the human body a thorough workout, both physically and mentally. It combines aerobics, strengthening, and stretching. Simply laying afloat on the water is enough for the core muscles to get activated.
That said, not everyone likes to go the whole hog when it comes to swimming. Many people prefer doing lap swimming as a form of exercise.
Lap Swimming Suitable ForSo, what is lap swimming?
Lap swimming is an excellent option if you are healthy, a good swimmer, and have got a green signal from your doctor. You can do any stroke in lap swimming.
The side, breast, back strokes are the most favored as many tend to prefer not getting their face wet during swimming.
Lap swimming, however, is not recommended if you have any underlying medical conditions like seizure disorder or heart disease. These conditions can put you at the risk of having a life-threatening event.
Lap swimming is also not recommended if you have difficulty climbing into and out of the swimming pool quickly.
Furthermore, lap swimming should be avoided if you have suffered an injury or undergone any shoulder-related operation as it can result in increased pain.
Slow Start AdvisableGetting a go-ahead for lap swimming doesn’t mean that you start with 30 or 40 laps. One should ease into it. Initially, the focus should be on spending enough time in the pool and getting the body adjusted to the new exercise routine.
Start with a short swim for 10 minutes a few times a week. Make a note of the time being taken to get one lap done and slowly increase the time spent in the pool and the number of laps.
Keep noting the progress made and work on improving the timing and laps.
Benefits of Lap SwimmingOnce you are in the groove, you will start to notice the benefits of lap swimming. Lap swimming does not put pressure on the joints due to the buoyancy effect.
Lap swimming also focuses on breathing and movement which gives a meditative touch to it.
Some Other Benefits Include
- Lowering blood pressure
- Improving cardiovascular health and endurance
- Increased flexibility
- Weight control
- Improving balance and stability
- Decreased risk of falling
- Improves concentration and thinking
- Decreased stress levels
Do’s and Don’tsThe most important thing to remember while taking to lap swimming is ensuring that the muscles are properly warmed up – gentle paddling for few minutes and stretching muscles of shoulder and leg.
Other Important Points
- Wearing non-slip footwear while walking on the deck
- Proper application of sunscreen for an outdoor swim
- Staying well hydrated both before and after swimming
- Proper muscle stretching after lap swimming
For The Non-swimmersYou can get benefits of water-based exercises even if you are not a swimmer. You can use the shallow end of the pool for aquatic exercises.
You might join a class where the trainer trains the group with flotation devices (water weights or pool noodles). You can also try to walk in the water; it is good for your bones and muscles.
Interested? Then check out for aquatic exercise classes at a fitness center or local YMCA or a community center near you.