Take the Plunge

It is May in Indianapolis and it is already hot. Our thermometer here at Meridian Chiropractic is registering in the upper 80’s and we all know it will only get hotter.

With the sun shining and temperatures warming up, many of us turn our thoughts to getting outside, gardening and firing up the BBQ. But let’s think about swimming!

Yes, swimming! Many of us enjoy frolicking in the pool with our son or daughter and a rousing game of Marco Polo or just cooling off from the summer heat. Maybe playing in a swimming pool brings back fond memories of when you were 10 waiting for school to close for the summer.

But did you ever think of the health benefits of swimming? It is unmatched by almost any other sport. Swimming works the whole body like almost no other form of exercise. Swimming uses all the major muscle groups while toning the upper and lower body. It improves cardiovascular conditioning, muscle strength, endurance, posture and flexibility. It improves the body’s use of oxygen without overworking the heart. As you swim longer, you can reduce your heart and respiratory rate making blood flow to the heart and lungs more efficient. It can improve blood pressure by lowering or preventing high blood pressure. There is a low risk of injury as there is little or no stress on joints, bones and connective tissues. By regulating breathing, swimming can be extremely relaxing and therefore a stress reliever.

Do you have a plan to lose weight this summer? Try swimming. Swimmers burn as many calories in one hour as a runner who runs 6 miles in an hour.

Swimming is also a low impact exercise. It is especially beneficial for pregnant women and the elderly. It can help strengthen shoulder and abdominal muscles. It relaxes stiff muscles and joints as it is not weight-bearing and increases circulation.

So, how do you get started on a swimming/exercise program? First, contact your favorite Indianapolis chiropractor. He can advise you on the proper way to get started especially for your particular health issues. Beginners should start at 12-20 minutes of exercising in a pool. Begin with freestyle swimming and gradually work up to the backstoke and butterfly. Each different style uses different muscles and you will learn what works best for you and is the most comfortable. If swimming is not your thing, simply treading water can tone your arms and legs. You can also use the walls of the pool to kick your legs and do leg lifts. Check out water aerobics classes or a synchronized swimming class that can be fun to do with friends.

So, the next time you are thinking of ways to cool off when the thermometer reads 80 degrees, think about a plunge in a swimming pool. Not only will you feel cooler, you will be doing your body good.

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