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pump those swimming muscles

>> Wednesday, June 20, 2007

if there's one athletic dream i'm allowed to have, i'll wish that i'd become an olympic swimmer.



i was once asked why i like swimming. i had two answers:
1. the whole body is toned just by doing laps
2. i don't feel that i'm sweating

yes, i'm serious on the second one. that's why i don't like gyms and aerobics. i don't like to sweat, because i feel icky and sticky. exercising in the water is refreshing because it's as if i'm taking a bath while i'm working out.

me in the pool
i didn't take formal lessons in swimming. i didn't join bert lozada's swim school with all the other kids holding on to the gutter for dear life. i remember that it was my dad who taught me how to float, and we were in a beach at that time. i straightened up my body, face down to the water, while he held my tummy. slowly, he let me go, until i looked like a raft floating on the water.

mom taught me the flutterkick, the style of paddling through water with the use of your legs. the secret to a great flutterkick is that you shouldn't make a large splash. as much as possible, keep the feet underwater. think of the ship's propellers. they're huge and spin in great speeds, but they never spin above the water.

when i was in high school, i tried out for the swimming club. i thought i wouldn't be accepted because i knew nothing about swimming. i couldn't even get a decent freestyle during the try-outs. i was already thinking of going back to that boring newsletter club, when i saw my name in the accepted sheets. miracle!

the swimming club taught me how to do the strokes properly. i fell in love with freestyle and backstroke (though i got disqualified during intrams because i crossed lanes at the backstroke event. HAHAHAHA).

i also got obsessed with collecting speedo stuff.

because of swimming, i noticed that i was getting the muscles in my arms. swimming helped me get rid of that "lampayatot" figure i had in grade school. it put the figure on me. hooyeeaaah.

the goodness of it all
swimming is the best exercise there is. according to experts, swimming provides the best work out for the body without straining the muscles. your body and the water serve as weights and they work your body to your desired results. i was reading through the net, when i found this article on why swimming is a wonderful exercise.

* Swimming uses almost all the major muscle groups, and places a vigorous demand on your heart and lungs.
* Swimming develops muscle strength and endurance, and improves posture and flexibility.
* Swimming is especially useful for people who are overweight, pregnant, or with leg or lower back problems.
* Swimming is a great sport for people of all ages and all proficiency levels.
* Swimming provides most of the aerobic benefits that running does, with many of the benefits of resistance training thrown in.
* Swimming does not put the strain on connective tissues that running, aerobics and some weight-training regimens do.

The buoyancy factor makes swimming the most injury-free sport there is. Water exercises benefit seniors, pregnant women, arthritis sufferers, or anyone with an injury. One of the biggest advantages is flexibility. In water, body weight is 1/10 of what it would be on land. For example, if you weigh 150 pounds on land, you weigh 15 pounds standing in chin-deep water, hence, range of motion in water is much easier. Also, fitness exercise in water can be done more often because of the low incidence of high-impact injuries and is more effective because movement in water has 12 times greater resistance than movement in air. For pregnant women, water exercise strengthens and tones the muscles used during childbirth. For the elderly, water fitness is safe, fills the need for exercise, increases a body's range of motion and is a low-impact exercise. For those with weight problems, water helps the body naturally rid itself of excess water and salt. As physical therapy, it gradually and gently rehabilitates and relaxes muscles and joints that have stiffened or atrophied.

Beginning swimmers need to know that ones resting heart rate decreases 10 beats per minute in water, and maximum heart rate decreases by 10 to 30 beats. The heart puts out just as much blood as in other exercises because it pumps more volume with each stroke, but more slowly. No one is certain why heart rate decreases in water, but the lower temperature and lesser pull of gravity in water may be the cause. In any case, if you know what your exercise heart rate should be, that number should be lower by at least 10 beats when you swim. Swimming is a good sport to take up if you would like to increase your muscle and strength endurance. It is also good for increasing your stamina and improving your cardiovascular system by improving the bodies' use of oxygen and allowing the heart to work less strenuously.


so if you're thinking of a program to regulate your weight, try swimming. :) you may never know, you might be the next michael phelps or amanda beard: olympic swimmers with hot bodies.

2 comments:

asian_aphrodite,  6:23 PM  

Sunlight! Now I want to go back to swimming! ;)

I used to swim too. Not unlike you, I also have the same reasons, although you're no2 would be my no1. Haha. I learned swimming though from the Lozada's. My guess is my dad wasn't as patient as yours. ;-)

I have freestyle and backstrokes as my fav'rites too and I can't do the breast stroke. i don't move at all when i make an attempt. Hahaha. Hence, became my least fave.

Anyway, what you've written are all true and I cannot agree more. I wish i could go back to it.

Hmmm....why not?

Thanks Sunlight! ;-)

yawmee 11:01 PM  

we could be swimming buddies!

me too, i don't feel that i'm moving when i do the breast stroke, that's why i rarely do that stroke. :P

yeah, why not?

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