Swimming: Physical Exercise and Body

Topics: Obesity, Physical exercise, Aerobic exercise Pages: 5 (1903 words) Published: April 10, 2014

Fitness trends come and go just as often as fashion does. There is always some new workout video or new exercise that everyone is doing like CrossFit and P90x. All of those things sounds great and really work but then something bigger and better comes out and everyone goes out and tries that and forgets about the “old” things. However, trainers will say that the key to losing weight is sticking to the basics. Jumping in the nearing pool and swimming laps doesn’t seem like the basics but something as simple as swimming is a part of most of our lives. In the summer where is one of the places people want to go to cool off? A swimming pool. Sure nobody jumps right in and start doing laps like Michael Phelps but during the water volleyball game the body is still moving. Swimming is a great way to lose weight and get in shape but Jumping in a pool might not be the first place you think of. However, rethinking that might be a good idea. There are many reasons why swimming needs to be part of any lifestyle. “Today swimming is the second most popular exercise activity in the United States, with approximately 360 million annual visits to recreational water venues” (Weil 2012). Swimming is more than just a great cardio. Swimming helps tone muscles, build endurance, helps with joint flexibility and promotes a healthier life style.

Obesity is an increasing problem in the United States today. “Unhealthy eating habits have contributed to the obesity epidemic in the United States: about one-third of U.S. adults (33.8%) are obese and approximately 17% (or 12.5 million) of children and adolescents aged 2—19 years are obese” (Why is it important?). The risk for heart disease, diabetes, and obesity can all be reduced by living a more healthy lifestyle and exercising. That doesn’t mean never eating a potato chip again and getting involved in fitness competitions, just simply cutting out some processed foods and getting involved in something that moves your body and uses muscles. Everybody can benefit from exercising. “Regular physical activity can produce long term health benefits. People of all ages, shapes, sizes, and abilities can benefit from being physically active. The more physical activity you do, the greater the health benefits” (Why Is Physical Activity Important?).

Aerobic exercises are important components of fitness. Any type of aerobic exercise is good for the body no matter what age, weight or athletic ability. “Aerobic activities make you breathe harder and make your heart beat faster. Aerobic activities can be moderate or vigorous in their intensity” (Why Is Physical Activity Important?). Swimming is a perfect example of an activity that can done with different intensities. Swimming is hands down the ultimate aerobic activity. Swimming makes you have better breathing control. Unfortunately swimmers can’t come up to breathe whenever they want unlike other activities like running. Swimming increases the need for oxygen. The body and muscles are demanding that oxygen which making muscles work harder to get more oxygen. If the muscles are working harder then they become toned easier from being used more often.

In competitive swimming there are four different strokes and styles. They are freestyle, breaststroke, backstroke, and butterfly. For someone who is just learning how to swim or wants the best overall stroke they would swim freestyle. It is the easiest for beginners to learn and is used the most in training. Freestyle is generally the fastest stroke. In simple terms, freestyle uses a flutter kick and a windmill arm motion. A flutter kick is when the legs move in alternating order. The downward kick propels the body forward. Alternating arm stroke makes a constant speed through the stroke. Any swimmer should not lift their head out of the water, just turn it slightly. People refer to breaststroke as frog like. The basics are that the arms pull the water, breathe, bring the knees up to chest and trust them back...
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