Reported by Matthew Thomas
If the festive period has left you feeling a little glutinous and in need of a new routine make taking a regular swim your New Year’s resolution. Swimming offers something few other aerobic exercises do, the ability to work your body without harsh impact to your skeletal system.
However, low impact doesn’t mean low yield. Swimming involves every major muscle group in the body so is a fantastic way of losing weight and toning muscle. Due to this “all body” involvement, it keeps your cardiovascular system working hard so provides great fitness gains. It also provides great cross-training possibilities as the water support for the immersed body allows the participant to work stiff or sore joints and muscles. This is crucial for the overweight or the arthritic. Warm water combined with the stretching and strengthening of muscles is key in staving off rheumatoid arthritis and joint problems later in life.
Swimming is a great workout because you need to move your whole body against the resistance of the water. Water provides roughly 12 times the resistance that air does and it is applied in every direction so it will work muscles you never knew you had. Once you have achieved a responsible level of stroke technique swimming can be a very relaxing and peaceful form of exercise. With your face in the water there is no outside noise audible and it can be a real escape from the stresses and strains of day to day life in Dubai.
Swimming stroke mechanics help improve coordination, balance and can have a positive effect on posture so it’s always worth getting a few pointers from a qualified instructor. Swimming movement pathways require repeated extension of joints helping to improve flexibility which can have a positive impact not just on health but on participation in other sports. Due to swimming’s unique low-impact nature, it provides therapy for certain injuries and conditions and is frequently used by the top Rugby and football teams in their rehabilitation programs.
One of the beauties of swimming is it’s so accessible. All you need is a swim suit and some goggles, no equipment or expensive gym membership is required. With almost every school, residents building and gym in Dubai housing their own pools it couldn’t be easier to get in for a dip before work or even on a lunch hour. With the incredibly calm and clear waters of the Arabian Gulf to enjoy there couldn’t be a better place to learn to swim in open water especially for the less experienced. If you do decide on this option never go alone always swim with an experienced swimmer or tutor to guide you.
So if you are looking for a form of exercise you can enjoy for years not just the latest craze or gym class look no further than swimming. If you want to take care of your joints and muscles and still be able to enjoy exercise long after the runners have damaged their knees or ankles for good then swimming is for you. If you want a form of exercise that can be both incredibly challenging but relaxing and elegant at the same time, swim your way into 2016.