Swimming is a great form of all-round exercise. It's ideal if you want to be more active and stay healthy, whatever your age or ability.
Regular swimming can reduce the risk of chronic illnesses, such as heart disease, type 2 diabetes and stroke. It can also boost your mood and keep your weight under control. Swimming is a lifelong skill that could save a life. If you can't swim, it's never too late to learn.
Why is exercise IN the water better than OUT of the water?
Buoyancy: This water property allows people to do exercises that are difficult on land. 90 % of your body is buoyant when in the water up to your neck, so you are not hitting the floor as hard as you would on land. No pounding or jarring!
Resistance: There is continual resistance to every move you make. The water offers 12% - 14% more resistance than when you exercise on land. Resistance does not allow for sudden body movements.
Cooling Effects: Water disperses heat more efficiently, so there is less chance of overheating. The water continuously cools the body. Exercise in the water is cooler and more comfortable than it is on land.
Before you start
Don't worry if you're afraid of the water or panic when you think about the deep end. Beginners' lessons focus on building confidence in the water. A swimming costume is all you need. Make sure your swimwear is comfortable and fits properly. If you wish to cover up, most pools allow you to wear whatever swimwear you like, within reason, such as leggings or a close-fitting, long-sleeved T-shirt. Wearing a pair of goggles is a good idea to avoid the stinging sensation caused by chlorine in the water and to see where you're going under water. For most people, swimming is a safe and effective form of exercise. If you're worried about an existing health condition, see your GP before you start swimming.
We have a range of options at Afan Valley Swimming Pool for those wishing to start or return to swimming. If you're unsure about starting lessons, ask if you can watch a class or two to get a better idea if it's for you, or ask to speak with one of the qualified instructors. A 30-minute session of moderate to vigorous-intensity activity at the pool on one or more days a week will count towards your recommended weekly activity target. But any improvement on what you currently do is good. Even small changes can make a big difference to your health and make you feel great.
Make it a habit
Try to set aside time every week to go to the pool, before or after work or on weekends. Write it in a diary so it becomes a permanent fixture in your weekly schedule. Consider becoming a member this will help you save money and encourage you to go more often.
Take the kids
Swimming is a great way for families to get moving and have fun together. There are so many things you can do to keep the kids interested, such as humming songs under water.
Swim with a friend
It really helps to go swimming regularly with someone of about the same ability as you. You'll encourage each other when you're not so keen to go to the pool. You'll feel you don't want to let your swimming partner down and this will help motivate you.
Mix it up
The swimming pool makes a great playground and a great gym, even for non-swimmers, with activities such as aquafit. However, learning to swim will introduce you to a whole new world of water-based activities in the pool and beyond.
Whatever your swimming ambitions please give us a call or visit us at Afan Valley Swimming Pool to discuss your swimming requirements.