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Looking for a great way to beat the summer heat and get in shape, why not consider swimming.

If you love the benefits of a great cardio workout, but could do without all that sweating, swimming is perfect. Since you stay cool in the water, while your heart gets it’s cardio workout, you can probably swim for longer than you could run – especially in our Southern Summers.

Not only is water one of the most relaxing sensations on the human body, swimming is fun to do while being gentle on your muscles and joints – says our Internal Medicine doctor in Raleigh – Dr. Inaam Schneider.

Go at your own pace.

Set your own pace, and aim for 2 ½ hours of swimming or mixed cardio a week for maximum benefits. Whether its laps in a pool, or free swim in an ocean or a lake, make sure you brush up on swimming safety or take a class before you begin.

Swimming is great for beginners too! If you can’t swim for 30 minutes straight, start slowly. Aim for 5-10 minutes of laps and build up from there. If you don’t already know how to swim, there are classes at community pools, gyms, and YMCAs or YWCAs. It’s good to know how to swim, for safety’s sake, even if you aren’t planning to make swimming your main workout.


Intensity Level: Medium

You’ll use your lower and upper body muscles for a steady workout. You can make your swim harder by going faster or longer.

Areas It Targets

Core, Arms, Legs, Glutes and Back: Yes. Swimming gives your entire body a great workout, arms and legs are used for every swim stroke, and your glutes and back get a great workout too.

What Else It Does

Swimming will make you more flexible, increase your cardiovascular endurance, and reduce stress on joints. You’ll also increase your strength. The resistance of the water is approximately 12 times that of air alone. You can also add accessories such as paddles, noodles, or kickboards for more resistance.

More Details

The cost of swimming ranges from free if you dive into your local lake or beach retreat, to a few hundred dollars a year when you purchase pool passes or club memberships. The only equipment required is a well-fitting swimsuit. Goggles and a swim cap are optional.


What Dr. Inaam Schneider Says about Swimming for Cardio:

Swimming is the nearly perfect total body workout. It provides a great aerobic session and a total body-strengthening workout all in one.

Swimming can be done alone, or if you prefer to socialize while you exercise, join a local water aerobics class. In the warm weather you’ll stay cool in the lake or pool while burning calories and shedding pounds.

While everyone can benefit from swimming, it is especially suited for people with most types of arthritis or those suffering from low back pain because of its low impact on joints. As part of your diabetes treatment plan consider swimming as an important part of your exercise regimen. It will help you burn calories, lose weight, and keep your blood sugars under control. If you have high cholesterol, you will also benefit from swimming. It will help you lower your ”bad” LDL cholesterol and raise your ”good” HDL cholesterol. If you are just starting out with an exercise plan, or you have heart disease or other medical problems, check with your doctor first to see what kind of swimming program is right for you.

As mentioned above, water can be very soothing and relaxing while still providing a much needed form aerobic exercise.

Learn more about Schneider Medical Group  – your Integrative Medicine Clinic in Raleigh, NC