My Ironman Journey -- Swimming

24-Mar-2015 | Jessica L. LaPlante

Swimming as Exercise Across the Lifespan.

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When I tell someone that I am training for an Ironman, I am often asked which sport I find most challenging; swimming, biking or running (it’s biking). Afterward, many people tell me which sport they believe would be the most challenging for them. I am amazed by the number of people who say; I could never do the swim! Or I hate swimming! It makes me wonder how swimming got such a bad rap!

Swimming is one of the best forms of exercise for all ages. It’s true that swimming in an ironman is a little different than swimming laps in a pool. But, there is a level of swimming/water exercise appropriate for everyone.

Benefits of Swimming:

1. Low impact on joints. It’s a great form of exercise for people with arthritis or other joint/muscle pain.

2. Swimming increases muscle tone, strength, flexibility and bone strength (which is especially important in post-menopausal women)

3. Healthy heart and lungs. Swimming is a great form of cardiovascular exercise to get blood pumping. It helps decrease risk for serious chronic diseases like heart disease and diabetes

4. Weight loss. The exact number of calories burned will vary from person to person, but swimming is a time efficient way to burn those extra calories

5. Stress reduction. All exercise promotes the natural feel good chemical endorphins, but being in the water also promotes stress reduction from deep breathing and rhythmic motion.

No matter what your fitness or experience level, swimming is the perfect form of exercise. Give it a try in one of the area’s pools or in the lakes this summer! The picture above is taken at the pool at Ironwood Peak.

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