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Swimming is a great activity. It tones your entire body while providing an excellent cardiovascular workout; it strengthens your heart muscle and improves delivery of oxygen to muscles.

Swimming is also a relaxing activity.

How to start?

To swim as an exercise, you should first contact your doctor. Once your doctor gives you the “OK” to swim as an exercise, you will need a swimsuit that fits you comfortably and that won’t need adjusting during exercise. If you are swimming outdoors, sunscreen is also important.

Swimming equipment may also be helpful. Some of the most common kinds of equipment are: a kickboard, a light foam board that supports your upper body, and a pull-buoy. Upper body support is useful when doing kicking exercises. A pull-buoy is helpful to hold your legs still while you focus on upper-body exercises. A public pool may not allow equipment. Check in advance. You can also look into Dimension One hot tubs which use an Aquatic Fitness System to safely swim laps in the privacy of your home.

Cautions 

Check with a doctor before beginning your exercise program, especially if you are pregnant or have chronic back, joint, heart, or inner-ear problems.

Don’t overdo it. If you feel tired then stop. You should be relaxed, not depleted of energy.

If you spend too much time in the water, you may develop swimmer’s ear.

Protect Yourself While Swimming

Bacteria, germs and other disease-causing microorganisms found in ocean water, lakes and chlorinated pools can sometimes cause unpleasant symptoms ranging from diarrhea to skin, ear, and eye infections. Protect yourself from these unpleasant symptoms by not swimming after a heavy rainfall or swallowing any water.

Swimming and Pregnancy

Pregnant women can also benefit from swimming. Swimming can help strengthen  abdominal and shoulder muscles. Abdominal and shoulder muscles are areas that are often taxed by carrying a baby. Water exercise can also reduce the joint stiffness, high blood pressure, and discomfort associated with pregnancy.

Swimming and Breast Cancer

Swimming after breast surgery is an excellent means of exercising all the major muscle groups, and avoiding muscular atrophy often seen in post-surgical patients who remain sedentary for prolonged periods. Before beginning an exercise program, talk to your doctor to make sure it is okay to begin moderate exercises.

Swimming is also good because it strengthens the abdomen, back and shoulders. These muscles will help post-mastectomy women carry their weight more easily.