What are the mental benefits of swimming
Why swim training? 10 arguments for triathletes
Swimming is often a neglected discipline among amateur triathletes. If you can't get out of the corner, you like to steer clear of swimming pools and open water.
That is not incomprehensible.
After all, despite the comparatively short training times, swimming training requires somewhat more complex preparation than running and cycling.
Not everyone has a swimming pool on their doorstep and you have to be well organized to be in the right place at the right time.
It is not uncommon to have to deal with hieroglyphic occupancy plans, senior citizens swimming back on the train and noisy schoolchildren in the changing room.
All aspects that make swimming training a little more complicated than a nice run during the lunch break, a crisp interval unit on the roller trainer or a Sunday ride on the bike.
In addition, the respect for the sport is no coincidence.
After all, swimming is the most technical discipline in the triathlon cosmos.
And many have to laboriously teach themselves to crawl ...
Even if so far only arguments against swimming have been listed, this article is not intended to provide further excuses.
On the contrary:
The article aims to highlight the positive aspects of swimming and motivate - not only triathletes - to take the plunge into (cold) water again.
So here are our unbeatable arguments!
The article content for you at a glance:
1. When swimming you don't sweat (that much)!
Ridiculous do you think
Of course, with a certain amount of physical exertion, sweat cannot be avoided.
If you can't stand that, you're probably not a real athlete.
Nevertheless, it can have a disruptive effect if the perspiration gets out of hand.
For example, I am the kind of person who sits on the roll dripping with sweat and suffers.
Or who simply cannot call up their best performance at running events in summer because they are “overheating”.
In fact, an increased body temperature has a negative impact on performance, which is reflected in increased heart rate values when overheating.
This is less of a problem when swimming because the water at the appropriate temperature usually has a cooling effect.
In this respect, it is a much more pleasant sport for everyone who suffers from the activity of their sweat pores.
Long units in particular can be endured so effortlessly!
However, that doesn't mean that we don't perspire at all when swimming - as paradoxical as that may sound.
Because sweating actually only fulfills its function in the fresh air, as the water evaporates on the skin and removes heat in the process.
However, studies on male water polo players and competitive swimmers have shown that they lose between 150 and 300 ml of water per hour during training.
This value was significantly higher in competitions.
Of course, that also depends on the individual requirements.
In any case, you should ensure that you drink enough fluids after swimming.
2. Swimming helps you lose weight
For those who have no problem with sweating, the relatively low water temperature may be more of a handicap.
But that also has its advantages.
Not only because it hardens you to plunge into the cool water every now and then. (Moderate cold stimuli mind you can have a positive effect on that Blood circulation have and thus that immune system strengthen.)
Movement in (cold) water also stimulates the metabolism because the body has to generate additional energy in order not to cool down.
Ergo you burn calories not only by swimming, but also by regulating the body's temperature.
So if you want to lose a few pounds anyway, you should definitely try regular swimming training.
During this - also due to the increased water resistance - a lot of calories are broken down compared to other sports.
By the way, when it comes to the energy balance, crawling is the most effective.
3. Swimming training works in any weather
Triathletes aren't made of sugar.
No, they are die-hard fighters who do not allow themselves to be deterred by baser reasons such as rain showers, mud or cold.
Nevertheless, there are days when safety reasons speak against training in the fresh air - be it because the streets and paths are as smooth as glass or because extreme temperatures simply do not allow it.
Believe it or not, but for that Cardiovascular system Running in the shade at 30 ° C can actually be an imposition.
And my knees are sure to say thank you even after a bike ride in the freezing cold.
Also the Risk of accident and injury increases in wind and weather, which is why it is advisable to switch to alternatives in such situations.
Of course, in winter most people also have the option of training on the treadmill in a gym or on the roller trainer at home.
But why not take the opportunity and go to the swimming pool instead?
In the summer, the outdoor pool is ideal anyway.
Not only is it safer, but it's definitely more fun than catching a cold, a broken knee, or a heat stroke.
4. Swimming is good for your joints
The fact is: crawl and backstroke swimming in particular is healthy, as the buoyancy of the water reduces body weight by up to a tenth and thus protects the joints.
In this respect, it is a perfect sport for exercise and an alternative for people who are overweight, have joint problems or injuries.
However, this point is truism and myth at the same time!
Because even if it is obvious that the knees and tendons are stressed much more when running, incorrect execution can cause fatal damage even when swimming.
The classic is the breaststroke with the head stretched out of the water.
This variant tends to lead to tension and pain in the neck.
In addition unbalanced posture puts a strain on the spinewhich does not immediately cause a herniated disc, but at least prevents efficient swimming.
So it definitely makes sense to acquire a clean crawl technique, preferably under the guidance of a trained trainer.
By the way, our article on learning to crawl is also suitable as an introduction or this one with tips on the general design of swimming training.
Last update on May 24th, 2021 / Affiliate Links / Images from the Amazon Product Advertising API
5. Swimming is a full-body sport
In contrast to running and cycling, swimming is not just about the legs.
The arm, shoulder and trunk muscles also have a lot to do.
And the water resistance puts a lot of strain on them.
In this respect, swimming is more holistic than the other sports because it is several large muscle groups are used at the same time.
However, you get to feel weak points and inequalities all the more clearly.
If you have no strength in your arms, you will not get ahead easily.
And without good core muscles - for example or with a "crooked hip" - you cannot achieve a good position in the water.
Efficient swimming is difficult under these circumstances.
To compensate for this, we recommend supplementary stability or, better, swim-specific strength training for triathletes.
Good swimming training, on the other hand, strengthens the otherwise neglected or overused back and neck muscles.
Positive side effect here: Less pain in everyday life.
6. When swimming you train strength and endurance at the same time
Swimming is not only holistic when it comes to the muscle groups mentioned.
The fact that both endurance and strength are trained in the water also means that the sport can be described as holistic.
Because of the increased resistance in the water, you have to use much more force for movements than on land.
Since the movements are carried out very slowly, there is also no or at least only one very low risk of strain on the tendons.
Certain "swimming aids" such as paddles or fins, which additionally enlarge the palms of the hands or feet and thus increase the water resistance, can - when used in moderation - contribute to strengthening the muscles.
However, you shouldn't get the wrong opinion that practicing with paddles is enough for strength training.
To swim really clean and fast, you definitely need complementary workouts with weights!
However, it does not depend on size or optics.
Muscles don't have to look like bodybuilders for muscles to work.
The additional weight would be rather annoying in the other disciplines anyway.
But they have to be challenged properly - ideally with maximum strength exercises.
7. Swimming strengthens the cardiovascular system
8. Swimming training increases physical performance
As should already have become clear, swimming is very complex.
Not only do you have to coordinate your movements; it also applies to that breathing still to be accommodated somewhere.
This is not that easy for beginners and should first be practiced in isolation, without having to pay much attention to legs or arms.
Because you have to adapt your breathing rhythm to the conditions in the water, you train your lungs.
Because under water you have to exhale deeply against the water pressure and inhale relatively quickly above water in order to supply the muscles with sufficient oxygen.
With a (inevitably) regular breathing rhythm, the lung volume increases.
The performance increases in the long run.
By the way, you benefit from this not only with swimming, but also with the other triathlon disciplines!
9. Swimming increases mental and psychological health
This does not mean that meditative tile counting automatically solves psychological problems.
But swimming training actually helps to switch off and reduce stress (provided the lane is clear).
This is due, among other things, to the properties of the water.
The boost also works in a figurative sense for an uplifting feeling.
And those who struggle with fears in the water - be it because they do not want to be "swum around" or because they just don't like swallowing water - can also approach these problems more and more calmly over time, so that they do not panic in the competition.
10. Swimming can determine your triathlon result
Last but not least, a wink with the fence post
The first discipline in triathlon is not to be neglected.
It can definitely be the deciding factor in whether or not you win a competition.
As a good swimmer, you can get a lot out of it right from the start and gain time.
Maybe you don't care because you're not fighting for the top spots anyway. But even if you don't, the start can have a huge impact on your race.
For example, while you are still struggling with the basics of technique or lapsing into the breaststroke again at a middle distance, the competition may be over the top in the end. And that doesn't feel so edifying when you get out of the water ...
Swimming training would certainly not be a bad solution so that you don't fall out of breath at the triathlon!
As you can see, there are many good arguments for swimming, and not just for triathletes.
However, if you want to do something good for your body or be successful as a swimmer, you have to learn the right technique and you will not be able to avoid additional strength training.
If that works, however, it is not only really fun, but also brings a lot for everyday life and other sports.
Well, licked blood? Then have a look at our 8-week training plan, with which you can guarantee that you can improve your technique and fitness in swimming!
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Note: All of our recommendations have been carefully selected, developed and checked. They are aimed at healthy adults who have no (previous) illnesses. None of our articles can or should be a substitute for competent medical advice. Before you start exercising, please consult a doctor and get a check-up.
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