Swimming in winter has more benefits

WELL-BEING

Swim

Swimming is known to be a great overall body workout. It is essentially a cardiovascular activity and any cardio done on a regular basis lowers the chances of cholesterol and heart attacks. Swimming is a great way to burn calories since it is less exhaustive for the body as opposed to workouts which can be draining and dehydrating.

It also works the upper body and lower limb muscles simultaneously, making it a great endurance activity that builds muscle strength without adversely impacting joints.

Ideally, the pool temperature should be between 25 and 28 degrees Celsius for swimming. To minimise the negative effects of cold water on the body, here are a few tips that all swimmers can use:

1. While training in the winters, it is advisable to not dive straight into the cold pool but rather immerse yourself slowly. The first two minutes are the worst and will almost prompt you to leave the pool but eventually, the body gets acclimatised to the temperature. Some on-the-spot warm-ups like an aqua jog or jumping jacks after the initial dip would be advisable to warm up the muscles before you begin swimming.

2. Since we lose most of our body heat from the head, wearing two caps will keep the heat trapped in. 

3. Blow bubbles in the water before taking off for the swim. To reduce the shock of cold water to your lungs, go waist deep in water first and then submerge your face to blow bubbles.

4. Wearing earplugs helps to keep the core temperature up.

There are some benefits of a swim in cold water as it boosts the immune system, enhances circulation and burns more calories. This is the reason why regular cold water swimmers don’t fall sick!

(The author is a Speedo fitness expert)

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