Your GET FIT guide | Pocketmags.com

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Your GET FIT guide

In this latest instalment in our get-into-fitness series, we dip our toes into the pool. Here’s how to get the most out of swimming

PART THREE SWIMMING

FROM DOING LENGTHS at your local baths, splashing with the kids at a water park, to bobbing around in the balmy sea on holiday, there are as many different ways to enjoy swimming as there are places to do it. Perhaps it’s no surprise then, that it’s our country’s top participation sport, with 11 million adults taking the plunge each week. Whether you’re a keen swimmer who wants to compete, a leisure swimmer who’d like fitness gains, or a novice in the shallows, here’s how to get more from your time in the water.

1 WHAT IS SWIMMING GOOD FOR?

Basically, everything! ‘This low-impact exercise works just about every muscle in your body,’ says Sam Hunt, instructor with UK-wide swim-training company Swimming Nature (swimmingnature.com). ‘As you are supported by the water, joints aren’t under stress, so it’s ideal for those who are overweight or recovering from injury – any age, size or ability can have a go.

‘With the right technique and effort, swimming is also good for your cardiovascular fitness and can help you to lose weight and tone-up,’ adds Sam. ‘Doing breaststroke for 30 minutes will burn around 367 calories, and butterfly or a fast front crawl burns as many as 404 calories.’ Regular swimming can also be a fantastic de-stresser, helping to improve your sleep patterns and ease or prevent depression and anxiety. Keen swimmers often describe how they experience a relaxed, meditative state in the water.

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