Welcome summer! You know what time it is. The long days of sunshine, warmth, and the ocean are all hopefully part of your summer experience, and not just your Maui computer backdrop floating in front of your face, taunting you with the promise of a vacation you won’t earn for another year.
If you have access to a pool or the beach, then odds are you’ll be doing a lot of swimming on the weekends. Or at least you should be, considering how beneficial swimming is to your overall health and wellness. It’s a low impact sport so your risk of serious joint injuries is low. It builds muscle mass, cardio-respiratory fitness, and burns anywhere from 500-700 calories, which is great news for you since you just got invited to your first High School Body Throwback party, and you still have some body work to do.
The warm –up essentials for any swimmer, amateur or professional, tend to be the same, beginning and ending with stretching. We have been doing it since we were in the womb, and we have continued doing it through life, improving our range of motion and flexibility while also relieving muscle pain. Shoulder stretching is pivotal for preventing arm and shoulder injuries, and it’s crucial for staying limber, so you don’t end up swimming with the fishes because your arms cramped up and you drowned. Some of the best stretches should focus on your shoulders, neck, pecs, quads, hamstrings, glutes, and calves. To view how to properly perform these exercises, check out this video, which targets the areas of your body mentioned above, which are most active during swimming.
With all those fun-filled, pool and beach frolicking weekends ahead, it’s important to be aware of the quality of water you’re happily dunking your body into. Our skin is the largest organ and everything we put on it gets absorbed into our bodies. Most pools tend to be chlorine rather than saltwater, and spending too much time in this chemical pond may have adverse side affects that you should be wary of. Preventing recreational water illnesses is why that cute pool boy keeps litmus testing your pool every week. Skin and eye irritations are the primary side effects of over exposure to chlorine so maintaining balanced pH levels
(Between 7.2-7.8) and chlorine levels (between 1.0-3.0 ppm) will ensure proper hygiene and prevent your eyes from looking like an albino Easter bunny.
Written by Maria Schumann for bodono.
Maria Schumann is a writer living in NYC.
About Maria Schumann: “I love writing poetry, breaking a sweat at bikram yoga, and reading serial killer books while cooking. I love watching documentaries and I am always game for a crazy night of poker. Understanding the importance of a healthy relationship with my body and mind inspires me to help others come to a symbiotic relationship with their bodies and minds as well. Through writing I am able to reach people with my words and hopefully inspire positivity and change.”