THE BENEFITS OF SWIMMING: A BEGINNER’S GUIDE

If you’re feeling inspired by Olympic swimmers, you should think about taking a dip yourself. Swimming is brilliant for both physical and mental health, with the list including weight loss, stress-relief and reduced risk of heart disease.

While we can’t promise you’ll be as fast as Michael Phelps, incorporating swimming into your exercise regime will help you feel healthier and happier, inside and out.

Physical health benefits of swimming

Regular exercise is crucial for staying in shape. Whether you train in the gym or play as part of a sports team, exercise is brilliant for mind and body – but swimming seems to have the full portfolio.

Muscles

If you’re looking for a full-body workout, swimming engages muscles all the way from your head to your toes. Regular laps will help you burn fat, tone muscle and increase your overall strength. If done correctly, you can work up to 48 muscles at once.

Breaststroke or backstroke, freestyle or butterfly – each one of these strokes engages the major muscle groups, including your core, shoulders, and legs. However, the different actions do put greater emphasis on certain muscles so if there’s one part of your body you want to strengthen, practice the most effective stroke:

· Freestyle works your arm muscles, mainly your biceps and triceps

· Breaststroke puts emphasis on the glutes and quadriceps in your legs, as well as your pectoral chest muscles

· Backstroke engages the latissimus dorsi muscles in your lower back and arms

· Butterfly tones and strengthens your upper back and neck muscles

Watch this video to find out more about each of the four key swimming strokes and see Olympic athletes demonstrate the moves at an elite level.

Joints

Unlike high-impact pursuits such as running and jogging, where the shock of impact can cause issues later on, swimming allows you to exercise without putting a strain on your joints. With the water supporting the weight of your body, the risk of joint problems developing is reduced – and is the reason why swimming is recommended for people suffering from injuries and bone conditions such as arthritis.

Major organs

Heart, lungs, brain – almost all the major organs reap the health benefits of swimming. When you propel yourself through the water, your heart rate increases, pumping more blood around your body. Not only is this good for burning fat, but it also reduces the risk of heart disease. Swimmers usually develop greater lung capacity, as your body adapts to taking longer, deeper breaths to allow you to travel underwater.

Mental health benefits of swimming

Exercise has an incredibly powerful effect on your mental health and swimming is no different. When you’re working out, your brain releases feel-good endorphins, which make you feel positive and upbeat. If your daily routine includes exercise, you’ll find you generally sleep better, too.

Exercise has been closely linked with improving mental health, helping those suffering from stress, depression, anxiety or other conditions. The soothing color and texture of water have been celebrated for years as having a calming effect on our mental wellbeing. In fact, biologist Wallace J Nichols spent years researching the phenomenon of the so-called “blue mind”.

Swimming requires you to regulate your breathing, usually taking deeper breaths less frequently. As a result, swimming can ease the anxious uptake of shallow breaths and help to lull your mind into a gentle rhythm.

Health benefits of open water swimming

Taking the plunge in open water brings all the benefits listed above – and several more. The cold shock wakes you up, that’s for sure, and brings your body temperature down, too. In reaction to this, your body sets all the cogs in motion to start warming up. Your heart rate will increase, along with your blood flow and metabolism, which puts you in fat-burning mode.

Feeling the chill isn’t the only difference with open water swimming – you also have the current to contend with. Much like going uphill on a bicycle, the current provides greater resistance for your body, making you work harder to move forward. The key here is consistent, steady strokes, rather than going flat out and exhausting yourself. You’ll find it does wonders for your endurance.

How to get involved

In addition to the health benefits, swimming also opens the door to a world of social opportunities. Whether you’d like to stay in the pool or head out in the big blue, find out how to get involved in your local swimming scene.

Indoor swimming

Join a gym that has swimming facilities or head to the public pool. Enquire about group sessions if you’d like to enjoy a more sociable experience. Once you’re comfortable with your technique, put your name down for a charity swim or similar event to test your abilities in a relaxed setting.

Take a dip to remember in one of the historic Olympic pools, many of which are open for public use. You could do lengths in the Olympic venue in Sydney or practice your strokes at the London Aquatic Centre. Or how about plunging into a Parisian pool that was the first-ever ‘Olympic-sized’ swimming pool?

Open water swimming

You’ll find open water swimming clubs near most rivers and coastal areas. Here ins the Bay Area you can find a variety of swimming clubs (Go Here) If you want to support a cause, Swim Across America helps raise money for researching cancer.

Open water swimmers travel around the world, exploring some of the most idyllic coves, beaches and lakes on the planet. It’s easy to see how it can become a passion. Take a look at the Wild Swim Map to find the perfect spot for your next open water adventure.

Whether you’re a strong swimmer or building your confidence, a little local research will help you find a setting that fits. Pack your swimmers – or your wetsuit – and start reaping the physical and mental health benefits of swimming today.

Have questions? We are here to answer them 925.427.7946 

By: allpurepools
In: Aquatic Therapy, Clubs, Exercise, Swimming
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Can Pool Disinfection By-products Raise Your Risk of Cancer?

According to multiple cancer studies, swimming in chlorinated pools with disinfection by-products (DBPs) may increase your risk of developing various types of cancer; however, this does not mean that people should stop swimming altogether. 

In an interview with NBC News, Manolis Kogevinas, an epidemiologist at the Center for Research in Environmental Epidemiology in Barcelona said, “People should not be afraid of swimming, but we should get more research on whether there are better practices for disinfecting pools.”

Traditionally chlorine has been the most common method of disinfecting pools, and it does a great job at killing pool contaminants. However, when chlorine reacts with organic materials, such as sweat, lotions and urea in the pool water, it produces by-products, which are a type of combined chlorines or chloraminesIn addition to red eyes, skin irritation and unpleasant “pool” odor, disinfection by-products are linked to an increased risk of lung, bladder and other types of cancer.

Minimizing Disinfection By-Products with Clear Comfort AOP

It’s true that pools that use only chlorine disinfection to treat their water can create toxic chemical by-products that may have many negative side-effects; however, chlorine itself is not the real culprit. 

Pools and spas that use All Pure AOP are able to minimize disinfection by-products that can cause irritation and increase the risk of cancer and respiratory illness. Compared to chlorine alone, All Pure AOP provides a more effective and complete way to sanitize pool water. In residential pools, it is even possible to lower chlorine levels to the amount found in drinking water or even lower. 

Reduce Chemical Exposure With All Pure AOP 

All Pure works by injecting excited atomic oxygen into the pool plumbing which combines with hydrogen in the water to create hydroxyl radicals, which are powerful and safe sanitizers that are found in nature. These hydroxyl radicals destroy contaminants in the water, reducing the need for chlorine and other chemicals. 

By using All Pure, pools will have water that looks clearer, smells better, feels softer and is healthier for swimmers. All Pure allows people to swim in pools without the risks associated with chlorine-only pools, and without any of the irritation or chlorine-related side effects. Essentially, AllPure creates a swimming environment that has all of the benefits of a “chlorine-free” pool, without any of the health risks.

Have questions? We are here to answer them 925.427.7946 

By: allpurepools
In: Chemicals, Cleaning
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red eyes from swimming

Why Do My Eyes Burn During and/or After Swimming?

People will often complain of burning, itching eyes after spending some time in a swimming pool. There are a couple of reasons for this.

Below are the causes and how to remedy this: 

Chlorine – Seems to be the number one reason that people think is the cause, but is not always the case. However, it can be a cause of it. 

It is a common misconception that red eyes and a strong chlorine smell to the water is the result of too much chlorine. Actually, the cause is not enough chlorine! The combined chlorine compound, called a chloramine, is produced when a free chlorine molecule combines with a nitrogen or ammonia molecule. These compounds smell bad, irritate the eyes and skin, and get in the way of free chlorine trying to do its job.    

Shocking or super chlorinating is necessary to oxidize, or break apart these compounds. So then, when the eyes burn, and the pool smells over chlorinated, the resolution is to raise the chlorine level ten times the normal amount to achieve “breakpoint chlorination” thresholds which will break apart the chloramine bonds…

pH – First and foremost, let me start by saying that the pH in our bodies is 7.2 parts per million. That being said, when the pH in a pool gets too low or high (ideal range is 7.2-7.6 ppm) the body reacts and produces the burning and itching eyes.

A test of the water and re-balance of chemicals, starting with the total alkalinity levels can get the water, and pH levels, back within a safe and happy swimming experience.

By: allpurepools
In: Factoids, Hair & Skin, Safety, Uncategorized, Water Purifications
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Five top stretches for swimmers

Strength and aerobic capacity decline with age. We can’t deny it but we know that if we continue to exercise we can slow the decline. Perhaps less talked about, but equally important to us swimmers, is that our flexibility also decreases as we age. This is due to an increase in something called a cross.

By: allpurepools
In: Pool Side, Swimming
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Aquatic Therapy

Aquatic Therapy Is Useful For Many Medical Conditions

Aquatic therapy or pool therapy consists of an exercise program that is performed in the water. It is a beneficial form of therapy that is useful for a variety of medical conditions. Aquatic therapy uses the physical properties of water to assist in patient healing and exercise performance. One benefit of aquatic therapy is the.

By: allpurepools
In: Aquatic Therapy, Exercise, Pools, Swimming
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History Of The Swimming Pool

The “great bath” is the earliest public water tank in the ancient world. It existed over 5000 years ago in the Pakistani city settlement of Mohenjo-daro. The tank itself measures approximately 12 meters north-south and 7 meters wide, with a maximum depth of 2.4 meters. Two wide staircases lead down into the tank from the.

By: allpurepools
In: Pools, Swimming
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5 Ways To Protect Kid Hair From Chlorine

Summer will be here before we know it and that means lots of time spent at the pool! My kids love to swim A LOT and we’ve dealt with our fair share of crunchy, damaged, sometimes even green, pool hair! Chlorine can cause all kinds of hair damage, especially with kids, who are in the.

By: allpurepools
In: Hair & Skin, Pool Season, Pools, Swimming
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Fun Swimming Pool Games For You and Your Family

The kiddos will love these fun swimming pool games. With these games you are sure to have hours of entertainment. What better way to enjoy a weekend then to see the smiles and hear the laughter of your children. We hope you enjoy! Watermelon Relay                    .

By: allpurepools
In: Outdoor, Pool fun for kids, Pools, Swimming, Water Fun
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Slip-sliding-Away…. The Pool Slide Makes a Comeback

So you remember back in the day, way back when a slide in your neighbors backyard leading into the pool was the coolest thing ever? We’d spend hours upon hours sliding down, over and over again. This beat the diving board any day of the week. Well, move over Old, plastic, aluminum slide.  Today’s modern.

By: allpurepools
In: Outdoor, Pool accesories, Pools, Swimming, Water Fun
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5 Pool Landscape Design Ideas

Pool landscape is very important in redesigning our backyard. This adds more beauty to the area and surrounding. Although there are lots of people who find it very difficult and a challenging task. Many homeowners claim that they don’t have enough skills and talents to make a great landscape. So there are homeowners that consult.

By: allpurepools
In: Backyards, Landscape, Outdoor, Pools, Swimming
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