Swimming streamlines the body

SANDUSKY Swimming isn't just a way to cool off. "Swimming is the best exercise y
Sandusky Register Staff
May 24, 2010



Swimming isn't just a way to cool off.

"Swimming is the best exercise you can possibly do that exercises your whole body," said Sandra Milkie, certified personal trainer at the Sandusky YMCA.

People don't have to settle for mundane lap swimming to get a good work out in the water, water exercise can be fun, too, Milkie said.

"You should train in different ways in the water like you do on land," Milkie said. "Most people come to the pool and swim laps, the same strokes, the same amount of time, same, same, same."

The key is mixing it up. There are a variety of workouts that can be done in the water in addition to swimming laps.

Milkie encourages people to try both shallow and deep water training.

Shallow water training is great for people who don't want to get their head wet, but still want a quality workout.

Shallow water training can include walking, jogging, balance work, arm and upper body training using water gloves and abs work, among other things.

Milkie also offers yoga and tae chi in the water.

Deep water training is also an option. It great for injured athletes or people with arthritis because it is no impact exercise.

Most people wear a water belt while deep water training to help them float.

Many of the shallow water exercises can also be done in deep water.

Milkie encourages people to keep in mind that 20 minutes exercising in the water is equal to an hour of exercise in land.

"A lot of people don't realize that and they go in gung ho and they get out and their legs are like jelly," she said.

While swimming may make your legs like jelly, it won't make you as sore as weightlifting.

Also, swimming will most likely build long, lean muscles rather than rounded, bulky muscles.

"You're not going to get the huge bulky muscles swimming," Milkie said. "In the water, it improves your strength immensely and endurance."

In addition to building endurance and toning muscles, swimming will also improve flexibility, keep blood pressure down, help circulation, help back problems, arthritis and lungs.

Milkie said swimming can benefit everyone from a "top athlete, to a stroke victim to an 88-year-old woman."

"That's the beauty of water," Milkie said. "It's good for all ages and all types of fitness levels."