For those seeking relief from joint pain and stiffness or limited mobility and/or flexibility or increased range of motion following an injury – controlled movement in the water can certainly help get you there. It increases circulation, improves muscle tone and is ideal for stretching dormant or reluctant muscles, ligaments, tendons.
For those seeking more, learn basic stroke technique before you defeat yourself with too-high expectations. If you are lifting your head or thrashing or stopping to breathe between strokes, you’re working too hard and you’ll quit too soon. Take time to learn proper breathing technique or get yourself a snorkel that allows you to breathe without panic. It will make all the difference.
Now get in the water.
- Totality of conditioning. Swimming exercises every muscle in the body and can develop strength through full range of movement.
- No impact to joints. Swimming promotes circulation while avoiding the pounding of feet, knees, hips/ hands, elbows, shoulders, neck or back on resistant surface. Sitting on the edge or stairs of a pool or stretching out and kicking can prove very therapeutic for diabetics with nerve pain -- all circulation, no contact.
- Value as a form of meditation. Calming routine movements pump blood to every corner of the body and brain -- balancing brain function while promoting deep relaxation and a meditative state. Great for relieving tension, anxiety and some forms of depression.
- Start slowly and take it easy (at least at first). Movement in the water is all about relaxation. If you’re not comfortable with small steps, you’re likely going to be disappointed in the results.
- Never swim or exercise alone. Always have someone nearby able to respond to an adverse situation. Non-swimmers or less-than-confident ones should always have a “buddy” In the water with them -- one capable of dealing with emergencies.
- When not done properly (using proper stroke and kick technique), full movement swimming for distance (lap swimming) can result in premature exhaustion, muscle strain, panic response. The trick is to reach the point of moving comfortably without feeling anxious or at risk. Learn basic technique
- Those with joint challenges – joint pain or sensitivity that intensifies with impact of any kind.
- Those with back challenges.
- Those seeking increased flexibility, range of movement and muscle tone.
- Water supports and permits gentle movement and stretching without adversely impacting pressure points. It tones muscles over time and promotes relaxation, circulation, meditation.
A competitive swimmer since the age of 10, Scot Simmons has coached and taught swimming technique at the age group, high school and college levels. A graduate of UCSB, he is a published author and Founder/CEO of The Simmons Group – a Los Angeles based company he specializes in creating brand strategies and full-service brand content, enabling his clients to get their brand right and GET IT IN WRITING.