Blog - Swim Jim

10
Nov

Infant Swim Lessons from SwimJim in New York and Texas

Why Infant Swim Lessons?

It’s up there on every parent’s list of fears: what if my baby drowns? We watch them around any body of water, no matter how small, and many of us don’t even consider taking them to the pool, just in case. But what if there was a way to help even newborn infants be safer in water? As it turns out, there is.

Amazingly enough, even tiny babies can be taught things that keep them safer around and in water. It helps that they’re born with some water reflexes, but as they grow, those reflexes fade and need to be replaced with infant swim lessons, which teach them new reflexes and habits that encourage water safety. If you keep your child in swim lessons, it can also help them not fear water as they get older.

Some Bonuses to Infant Swim Lessons

Studies have shown that babies who learn to splash and glide in water are more intelligent and self-confident. This can help lead to fewer tantrums down the road. Some babies can master floating on their backs, which can be life-saving, and socialization in group swim classes can encourage babies and children to be friendlier and less afraid of other people.

Because of the neural connections that are strengthened while babies learn to swim (not, of course, in terms of freestyle and butterfly strokes, but rather floating and splashing safely,) their brains can be strengthened and enhanced in a number of ways. These stronger brains are then better adapted for:

  • Language development
  • Spacial awareness
  • Academic learning
  • Reading skills

What’s more, just the tactile experience of feeling the water react to their cute little splashes and kicks can strengthen the brain further.

The greater confidence that children gain through early swim lessons can also help boost:

  • Self-esteem
  • Desire to Succeed
  • Self Control
  • Comfort in social situations

The Reward for Parents

While keeping your child safe is a reward in and of itself, there are other nice things about infant swim lessons for parents to enjoy. Watching little babies learn to move and play in water is adorable and charming, and a fun way for you to enjoy time with your little ones. It also opens up pool fun with your child if they were previously afraid of water. Finally, it is a major plus in this world of dangers around every corner to know that your baby is a little safer (and can grow up safe) playing in water and having fun.

You Should Still Be Careful

Just because your baby does well in swim lessons does not mean that they are water safe by themselves. Young children may have a reduced risk of drowning with infant and child swim lessons, but you still absolutely must keep your eyes–and often your hands–on them any time they are near water.

Remember that drowning is a leading cause of death in infants and children, especially if you have a pool at home. It’s also important to remember that small children are top-heavy, meaning that once their head is down, it’s much harder for them to swim back up.

You love your children, and you want them to be safe. One great way to help ensure that safety is to enroll them in infant swim lessons or child swim lessons. Contact SwimJim today to enroll your baby in infant swim lessons.

3
Nov

Best Swimming Holes in Texas

As the fourth hottest state in the US, Texas can boast sweltering temperatures throughout a decent portion of the year. Find reprieve from the heat at these 5 best places to swim in Texas.

1. Barton Springs Pool

As one of the quintessential swimming holes in Texas, Barton Springs Pool in Austin maintains year-round 68-degree temperatures and crystal clear waters. This family-friendly pool has both a deep diving area and a shallow end perfect for young children. Pack a picnic to enjoy on the pool’s grassy banks and make sure to arrive early in the day if you want to get a good parking spot.   

2. San Solomon Springs

Located in Balmorhea State Park in far West Texas, the San Solomon spring features vibrantly clear waters that draw scuba-fanatics from across the country. A built-in 1.75-acre swimming hole is fed by the spring’s 15-million-gallons of water a day and maintains temperatures of 72 to 76-degrees year-round. Ideal for deep-water divers and beginner swimmers alike, San Solomon is a must if you’re in the West Texas area.

3. Balmorhea State Park

Just 60 miles west of Fort Stockton lies the favored Balmorhea State Park which showcases the world’s largest spring-fed pool. This massive pool in the middle of the desert offers 72-degree water that swimmers share with fish, turtle, and various other aqua creatures. Consider spending a night or two at the nearby motor-court style cabins for a few extra days of heat escape.

3. Krause Springs

This refreshing 68-degree pool flows continuously from its source, no matter how dry or hot the Texas heat may be. The private park lies just 40-minutes outside of Spicewood, making it significantly less crowded than some of the other popular swimming holes. Along with some spectacular swimming, this natural oasis also features overnight camping, boating, and other fun activities perfect for getting your mind off of the sweltering heat.

4. Boykin Springs Recreation Area

As one of the most popular natural swimming holes in Texas, this nine-acre swimming hole is located deep within the Angelina National Forest and was created by Sterling Boykin in the 1800’s after he dammed the nearby creek. With the Boykin Lake spillway making the perfect splashing pool for children, the recreation area also features a two-and-a-half-mile trail that winds around the creek to an old sawmill as well as a campground at the Boykin homestead. This favorite, local secret is found just 20 miles west of Jasper.

5. Comal River

As one of Austin’s most sought-after places for Texas tubing, the Comal River is a must for a reprieve from the hot summer temps. Whether you rent tubes or bring your own, there are several shuttle options so you can start tubing on one end of the river and get picked up on the other end. If you’re tubing with small children, consider getting started earlier in the day to avoid swarms of rowdy college kids. If you’re not scared off the by the idea of cooling off in the known party-place, note that recent rule changes request that you avoid bringing along glass bottles.

 

Before you set out on adventures to Texas’ top swimming holes, make sure you, your family members, and friends have the proper swimming skills needed to stay safe. Sign up for swimming lessons in Texas at Swim Jim today and prepare yourself for a summer of fun in the hot Texas sun.

 

27
Oct

Just Keep Swimming! A Collection of Relatable Swimming Memes

Swimming. It’s something most of us love right from the start.

Babies often seem to love the water. Maybe it’s because they’re used to it after floating in fluid for nine months, or maybe there’s just something in our DNA that makes us wish we had gills. DNA wishing for different DNA. Now that’s trippy.

 

…And some of us (or some creatures) just hate.

Although one way or another, we all end up with our faces in the water at some point, whether we like it or not. I suppose that could be because of that DNA-wishing thing, but more likely it’s because someone thinks it’s funny to push people into the pool.

 

But one thing is for sure:

And let’s face it, there is something innately hilarious about forcing someone else to swim when they aren’t expecting it, even if we’re liable to get splashed.

 

Everyone has some feelings about swimming.

Some of us are a little competitive when we get in the water–perhaps too much so, because water play should be practiced safely!

 

Maybe you’re the competitive type…

Swimming sure can wear you out. I prefer all swimming sessions to end with pizza, calories be darned.

 

And you work yourself to death at being the best.

Guys, swimming can be SO HARD. I love it but I hate it. There’s a hashtag in there somewhere.

 

Or maybe you just like to goof around in the pool.

Looking weird is a normal part of everyone’s pool experience, right? Or is that just me? Oh, this is awkward now…

 

Maybe it’s about the exercise you can get, which is really excellent and comprehensive…

I do wish that I had the energy to swim more purely to help my body out, not just to splash passersby.

 

Or it’s possible that you find it relaxing…

Because sometimes you feel more at peace floating in the water. I can’t speak as to why that is, but it seems to be a pretty universal feeling for most people.

 

Maybe too relaxing…

“But the most wonderful thing about swimmers is I’m the only one. Iiiiiii’m the only one!” seems appropriate here.

 

Or maybe you want to show off your sweet moves.

Because everyone needs some sweet moves under their belt for emergency diving competitions. Right?

 

Maybe you don’t know why you love the pool

Although jumping on people like a wild animal and having it be socially acceptable is always a good enough reason for me…

 

Or you hate the pool after all.

Friends don’t let friends not go swimming.

 

The good news is that if you want it, water is always there for whatever reason you need it. As Dory reminds us, “just keep swimming…”

Want to find more funny swimming memes, or learn more about swimming? Try our website or contact us today, we know all about the water!

20
Oct

5 Classic Songs About Swimming

“Just keep swimming, swimming, swimming…” A catchy reminder from a beloved Disney character sings. And no wonder; swimming, being in the water and experiencing that delightful dance, is a feeling that most people love. Consequently, there are some really wonderful songs that celebrate the swimming lifestyle and get you pumped for a visit to the pool.

Feeling nautical? Here are five good swimming songs to make you want to jump straight into the water.

Nightswimming – R.E.M.

Who doesn’t love a little classic R.E.M.? Their song, “Nightswimming,” evokes nostalgia practically anyone can relate to. Whether your “night swimming” experiences have been romantic, restful, playful, or even a little sad, this song somehow brings up all of those emotions and memories.

Swimming Pool Summer (Visualizer) – Capital Cities

Another good swimming song, “Swimming Pool Summer (Visualizer)” by Capital Cities provides a fun, catchy beat to have stuck in your head as you swim laps or laze by the poolside. It might not be the best for competitive swimming–too mellow–it’s certainly a good song for playing in the pool.

Swimming Ground – Meat Puppets

Speaking of a good beat to have in your head for competitive swimming, if that’s what you’re after, try “Swimming Ground” by Meat Puppets. Not only is it jazzy and bouncy, but the message is positive and upbeat. It’s about the joy of swimming and happily nostalgic.

Into the Ocean – Blue October

The song “Into the Ocean” by Blue October is all about ocean swimming. And while it references the dangers of ocean swimming, it also has a positive-sounding beat. Overall, the song is a tribute to lost love by way of swimming as a description, but the sound is certainly worth a listen.

Like Swimming – Foals

Like Swimming” by the Foals is the final song on our list, but it’s a great one. Taking its cue from a more classic style, the song features a cheerful sound as a background. It somehow captures all the fun and play of swimming, even without lyrics.

Music and swimming are tied together somehow, whether it’s memories of swimming lessons or of playing in the pool at end-of-school parties. Both water and music have a sort of natural rhythm to them, one that somehow captures the life that’s in swimming and water play. We all need some swimming in our lives somehow, and if that’s not a readily available possibility, maybe songs about swimming can tide us over until we can be in the water again.

Want to read more SwimJim stuff or sign up for lessons? Contact us today!

13
Oct

Top 10 Swimming Movies

Whether you want a movie that will make you laugh, cry, think, or a combination of all three, you’ll find swimming movies you’ll love on this top 10 list. Share the list with your friends and sign up for swimming lessons with SwimJim.

Pride

This film takes place in 1974, where Jim Ellis, a college-educated, former competitive swimmer, struggling to find employment. Ellis, while working on a run-down swimming pool discovers a group of African-American teenage boys have a talent for swimming. He forms the city’s first all African American competitive swimming team, and trains the boys not only to swim, but to face the struggles of their lives as well.

Swimming Upstream

Anthony (Tony) Fingleton was abused physically and emotionally by his father. Tony and his siblings find solace in swimming. Once his father sees he has talent, he decides to train Tony. At first Tony swims to make his father proud, but he eventually sees it as a way to escape his life of poverty and abuse in Brisbane.

The Swimmer

In this film, Ned Merrill, a wealthy man in advertising notices how many pools there are in his upscale suburb while visiting a friend. He makes his way home by traveling from swimming pool to swimming pool. However, viewers discover more about Merrill as he faces various failures and experiences from his past.

On a Clear Day

In this sober film featuring the English Channel, Peter Mullan stars in this Scottish drama as Frank Redmond, a recently laid-off man who spirals into a deep depression. With the support of his friends, he decides to bring focus and purpose back into his life by attempting to swim the English Channel.

Million Dollar Mermaid

Esther Williams stars as real-life influential Australian swimmer Annette Kellerman in this musical romantic drama. Annette used swimming to strengthen herself and recover from her childhood polio. This love of swimming paired with her passion for dance led her to pioneer synchronized swimming.

Alex

This New Zealand film follows Alex Archer, a teen with a dream of competing in the 1960 Rome Olympics in the women’s 100m freestyle event. Unfortunately, her life does not allow her to focus solely on swimming like other top competitors. Without the support of her family, she has to juggle school, piano, ballet, personal tragedy and more.

Dangerous When Wet

Esther Williams plays Katie Higgins, a sweet daughter of a dairy farmer in this musical comedy. Katie enters a contest to become the first person to ever swim across the English Channel. The movie features a love triangle, charming music, dancing, and even the lovable cat-and-mouse duo Tom and Jerry.

Splash

After being saved by a mermaid as a small boy, a young Tom Hanks unknowingly falls in love with the same mermaid 20 years later when she seeks him out in disguise in New York City. The pair faces the challenges of secrets love, secrets, and a scientist determined to prove the existence of mermaids.

The Guardian

Ben Randall is the top rescue swimmer/diver in the US Coast Guard AST rescue team. After tragedy strikes, he becomes an instructor at the Coast Guard training school.

 

High school swim champion Jake Fischer enrolls in the program despite invitations to swim at Ivy League universities. His arrogance causes him to butt heads with Randall as he goes through the program. The characters teach each other about loss, sacrifice, and the resiliency of the human spirit.

The Thirteenth Year

This movie follows the story of Cody Griffin, a popular adopted teen with a natural talent for swimming, which he gets from his birth mother—a mermaid. Cody knows nothing of his fantastical heritage until he starts to go through changes when he turns thirteen, such as his hands and arms growing scales when wet. With the help of his geeky Biology partner, Jess, he discovers he is turning into a merman.

22
Sep

Swimming During a Thunderstorm: Why It’s a Terrible Idea

You’ve probably heard the advice that swimming during a thunderstorm is dangerous. Maybe you’ve wondered just how dangerous it is.  Should you listen to that advice? We’ll help you understand the science behind the danger, and why “don’t swim during a thunderstorm” is good advice.

Lightning Bolts Are Powerful. Just how powerful are they?

First, a definition. Lightning is “a sudden electrostatic discharge that occurs during a thunderstorm.” It can happen within a cloud, between two clouds, or between a cloud and the ground.  This is why lightning seems to travel in every possible direction. There’s a lot of power behind that giant static shock. Let’s illustrate.

Lightning bolts vary in power.  On average their current is between 10 million and 100 million volts, with an average amperage of 30,000 amps. The rapid transfer of so much energy has a dramatic effect on the matter around it.  The air around a bolt heats to temperatures as high as 54,000 Fahrenheit.  That’s hotter than the surface of the sun.

It can be hard to wrap your head around those numbers. They’re so far from our everyday human experience with electricity.  So let’s keep it simple and just say that it’s enough power to vaporize solid sand. That’s right, in the millionth of a second it takes for lightning to strike, it turns solid matter into a gas.  Practically alchemy.

What Happens When Lightning Hits Water?

When lightning strikes a body of water, what happens is simple. The electric charge doesn’t penetrate far into the water.  This is why there aren’t dozens of dead fish popping up after every storm.  Instead, it spreads along the surface, discharging horizontally. As for how far it can spread, estimates vary.  The power of the bolt itself has an impact on the distance the current can travel, so it’s really hard to tell.

Not that you should be gambling your safety on those numbers, whether they be 20 feet or 20 yards. Even if you’re outside the range of the lethal electric shock, when a bolt strikes water it creates sound up to 260 decibels as far as a mile away. You could lose your hearing instantly at that volume. It’s that dangerous.

So is There Anywhere I Can Swim During a Thunderstorm?

With these facts in mind, it may be apparent why avoiding a lightning strike is a good idea. But is water really that big of a target for lightning? Is lighting attracted to water?

There are three qualities that primarily determine where lightning will strike: isolation, height, and shape.  The most dangerous place to be, typically, is an open field.  There’s nothing else around to attract the lightning.  Being on or in the water is a close second.  That wide, flat surface area creates many of the same conditions.

At Sea

Out in the ocean, lightning doesn’t strike very often. Despite its rarity, it’s still very dangerous.  Your boat and your body may be the only things sticking up for miles. Salt water is also a better conductor, so the surface electrical discharge spreads farther than across fresh water.

At the Beach

A day at the beach is probably the most dangerous place to be in a thunderstorm.  Warm updrafts from the land create the perfect conditions for lightning strikes. You’re still in salt water, and you’re a lot less likely to be scuba diving (which might get you deep enough to be safe). Your head bobbing out of the surf is still the highest point for quite some distance.  Very often, a shelter isn’t close.

In Pools

Even pools aren’t safe. While you’re less likely to be directly struck in a pool since there are things around you to draw the strike (especially in an indoor pool), the charge can still reach you while you’re in the water.  Metal elements like the pipes and plumbing can conduct electricity.

How Can I Keep Myself Safe?

Staying safe is a matter of staying out of the water during a storm. Lightning can strike as far as 10 miles ahead or behind the rainclouds of a storm. Even if it’s not raining on you, lightning can still strike you.

Your best bet is to designate someone as the lookout.  Then use the 30-30 rule: when you see the flash of lightning, count to 30. If you hear the thunder at or before 30 seconds, you’re within 6 miles of the storm, and you’ll want to get out of the water and seek shelter. Every 5 seconds is another mile closer or further away.  If you’re only counting to 10 before you hear the thunder, the storm is right on top of you.

 

Remember, lightning is dangerous.  Always take precautions to protect yourself and those that are with you.

15
Sep

9 Developmental Benefits of Swimming for Babies

Swimming is not only a fun activity for babies and toddlers, but it provides many physical, emotional, and social benefits. At SwimJim, we offer swimming lessons that will stimulate your little one’s development, giving them a happy and healthy start in life.

Here are nine surprising developmental benefits of introducing swimming at an early age to your child.

Bonding Time

Everyone’s lives are busy, and having a structured class like baby and toddler swimming lessons blocks out a time frame when it’s just you and your baby. You have each other’s undivided attention without the normal distractions of life.

Development of large motor muscles

Large muscle motor skills are the first to develop with your baby. Swimming is a gentle activity that develops those muscles in her whole body. Proper large motor development will contribute to timely crawling and walking skills for your baby.

Balance

In a study conducted by Hermundur Sigmundsson, a professor of psychology at NTNU (Norwegian University of Science and Technology), and Brian Hopkins, a professor of psychology at Lancaster University, discovered that babies who swim have the best balance and reaching abilities compared with babies involved in other physical activities.

Improved balance also correlates to increased coordination. Swimming babies are simply more physically adept than non-swimmers, setting them up for healthy motor skills development.

Prevent Drowning

Some parents fear that early exposure to swimming will make their children too comfortable in the water, increasing their risk of possibly drowning. Quite the opposite is true. A baby’s gag reflex will keep him from inhaling water. Newborns can even hold their breath under water. Swimming lessons taught at an early age will give your baby life-saving skills and an understanding of how to properly behave in and around water.

Drowning is the leading cause of death in young children and babies, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics. A study done in 2009 showed that when children take swimming lessons from ages 1 to 4, their risk of drowning is decreased by 88%.

Healthy Metabolism

Gentle physical activity strengthens your baby’s cardiovascular system and stimulates healthy metabolic processes. Swimming can improve your baby’s appetite and help regulate an occasionally upset tummy.

Better sleeping patterns

Regular full-body physical activity uses a lot of energy and will require your baby to get more sleep. If your baby struggles with getting a full night’s sleep, swimming will help to normalize his sleeping patterns (and yours, too!).

Improved Cognition

The bilateral physical activity of swimming stimulates both sides of the brain, creating new neural pathways at lightning speed. A healthy, stimulated brain performs better academically and improves language skills.

Social Development

Swimming lessons are an activity where children learn to share each other’s space and cooperate with each other. Learning these skills early on will help them when they are older and attend school. Your child will be more comfortable in groups and have an easier time sharing.

Self Confidence

Learning new skills in swimming lessons gives your little one a sense of accomplishment, helping them feel confident in themselves. Early exposure to learned skills helps children to be willing to try new things and develop a healthy self-image.

Sign up With SwimJim Today!

Swimming is a beneficial activity for anyone, but the specific benefits for babies and toddlers give them an accelerated start in life. At SwimJim, we have classes structured for babies as young as newborns and toddlers 3 years of age.

Babies start out with balancing on their backs and tummies, and they learn to comfortably and safely explore the water. By the time your little one is 3, she’ll be able to understand how to control breathing and how to propel herself in the water. Sign up for baby and toddler swimming classes today! Stock up on swim diapers and see for yourself the difference swimming with SwimJim can make with your little one’s development.

8
Sep

Swimming is an excellent, low-impact, way to lose weight

Common fitness goals for most people usually include losing weight, increasing endurance, toning up, and improving overall health. Some types of exercise are better than others at helping you achieve some of these goals, but few types of exercise actually give you all of those benefits. Swimming, however, is perhaps one of the most effective forms of exercise that can help you do all of those things at once.

The Benefits of Frequent Swimming

Several studies show that those who swim habitually as part of their regular workout routine benefit from several health improvements compared to those who regularly engage in other forms of exercise and do not swim. Some of the many benefits of swimming include:

Fat loss

Just how effective is swimming for losing weight? Because of the density of water, your body is constantly moving against resistance. This means each movement requires extra energy and effort from your body, which means burning more calories. You can easily burn 500 calories with an easy swimming workout, and much more with a more vigorous swim.

Muscle tone 

Because of the resistance of the water, your muscles must work harder to kick, push, and pull yourself through the water. Consistently challenging your muscles in this way can help you build lean, toned muscles. What’s better is that swimming requires the efforts of all muscle groups, so your arms, back, chest, legs, and core will all benefit and grow stronger from consistent swimming.

Injury prevention and longevity

Unlike running or weight training, swimming requires no impact on your joints because the water makes you essentially weightless. Many professional athletes recovering from injuries use swimming to keep themselves strong and maintain their endurance. There is a very low risk of injury associated with swimming, and it can actually help you maintain your youthful vitality. It is one form of exercise people can continue even into their later years of life.

In fact, regular swimmers experience far better health as older adults than their non-swimming counterparts and can be up to 20 years younger health-wise than their actual age, according to swimming expert Joel Stager, Ph.D., director of the Counsilman Center for the Science of Swimming at Indiana University at Bloomington. His research found that many of a swimmer’s important health components, including blood pressure, cholesterol, cardiovascular performance, central nervous system functioning and cognitive functioning, compared to much younger participants. It just goes to prove that you’re never too old to get into shape.

How to Get Started

All of this sounds great until you realize that swimming requires some technique you must be taught. While it’s true that swimming takes a little bit more preparation than walking, there are many readily available resources, which makes adding swimming to your regular routine very easy.

First of all, if you’re an absolute beginner you should sign-up for swimming lessons for beginning adults to learn some basic strokes. Technique matters, and knowing the basics can help you swim more efficiently and effectively, delaying fatigue and burnout. You can ask a swim instructor to teach you the best swimming exercises for weight loss, endurance, or any other specific goals you have and can tailor a swimming workout that will best meet your goals.

Next, be realistic in your expectations. There will be an adjustment period while your body adapts to the constant resistance. The best way to ease into swimming is to swim a lap or two, or even less at a time, followed by a resting period. Several rest periods may be needed, and that should be expected. Your heart rate will stay elevated during your brief rest period and you will not forfeit any benefits from resting, but will actually improve your experience by avoiding burnout and over exhaustion. You’ll be more likely to maintain a consistent routine if you pace yourself and don’t over-do it.

Lastly, consider recruiting a friend to be your workout pal and go swimming with you. Learning together and supporting each other can help you stay accountable and committed. You will share a new hobby and enjoy the health benefits together as you make swimming part of your new healthy lifestyle, one that will hopefully last as long as your prolonged life.

1
Sep

Do You Experience Exercise-Induced Asthma? Try Swimming!

If you have poor workout performance or a cough and wheeze for up to a half hour afterward, you may have exercise-induced asthma. Experiencing these and other symptoms of this common ailment can have a drastic, negative effect on a person’s ability to get their physical fitness needs met.

Running, cycling, and other strenuous activities can feel out of reach for those who suffer from exercise-induced asthma. However, swimming offers a great alternative! Here are the reasons why you should try swimming in order to keep your body healthy and strong.

Experiencing Exercise-Induced Asthma (Bronchoconstriction)

Shortness of breath during exercise is normal. However, if you are still feeling it 5-10 minutes after you stop, and experience coughing and wheezing or chest tightness along with it, you may actually be feeling this way because your airflow is being obstructed by exercise-induced asthma (bronchoconstriction). This is the most common form of asthma in teens and adults.

Other symptoms that point to this ailment include fatigue during exercising or the feeling that you aren’t performing as well as you should expect, especially if you are in good physical shape.

Typically, symptoms (either mild or severe) of EIB resolve themselves after 20-30 minutes but some individuals experience a second bout of symptoms 4-12 hours after completing a workout. These “late-phase” symptoms are usually mild but can take up to 24 hours to go away.

So what causes EIB in teens and adults? The simple act of breathing, especially in cold and dry air, can quickly cause you to develop airway narrowing, inflammation, and the production of mucus. Other causes include breathing in pollution, high pollen counts, ice rink resurfacing chemicals, smoke, or strong fumes. Also, if you have recently had a cold, you are more likely to feel this way.

What You Can Do About It

If you are experiencing EIB symptoms, make a quick visit to your doctor to be sure there isn’t something else that could be causing you to feel airway obstruction. Once other conditions such as vocal cord dysfunction, allergies, lung disease, arrhythmia, or gastroesophageal reflux disease are ruled out, your doctor will perform a series of tests.

These include measuring your breathing before, during, and after exercise along with the functioning of your lungs. Other possible challenge tests can include a methacholine challenge, eucapnic voluntary hyperventilation (EVH) challenge, or a mannitol challenge. You will also be asked a series of questions about your symptoms and exercise routine.

 

After a diagnosis of EIB, your doctor will help you properly manage it with the following steps:

  • Cover your nose and mouth with a scarf when exercising in cold air.
  • Warm up for 5-10 minutes before vigorous exercise.
  • Avoid triggers.
  • Carefully watch your respiratory status before, during, and after exercise.
  • Take a prescription medication, if necessary.
  • Learn what to do should you ever experience a full-blown asthma episode.

Why Swimming Is a Great Alternative for Sufferers

It is important for EIB sufferers to be able to continue their active lifestyle and reach their physical potential. Keep in mind that just because some activities can trigger your asthma doesn’t mean there aren’t others that can be done comfortably and safely. Swimming, especially when done in warm water, is one of them!

Due to the humidity of the pool and the low-impact nature of swimming, it is rare for this type of exercise to induce coughing, wheezing, and shortness of breath.

Even though swimming is low impact, it is still considered an excellent workout that provides many benefits. Just ask Michael Phelps’ abs! As desired as it is, maintaining a tight waistline is only one of the perks. A regular swim routine will also contribute to more muscle overall, as it requires a multitude of different body parts to propel yourself through the water. Your legs, hips, glutes, chest, biceps, triceps, and back muscles will also be worked.

Depending on the type and intensity of your swim routine, you can burn at least as many calories as when you go for a long run without the strain on your ankle, knee, and hip joints.

How to Boost Your Swim Workout

If you are still skeptical about getting a good enough workout, don’t be! There are many exercises that can be paired with your basic swim strokes to up the fitness level for anyone.

For example, use a kickboard and practice your dolphin or frog kicks. Tread water for 30-second intervals. Water jog in waist-deep water while engaging your arms and rotating through your core. By adding these tweaks, you will not only boost your heart rate but your muscle mass as well.

Whether or not you suffer from exercise-induced asthma, sign up for swimming lessons to learn how to perfect your strokes!

25
Aug

Get Your Dream Abs from Swimming

If you’ve ever watched a professional swimming competition, one of the first things you’ll likely notice is the incredible physique of the athletes. Take the world’s winningest swimmer Michael Phelps, for example. Not only did he top Men’s Health Magazine’s Top 100 Fittest Men Ever, but with just one look at his stats, you recognize immediately how fit he truly is—at 6-feet 4-inches tall and 194 pounds, Phelps’ chest size measures in at 46-inches around. His waist, on the other hand, is a slender 34-inches. And while he’s undoubtedly an incredible athlete with incredible fitness, he wouldn’t be the person he is today if it was wasn’t for the sport that got him there in the first place: swimming.

Michael Phelps celebrating with Caeleb Dressel

Rio de Janeiro – 2016 Olympic Games

Phelps’ abdomen is one of his most famous features and a lot of that can be attributed to the sport of swimming. If you are someone who perpetually struggles with achieving the ab structure you want, this article will give you helpful insight into why and how swimming can be the key to helping you achieve the muscle structure and tone you’ve always wanted.

Why Abs Are So Hard to Get

For decades, six-pack abs have been the ‘defining factor’ in being physically fit. And while having abs is often a common attribute of athletes, visible abdominal muscles don’t always come easily to a majority of people. There are several reasons that some people struggle to develop the chiseled, quintessential abs. Along with easily controllable things like dehydration, lack of sleep, excessive alcohol intake, and stress, abdominal development can also be hindered by factors like genetics, minimal carb consumption, and binge eating.

How Swimming Can Diminish These Obstacles

Swimming is unique because it works muscles throughout the entire body. Along with strengthening your hips, legs, and glutes through kicking, swimming is also a great way to build significant upper body strength in the arms, back, chest, and major muscle groups. More than anything, however, swimming consistently exercises the core muscles and enables your abs to aid in overall stability and body control.

Simply put, core muscles like abs, hips, and lower back are completely engaged when you’re swimming. Not only do these muscles help you balance and stay on the water’s surface, but when kicking, they have chief control over your speed and agility through the water. In correlation with your core’s rotation as you stroke, the repetitive up-and-down movement of your legs directly engages each muscle group in your abdomen. And while this rotating movement is only used in two strokes—backstroke and freestyle—other strokes like butterfly and breaststroke require your body to use a leverage-like movement that also directly targets your abs.

Regardless of which swimming stroke you favor the most, you can rest assured that not only are you getting a great workout that builds total body strength and increases endurance, but you’re also getting one of the best, most effective abdominal exercises possible.

3 Additional Water Exercises to Pair With Swimming

Along with practicing the traditional swimming strokes, consider the following pool exercises to help you get the chiseled abs you want.

  • Kicking sets: Grab a kickboard and practice various types of kicks including the flutter kick, like in freestyle and backstroke where you alternate legs; dolphin kick, where your legs pulse together like a mermaid; and breaststroke kick where you imitate frog kicks by pulling your heels up toward your glutes and sweep them out, back, and around. Focus on engaging your abs during each kick.
  • Treading water: In deep water, spend 30-second intervals switching between treading as hard and aggressively as you can and floating on your back for 30 seconds. This high-intensity exercise helps you firm up muscles all over and is a big-time calorie killer.
  • Water jogs: Similar to treading water, this exercise is done in short-burst intervals and can greatly work your core. In waist-deep water, spend 30 seconds jogging aggressively making sure to engage arms, raise knees, and rotate through the core. Between intervals, spend 30 seconds lightly walking in a large circle.  

Exercise Education

If you think you’ve tried everything to get rock-hard abs with no results, consider hitting the pool for regular swimming workouts that strengthen the whole body, target the abs, and increase endurance. For more information on how you can find your fittest self, check out the services and other blog posts offered by the swimming experts at SwimJim, today.