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Swimming - A Rejuvenating Experience

A swim a day:
 It's easy to get hooked on to swimming. If you're a convert already, you know how alive you feel in the water and how relaxed you are when you get out. As you glide along, the water seems to massage your muscles and clear your mind. Even after a vigorous workout, you feel refreshed and relaxed. Many people like to start their day with a swim, while others swim at the end of the day, letting the water rid them of accumulated stress and tension. 

Great exercise and therapy:
Swimming can be very demanding for the beginner. Exercise at a comfortable pace and periodically check your heart rate to make sure you're staying in your training range. It is recommended that beginners swim 12-20 minutes, building endurance with time. As you progress, you'll be able to swim farther and faster at each workout, and the efficiency of your strokes will improve. Intermediate swimmers should swim 20-30 minutes and advanced swimmers 30-60 minutes. The freestyle, or crawl, is the most efficient and strenuous stroke. A 150 pound person burns about 8.5 calories, a minute, swimming freestyle. 

  If you get tired, switch to a less strenuous stroke, such as the sidestroke or breaststroke, or swim a few laps with a kickboard. Swimming in sets - 4 laps freestyle, 4 laps breaststroke, 4 laps backstroke, for example - will make your workout more interesting and will exercise more muscles. 

 Simple water exercises:

Kick with a kickboard or holding on to the side of the pool to tone legs, back and stomach.

Leg lifts also condition legs, back and stomach. 

Holding on to the side of the pool, lift each leg 10 times in front of you, behind you and to each side.

Running in the water increases your heart rate just as swimming does. Many people who can't run on land can run in the water without a problem. Because of the water's resistance, the impact on your body is far less. In chest-high water, begin by running with your hands on your head, and as you become more fit, paddle with your arms. You can alternate running with skipping, hopping, or even dancing in the water.

Bobbing up and down in the water improves breathing and muscle tone. 

Treading in the water improves arm and leg strength. Whatever your level of ability, remember to cool down   afterwards with water or stretching exercises. 
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