Swim your way to fitness

Common strokes

Front crawl - fastest
Side stroke - most powerful
Breast storke - restful
Back stroke - easiest & safest

Just using a kickboard can strengthen your arms, abdomen and back muscles.

View swim strokes.

Swimming is the oldest and most complete form of exercising in water. It can help you get your body back on track toward a healthier life.

The complete idiot's guide to swimming
by Mike Bottom and Nathan Jendrick.
New York : Alpha, c2011.
Take the plunge and have fun! The water's calling you.  You can almost feel your arms slicing through the water, your legs kicking in rhythm, and your breaths times to your strokes as your body propels forward.  Learning to swim-or to swim better-is high on your must-do list, and you've decided now's the time. Whether your goal is to take advantage of the low-impact workout swimming provides, reintroduce yourself to strokes and techniques you've forgotten, or teach your children (or yourself!) to swim, this helpful guide gives you everything you need to know to dive in and make your way through the water.  In it, you get: • •A clear picture of the health benefits swimming provide-regardless of age, athletic ability, or skill level. •Move-by-move instructions for mastering the freestyle, backstroke breaststroke, and butterfly, along with the kicks for each. •Tips for transitioning from stroke to stoke, successfully turning at the end of a lap, and learning the versatile dolphin kick. •Tons of training tricks, from stretching to strength training, plus supplemental drills to perfect your form in the water. •Advice on out-of-the-water issues like injury prevention and care, combating chlorine burn, choosing the best suit and goggles, and much more.
How to teach your baby to swim : newborn floating to toddler swimming : an expert guide shown step by step in 200 photographs
Françoise Barbira Freedman.
London : Southwater, c2009.
In this book, Francoise Freedman shares the knowledge and expertise that led her to develop Aqualight, which is an approach to introducing babies and toddlers to the world of water. This book also answers the most frequently asked questions concerning choosing pools and equipment, and the safety of babies in the water.
Master the art of swimming : raising your performance with the Alexander technique
Steven Shaw.
London : Collins & Brown, 2009, c2006.
Take the Alexander Technique into the swimming pool—and improve your technique! Focusing on the most popular strokes, Steven Shaw shows swimmers how to release tension from the head, neck, and back. He breaks his exercises down into a series of therapeutic movements that swimmers can practice either alone or with a partner, and in water or on dry land. His unique insights will become the building blocks for a better, more healthful swimming experience. nbsp;nbsp;
Technique swim workouts
Blythe Lucero.
Maidenhead : Meyer & Meyer Sport, 2009.
Coach Blythe's Swim Workouts are appropriate for the self-coached swimmer and triathlete, as well as for coaches looking for workout content for the athletes they train.

Swimming provides a total body workout. It provides a cardiovascular workout, improving your heart's and lung's ability to transport blood and oxygen to your muscles. It gives you endurance and flexibility for the range of motion in your joints. It also provides muscle tone, along with strengthening your muscles to see how much and for how long your muscles can generate force.

Swimming provides most of the benefits of an aerobic workout that running does. And because water provides a natural buoyancy, it goes easy on the joints.

Other benefits from swimming can include:

  • Reduce joint stiffness
  • Lower high blood pressure
  • High energy levels
  • Relieve stress
  • Relax stiff muscles
  • Burn calories and lose weight
  • Stimulates circulation
  • Increases your energy level
  • Can be done indoors or out
  • A great way to come back from a sports injury

Whether you are 2 to 92 years old, locate a pool, take the plunge and get into the swim of this lifetime sport.

Article by: St. Louis Public Library staff