If you are looking to get fit or keep fit then you might be torn between heading to the gym or taking a dip in the pool. Of course, both activities can provide enormous benefits to your wellbeing and as the experts say, some exercise is better than nothing. However, if you are wondering which activity will be best for you, you need to look at the bigger picture and consider your ability, your goals and what you want to get from your time spent exercising.
The gym is the obvious place to go if you want to add muscle, lose weight or keep fit. Gyms have so much equipment that it is easy to keep a training routine that is varied and fresh each time you walk through the door. Sure, being in a gym means that you are around others who can spur you on to train harder but of course, it could make you feel the opposite. There is no doubt that an hour on the treadmill or thirty minutes on the cross-trainer will keep you feeling fit and healthy and you will burn calories but it can become repetitive and that can certainly contribute to people losing interest in using the gym.
There is also the cost of gym memberships, with many costing as much as £70 per month – a lot of money to spend if you are not using it as much as you should be.
Swimming is an exercise that comes with a huge amount of benefits, more than you might see when compared to certain exercises in the gym such as lifting weights. Depending on your goals, swimming can help you to lose weight but it can also help you to tone up, helping you to look good and feel good.
One of the major benefits of swimming is that it works the entire body at the same time. To achieve this in the gym, you would have to use a number of machines and carry out different exercises, all of which requires time. During a session in the pool, you will use muscles that you very rarely use, regardless of whether you use a gentle breaststroke or the butterfly. Alongside this, swimming means that your body is under resistance from the water, which can often mean that your body would work harder in 30 minutes in the pool when compared to 45 minutes in the gym on average. Swimming is also great for those who have joint and muscle problems because it is not load bearing, making it a more beneficial option when compared to using the gym.
For many, the gym can feel as though it is too pressurised and many might feel that they are being watched but this is not the case when it comes to swimming. Swimming, despite being as tough as you want it to be, can help to de-stress and relax, which is certainly something you cannot get from using a gym. A swim in the morning or late at night will clear the mind and reduce levels of stress.
What does this all mean?
The gym clearly has its place but swimming provides a whole body training experience that you can only achieve by putting in more effort in the gym. For many, swimming is the preferred option because of the number of benefits it offers but it is also ideal for those who want to train at their own pace with no pressure, because as long as you can swim, you can certainly reap the rewards of swimming.
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