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  #1  
Old 05-28-2009
Mike from NS Mike from NS is offline
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Mike from NS
Default Exactly how healthy is swimming?

I'm not at all disputing the benefits from swimming but is it more healthy or less healthy than other "sports"? However, I guess it depends on what you're after.

If we are following the "TI" way, are we not trying to exert ourselves to a lesser degree than if we are, say, ice skating or playing hockey like Nova Scotian - Sid Crosby, for example. Any game gives him a real workout and thereby promotes health --- until someone slams him into the boards and breaks a bone or two. With all probability we are not going to become greatly injured while swimming - apart from shared lane collisions or two close an encounter with the pool wall whilst perfecting our back stroke or flip turns.

Injuries aside ... how healthy is breathing all the chlorine fumes we breath while at the pool ... let alone absorb into our skin? (The new pool currently under construction in Halifax will have a purification system which doesn't use chlorine - that will be nice.)

If our goal for swimming were to reduce our physical weight, will we not do this more quickly with more exertion.

I have found downhill skiing to be healthy in that I'm outside during the colder clear winter months and getting a modest degree of exercise, since gravity does most of the work. (I haven't had a cold during the winter for years - but look out when the spring arrives.) But for rigorous winter time outside exercise ... cross country skiing wins "the race". I've never seen an out-of-shape XC skier.

What are your thoughts on the healthiest (while being fun) form of exercise. What other exercise regiments do you enjoy?

Mike
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Old 05-28-2009
woody-som woody-som is offline
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well it depends on how well the pool is managed. I went for a swim just once in a hot, over chlorinated pool, and 12months on still have problems, was diagnosed with asthma, which was non-existent prior to using that pool.
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Old 05-28-2009
atreides atreides is offline
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I think the most enjoyable form of exercise that I have experienced is basketball. Since I was a college player this makes sense. However, I don't play any more because I was on my way to a knee replacement and thought that I might ought to do something else.

Ironically, I took up running. I know. How isn't that just as bad for your knees? I still have my share of knee problems but I can manage them while running whereas they got worse as played ball. I can't say that running is fun for me. There are times when I seem to run with no effort and exertion but those are few and far between.

Most of the time it is managing the boredom and fatigue. But there is something about running 5 or more miles at a time that seems impressive. Also, you get to work on your time and organized races are a lot of fun. Finally, it is my single best source of weight control. Nothing else comes close. I've been swimming for nearly a year. I started with TI but quickly fell in with the local instructors and tried to learn the traditional way.

Over about a three month time frame, I became extremely frustrated. I would practically hyperventillate after 20 meters and finishing a 25 meter lap was a major accomplishement for the day. I tried fins, pool buoys, viewed youtube films. Then I came back to TI, discovered the secret of body rotation and the two beat kick. I can swim 50 meters pretty comfortably but won't push myself too hard for fear of revisiting the bad ole hyperventillating days.

So practically all of my conditioning comes from running now. If I can overcome my fear of exhaustion, I hope to increase swimming's share of my conditioning program. I often wonder if I'm still doing something really wrong because TI is supposed to be so effortless. Don't get me wrong. I 'm worlds away from my former "I just want to finish this lap, please" days. But I still build a heart rate and fear if I push too hard , I will break form and become even more inefficient. I appreciate any comments on the level of exertion TI'ers should be feeling.
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Old 05-28-2009
woody-som woody-som is offline
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I use to push myself way to hard, and after about 50-100m would be totallyg asthma though, I've had to slow down, and that has been the only positive I can find, it has allowed me to swim better for longer. I do anywhere from 1mile to last week 2.25miles in one session. It still takes me about half a mile to fully relax,, but after that, I can just keep going, OK 30 seconds per 25mtr is slow, but certainly a pace i can maintain.
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Old 05-28-2009
shuumai shuumai is offline
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I'm thinking jump roping might be a good exercise.

UPDATE: I bought a rope two days ago. After using it twice, I can barely walk. My calves are very sore. And I was sweating while jumping, so I'd say it's a good workout for me. Perhaps partly due to beginners' inefficiency though.

Last edited by shuumai : 05-31-2009 at 02:04 PM.
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  #6  
Old 05-29-2009
Rhoda Rhoda is offline
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Recent findings from the Cooper Institute suggest that swimmers are even healthier and longer lived than runners. Maybe it's because it's such a balanced exercise, using both upper and lower body. Perhaps cross-country skiing offers similar benefits. After all, Jack Rabbit Johansen (sp?) was still skiiing past age 100.
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  #7  
Old 05-29-2009
daveblt daveblt is offline
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The swimming pool , fountain of youth

http://www.indiana.edu/~ocmhp/031105/text/swim.shtml


Dave
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  #8  
Old 05-30-2009
zwrdl zwrdl is offline
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Default The best healthy swimming is in open water

I only swim in open water; frankly I detest pools. I'm fortunate enough to have had many years of open water swimming: first Walden Pond in Massachusetts, then the Potomac River in Maryland, and now I swim in the Gulf off Florida. I usually put in about an hour of steady crawl four to six days a week, but continue out of water conditioning for the three or four months in the year when it's too cold.

I've been swimming for sixty years now, ever since I was five, and have passed through all the stroke changes as the theories evolved. There is no question that using TI stroke techniques improves your efficiency, but you can still maintain a steady elevated target heart rate, depending on how fast you stroke or what your kick/stroke ratio is. (If you are swimming recreationally, once you have good basic form you can vary this without worrying about endurance or speed effects.) You cannot get a better cardio workout.

Your muscles, both core and extremity, and your joints get a good workout without stress....if you swim correctly. The only thing lacking is some weight-bearing resistance work for maintenance of bone density, but that's part of conditioning training. And it's always a good idea to cross train with a "minor" activity for overall fitness.

Another benefit of swimming outdoors is that you do not have to reverse direction much, so you get a steady flow of either fresh or salt water over your body, which changes your surface ion composition...which makes you feel good. Plus your body and your lungs get cleansed without being subjected to dilute bleaching solutions or other water additives.

Finally, being outside is refreshing to the spirit, especially if you have fauna and flora (both in the water and on shore) to watch as you cruise past.

I gotta say, open water swimming has kept me young and healthy. Without swimming I'd probably grow old rapidly and die.

Last edited by zwrdl : 05-30-2009 at 10:57 PM. Reason: grammar
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  #9  
Old 05-31-2009
naj naj is offline
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zwrld, I'm right there with you! Open water is the place too be. Since I began back in March of this year and after I joined S.F.'s historic South End Rowing Club, I go six days a week out to the Bay to swim. The day after I first entered the Bay and went back to the pool I realized, "Man this is boring." Well, at least too me the pool is boring, if others enjoy it good on ya but no more for me thanks.

I like the sensation I get when I dive into 54 degree weather and then am able to do a fine crafted - though by no means perfect - TI Stroke for a good forty-five to fifty minutes and feel totally at ease.

For me swimming in open water is the greatest workout and going against the current or a strong ebb tide, flooding etc really enhances that experience. I'd say I can give my lats, deltoids, triceps and biceps a good workout when I'm swimming and hope to continue it for quite awhile. I can't imagine any negative side of swimming for health and fitness, other than not swimming

Naji
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  #10  
Old 05-31-2009
shuumai shuumai is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by naj View Post
The day after I first entered the Bay and went back to the pool I realized, "Man this is boring." Well, at least too me the pool is boring, if others enjoy it good on ya but no more for me thanks.
How does this affect your objective of getting more "minorities" into competitive swimming? (I challenge you to encourage you, so I hope you don't take it wrong.)
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