It's that time of year again when we're all getting into the flow of training with London Marathon 3 months away and many others in the next few months. Whatever your training plan it's important to incorporate varied exercises and be sure to look after your body along the way.
In today's blog we talk about the benefits of swimming as a form of active recovery!
So what really is active recovery, isn't that contradicting? Active and recovery, opposites right - no.
Active recovery involves engaging in low-intensity exercise after high-intensity workout sessions - something we should all be doing regularly. Whereas a rest day doesn't involve any exercise at all.
High intensity workouts are great and it's always a boost when you get yourself a new PB whether it be distance or time but we must remember to rest and often the best form of rest day is to do some light exercise, or what we like to call active recovery!
For me personally my form of active recovery is swimming. I grew up swimming, from the age of four I could swim a length on my own and would give my best shot at a length underwater at that age too. So for most of my life I have stayed clear of the pavements and parks and stuck in the pool training up to 6 days a week - you can imagine the shock to my legs when I gave up swimming, moved to London and decided to give running a go!
The best thing about swimming as a form of active recovery is that it is a NO impact exercise! Whether you are suffering from any form of injury or not it is good to give those legs a break from the constant pounding of running and work the muscles in a different way. Swimming places almost no impact on your joints because the effects of gravity are negated in water.
You’ll find it hard to injure yourself during a swimming workout, even if you have an existing injury - but of course if you are unsure of your injury check with a medical professional before getting into the pool!
Hydrotherapy is a popular rehabilitative technique, as it relieves joint pressure due to the body’s weightlessness, allowing controlled movement against light resistance. Swimming provides a more evenly spread resistance for your muscles, allowing you to enjoy a safe workout without fear of injury.
Another great benefit of swimming is that you can push yourself as little or as hard as you desire in the same way you would running. Swimming involves almost every muscle in your body and you can swim to stretch out and relax or swim for speed and endurance, whichever you do your muscles will be worked and almost guaranteed to feel rejuvenated when you get out!
I guess what I want to say is GIVE IT A GO!
Get your costume or shorts out and head to your local pool, jump in and swim - you never know you may find a love for swimming and it may do your body the world of good!
If you want to read about the benefits of swimming from an elite athletes point of view, Two-time Olympian Andy Baddeley talks about the benefits of spending more time in the pool and how it helped improve his running - READ HERE