A dip in a cool lake or pool is the best thing for many in the summer heat. “And a perfect opportunity to do something for your fitness right away,” says Linz sports doctor Helmuth Ocenasek. Because when the temperature is around 30 degrees, running or cycling is extremely difficult anyway. Swimming, on the other hand, allows you to cool off and train at the same time.
However, it is important not to confuse good swimming training with bathing or paddling, as the director of the Institute of Sports Medicine and Health in Linz points out: “The training effect is zero if you move slowly through the water and do not move correctly apply technique, you have to swim correctly.” The sports doctor understands this to mean that in addition to the correct movement when swimming the breaststroke and front crawl , you’re also dipping your face under water as you exhale, and if you don’t, you’re putting a lot of pressure on the cervical spine and you’re not really progressing fast either, and you’re putting a lot of pressure on the cervical spine.
According to Ocenasek, the strength of the training effect depends on the intensity with which you do it. “The range is wide, beginners do not consume more than 180 kilocalories per hour, athletes more than 900”, specifies Ocenasek. The extra calorie consumption results from swimming because the body must be constantly warmed up in the cool water in order to be able to maintain its temperature around 36 degrees.
Ocenasek generally advises against swimming with dolphins because it is extremely stressful on the spine, even for professionals. Although the back is healthy for the spine and trains the stabilizing muscles of the back, it does not have a significant training effect on circulation for recreational swimmers.
If you want to include breaststroke and front crawl in your fitness routine, you need patience and a good training plan, as the expert points out. Don’t expect to be able to swim at full power for half an hour from the start. “Most of the time beginners’ arm muscles are completely exhausted after ten minutes, although the heart and lungs are still resilient.”
Therefore, it makes sense to divide the training units, each of which should last at least 30 minutes, into several sequences at the start. “So you swim for about five to ten minutes before taking a break and repeating that until you get at least half an hour,” Oscenasek explains. “After about a month and a half with three to four training sessions per week, you can count on being able to swim for half an hour in a row,” says the doctor. So it really takes patience.
If you continue to train long after the summer, you will be rewarded with a perfect figure. “The typical swimmer build is characterized by a narrow waist and muscular shoulders and back,” says Ocenasek. Nevertheless, the doctor recommends not to be limited to this sport: “The best is a varied training plan with running, swimming and cycling, so that all muscle groups are solicited.”
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