The Fitness Guide

Rosie Gomez's Guide to Getting Fit!

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Why You Need to Add Swimming to Your Workout Routine

Many people who work hard to include Man Swimmingcardio into their workout and routines walking, running or cycling seem like the most obvious choices for a heart healthy workout. Of course this is true, but if you’re not adding a dose of water to that mix you’re missing out on some incredible cardio benefits.

Time spent at the pool is not just for summer anymore, and many people are realizing the incredible things that swimming does for the body. If you’ve eschewed the pool as child’s play, or believe that it’s not as effective as other cardio activities, then you’re missing out on a fun, thorough, and intense workout that can and will help you reach your fitness goals, with some other surprising results.

Have a Heart

If you’re cycling or running at an intense level, then you’re likely already getting the maximum in a cardio workout. However, if you’re walking or running at a more moderate pace, adding lap time at the pool can really bring your cardio workout to the next level. You’ll want to make sure that your swimming technique is correct and that you’re swimming often enough, so a brief consult with a swimming instructor can let you know if you’re on the right track.

With cardio workouts, it’s important to measure the intensity of your workout by how hard your heart is working. Knowing how hard you’re working is something many people don’t’ know how to gauge. Adding a heart rate monitor from can help you know if you’re on the right track for optimum cardio fitness.

Swimming LapsFlexibility Is Key

One of the best things about swimming is the fact that most pools are heated. Not only does this keep swimmers comfortable, it has added exercise benefits, as well. The warm water helps muscles to relax, which means that you’re increasing your flexibility with each swim. Your muscles warm up more quickly and you’re able to stretch them much more quickly and efficiently.

If you’re a cyclist or a runner, consider a quick swim after your other workouts. This will help stretch your tired muscles and help prevent soreness and possible injury.

Increased Strength and Endurance

Because swimming uses every muscle group in the body, it’s the perfect workout for increased strength. While swimming is not going to build bulky muscles the way that weightlifting can, it does create long, lean muscles that help to boost overall metabolism. While most of the muscles involved in swimming are located in the upper body, specialized swim classes and techniques shift the work to the leg muscles, thus engaging the entire body.

Swimming is not as intense a workout as cycling or running, so a swimmer can maintain his or her pace for longer periods of time, which builds endurance. Again, this is a win for your heart health, but it also allows for an increase in calories burned.

Because It’s Fun

If the obvious health benefits aren’t enough to convince you to jump in the pool, think about how much fun swimming was when you were a kid. None of that has changed, and swimming is still the most fun you can have while getting fit.

There are a number of swimming clubs located all over the country, and the social aspect of these clubs makes membership worthwhile. Many clubs also organize outings to local lakes or beaches during the summer months, and swimming in open water can add a whole new spin to your workouts. Also, working out with a team of other dedicated swimmers can keep you motivated and help further your fitness goals.

One of the best ways to keep yourself focused on your fitness goals is keep your workouts fresh and diverse, and to add an element of fun. Swimming accomplishes those things and then some. If you’re looking to change up your workouts, jump into a swim routine; you’ll be glad you did. 


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3 Ways You Cheat on Your Workout and Don’t Know It

Weight Lifting ClassFor those who are serious about their workouts the thought of cheating on those fitness routines is akin to sacrilege. After all, why would we put in the sweat and hard work just to sabotage our efforts? Unfortunately, many of us are cheating on our workouts without even realizing it, and it’s time to end those subconscious deceptions once and for all.

If you’re serious about your workouts, and want to make sure that you get the most that you can out of each one, read on to learn just how you can avoid cheating, even if you’re absolutely and completely unaware that you’re doing it.

Hurry Up and Wait

Of course we all have our favorite machines at the gym. Maybe yours is the treadmill or the elliptical, and most gyms try hard to provide enough of the most popular machines for their clients. However, if you find that your favorite machine is occupied, what do you do? If you stand by and wait for the other person to finish then you’re doing it wrong.

The basic idea of any workout is maintain a consistent level of intensity and if you stop to wait then you’ve lost not only time but calorie-burning power. Have a backup plan for each workout so you can easily move on to a different machine or exercise if your first choice is unavailable.

What’s on Television?

Many gyms have upgraded their equipment to include personal televisions on treadmills and elliptical machines, and this is a great way to keep people engaged and entertained while they’re working out. Unfortunately, your favorite talk show or reality show can also be sabotaging your workout.

In some cases, watching television while working out can cause you to slow down. Maybe you want to hear the latest celeb rant more closely, or catch every frame of that scandalous video. Whatever the reason the fact of the matter is that if you’re paying close attention to the television you’re not paying close attention to your workout. Try turning off the TV which will help you focus more on your workout intensity.

Cross Training

Not Going the Distance

We’re all guilty of this one, but it’s also the cheat that does the most harm to our best laid workout plans. If you start late, stop early, or just simply give up when things get a little tough, then you may have just unwittingly destroyed your workout for the day.

If you attend an exercise class, show up early so you have time to stretch and gather any necessary equipment. Consequently, budget your time accordingly so that you can devote your full attention to the class and see it through until the end. If you’ve dedicated a set amount of time for walking or running, or using various machines at the gym then don’t stop until that time is over. If you can tack on an extra ten minutes at the beginning or the end, the end results will be that much better. The moral of this story is simple: you won’t get the maximum benefits of a workout if you don’t devote the maximum time to it.

We all want to be our most fit and most healthy selves, so it’s always going to be beneficial to make the most of our workouts. Be certain that you’re giving each workout your very best effort, and you’ll be well on your way to achieving your fitness goals.