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 HeartRateMonitors.com 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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How Heart Rate Monitoring Can Improve Your Training

In recent years health and personal fitness has gone from buzzword of the day to a high tech industry serving people from all walks of life. Everyone from professional athletes to die hard runners typically use one or more devices to aid them in their training and to help optimize their workouts.

One of the devices that you’ll see used by many is the heart rate monitor. These devices aren’t used for medical purposes; they’re used by those who want to track their heart rate and thus improve their training.

The human heart is a muscle and, as such, it grows stronger with exercise. Monitoring the heart’s function before, during, and after training can help athletes of all disciplines better understand their heart’s fitness level and adjust the training schedule accordingly.

Runningrunner with heart rate monitor

Runners can benefit from heart rate monitoring in several ways. Gauging the level of the heart rate in combination with the intensity of the exercise allows runners to adjust their schedules accordingly. As the runner’s heart rate decreases as the muscle grows stronger, the runner is then able to increase the intensity of the workout without reaching the threshold and risking injury.

Heart rate watches are a good addition to any runner’s arsenal. Not only does the watch monitor the heart rate, but they also include stopwatch and other features that are indispensable to the serious runner.

Cycling

Cycling is one of the best exercises for overall fitness and remains one of the most popular forms of exercise as well. Heart rate monitoring is crucial to the avid cyclist in many of the same ways that it is to the runner, with a few added exceptions.

A cyclist’s heart rate can change frequently during a workout, especially on hilly terrain. It’s important that a cyclist uses the monitor to establish an average resting heart rate before he or she begins training with one. Once the averages are fixed, the monitor lets the cyclist know when the heart rate reaches optimum performance. When that figure is combined with distance, speed, and elevation information the training schedule can be customized around the information.

swimmerSwimming

As with the other exercise disciplines mentioned, swimming is all about endurance and reaching peak performance. Swimmers also benefit from the use of a heart rate monitor in much the same way that runners and cyclists do.

Obviously a waterproof monitor is in order here, but those are widely available. Once donned, the monitor transmits the information to the watch or other device and records data. This can be very helpful in the training of swimmers by relaying information such as distance traveled and the time it took to do that, which is something that swimmers can’t check as easily as cyclists.

Heart rate monitoring is also useful for SCUBA divers. A diver can use a monitor to gauge when their  heart rate is higher, which means that the diver is consuming air more quickly and will have less bottom time. If a diver can monitor his or her heart rate over time he or she can actively work to reduce it, which means less air used over the course of the dive.

Every athlete strives to improve their performance across the board. Heart rate monitoring is a proven way for athletes to track their efforts and design training sessions around their peak performances. When workouts are approached this way, everyone is a winner.