September 29, 2016
No seriously….just keep swimming!
With my recent knee injury & a slew of other aches & pains I’ve been diving into the pool more frequently to get a good workout in! Swimming taxes your lungs like no other workout, targets your back & shoulders without weight bearing, and is easy on your joints! Not to mention, who DOESN’T look smashing in goggles & a swim cap? I know I do!
Besides the physical benefits, I’m pretty confident there are some studies that state swimming has countless benefits on your mood or perhaps I just get a little giddy because I’m really a mermaid? Regardless, getting in the pool & floating in the water can do wonders for your mental health state.
Behold – 10 Reasons Why Swimming is one of the Best Exercises:
- Strength & Cardio Combined: Most people try to avoid anything that remotely sounds like “cardio” – thumping on a treadmill, biking, elliptical, etc. The most essential part of swimming is to stay afloat by constantly swimming (aka cardio). This constant movement combined with the density of water (constant strain on your muscles aka strength training) makes for the perfect combo workout that you actually won’t dread!
- Easy on Joints: water is very low impact which makes swimming great for those with injury or painful joints. Swimming allows you to get just as intense of a workout without placing any load on your joints.
- Great for your Lungs: When you’re under water, your body has less oxygen. This forces your body to adapt to such oxygen levels & learn how to use it much more efficiently. In sum, your breathing will improve through swimming regularly.
- Transfers to different Sports: Swimming can transfer over into other areas of athletics, improving your endurance overall. It can help you become a better runner, biker, crossfitter, whatever sport you choose. You’ll be able to run faster & for longer periods of time without getting out of breath due to your increased cardiovascular & muscle endurance.
- Everyone can do it: Swimming holds no boundaries. You don’t have to be a top athlete or in your prime physical condition to do it. People with injuries, a pregnant woman, an elderly person – you name it, you can do it!
- Stress Reliever: Turns out that being submerged in water multiplies the amount of sensory information that bombards your body, which brings feelings of calmness. No wonder why it is so easy to take a nap after swimming.
- It keeps you Young: Swimming positively affects blood pressure, cardiovascular endurance, cholesterol levels, cognitive functioning, central nervous system health, muscle mass & blood chemistry – basically, keeping you feeling young & spry!
- Targets underworked Muscles: In the pool, you are constantly working (typically) undertrained muscles like your lats, deltoids, and traps. It also targets your core & back by forcing yourself to stabilize in the water, moving your arms & legs at the same time.
- Makes you Smarter?: This one is still under investigation but some studies show that blood flow increased to the brain by up to 14% when people submerged themselves in water.
- Opens the door to Adventure: Want to explore the tropics in Hawaii? Deep dive to buried treasure? Snorkel in exotic places? Swimming will help you do all of these things! Imagine not being able to take on these adventures because you don’t enjoy swimming or simply can’t.
September 26, 2016
Another Monday, another chance to start your week off on the right foot!
So often, we are fearful of making a change in our lives (even if we are CERTAIN it is one for the better). Change is scary. We get so stuck in our daily routines that the thought of disrupting it scares the shit out of us. It doesn’t matter how big or small the change is – they all instill this weird, unexplainable sense of fear inside our own heads.
“Change. We fear it. We hate it. It makes us feel sick to our stomachs. It is the one thing that will rattle us with its utter distain for everything we know and have become comfortable with. It can be unpredictable, indiscriminant, and unwanted. It is always waiting in the winds, always out there, always wanting to cross our path. Above all else, however, it is undeniably necessary.
“Fight your fears and you’ll be in battle forever. Face your fears and you’ll be free forever.” – Lucas Jonkman. We can run from change, we can pretend it doesn’t exist, and hide behind the relative comfort of the way it has always been. But it will still be there, because it needs to happen, and it is going to happen. The more we run from it, ignore it, and fear it, the more power it will have over us. So why not face it head on? You will only effectively overcome change if you acknowledge its presence to begin with. It must stay at the forefront of your mind, and in the backbone of your planning.
If growth is a product of change over time, and time in the equation of life is an unknown variable; then to obtain the maximum levels of growth in this life, you must initiate the most amount of change in the least amount of time possible. So identify your change, visualize it, embrace it, and employ it. Once you stop seeing change as the enemy, and start embracing it as an opportunity, you will be free to grow into your full potential and you will control the battlefield of life.” -CPT Ryan