SWIM AWAY STRESS

Men's Fitness - - Trainer | Swimming -

Go­ing for a swim won’t just im­prove your car­dio­vas­cu­lar fit­ness, it will also lower your blood pres­sure, ac­cord­ing to a study pub­lished in the Amer­i­can Jour­nal Of Car­di­ol­ogy. Sub­jects in the study were split into two groups: one com­pleted a 12-week swim­ming pro­gramme while the other did gen­tle re­lax­ation ex­er­cises. The swim­mers ex­pe­ri­enced an av­er­age re­duc­tion in sys­tolic (the top fig­ure) blood pres­sure from 131 to 122 while the con­trol group got no sig­nif­i­cant ben­e­fit.

Lower your stress lev­els to feel more calm while also im­prov­ing your fit­ness with th­ese swim­ming tips from Dan Bul­lock, for­mer Team GB triath­lete and head coach at Swim For Tri coach­ing (swim­for­tri.co.uk).

1 SWIM­MING POOL

The pool is where most peo­ple do most of their swim­ming but that doesn’t mean they’re do­ing it right. “Good swim­ming is all about great tech­nique so keep your legs straight when kick­ing to stay stream­lined and avoid fa­tigue,” says Bul­lock. “Power comes from the hips through straight legs for an ef­fi­cient and pow­er­ful stroke.” Safety first “Gog­gles are essen­tial kit in com­mu­nal pools to pre­vent sore eyes,” says Bul­lock.

2 OPEN WATER

More UK lakes are be­ing opened up for swim­mers. “Lakes are great for longerdis­tance train­ing as well as prac­tice for open-water races,” says Bul­lock. “Fo­cus on keep­ing your torso sta­ble and not ro­tat­ing too much to the sides when breath­ing.” Safety first “Most swim lakes run as busi­nesses have kayak pa­trols and buoys and mark­ers for quick sighters,” says Bul­lock. “Al­ways wear a bright­ly­coloured swim cap to en­sure you’re eas­ily seen.”

3 SEA

Swim­ming at sea can break the monotony of the pool. “A lot of races are in the sea so you need to be used to the lack of sighters and the po­ten­tially rough con­di­tions,” says Bul­lock. “Stay par­al­lel to the shore and do your re­search about the po­ten­tial haz­ards, such as rip­tides.” Safety first “Never take risks with sea swim­ming – don’t go in alone and tell peo­ple where you are,” says Bul­lock. “If a red flag is fly­ing don’t swim even if you’re a strong swim­mer.”

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