Swimming provides all-around fitness results, improving cardio, flexibility, tone and strength while exercising a variety of muscle groups. “Unlike dry-land exercises, swimming engages your entire body,” says Cory Beatt, who coaches Olympic hopefuls on the Simon Fraser University swim team. “With nothing to stabilize you in the water, you’re forced to use your core.”
Swimming leaves you feeling refreshed, and can be done with or without equipment. It’s especially beneficial and safe if you have an injury or joint condition. “We recommend swimming to our clients,” says Toronto-based Mary Aisen, a physiotherapist with The Arthritis Society. “The first thing I ask clients is whether they can swim. Even if they can’t, just moving in the water helps.”
Try to swim three times a week — your body will thank you, as it gains more vigour and flexibility.