Swinging Bridge Magazine: March 2021

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“In all honesty, I could see every kind of athlete benefiting from swimming,” McComb said. “You hear a lot about runners and cyclists training to swim, but I can see it as an incredible form of therapy, or even time to yourself.” Swimming as a form of cross-training can work for those who play volleyball, basketball and even field hockey, as these are all generally non-impact sports. Doing anaerobic activities like heavy weight lifting can cause tension in the muscles — a factor that can both injure someone and lead to fewer results. “For some people, I think that focusing on weight training can help with their strength, but not endurance. There are benefits to swimming that can’t be found in anything else with lasting effects that can take place even during an everyday workout,” Michelle Lombana, professor of athletic education at Fordham University, said. “Why would you waste your time creating new injuries when you could actively fix one?”

it helps treat and prevent injuries, it can get athletes out of exercise ruts and it brings swimmers closer to God. Swimming is unique because it uses muscle groups that are more commonly used for rotation and flexion of the body. It also exercises the heart and increases blood flow through your body. Sprinting 100 meters four laps - will make your heart race for sure. Water buoyancy reduces impact and stress when exercising, supporting injured muscles and joints during recovery. Water presses on injured areas, reducing swelling and improving motion. Swimming increases cardio during the workout but also provides rest to stressed joints. Workout ruts are intermittent periods where workout routines are either halted or decreased in terms of intensity. It can happen to anyone, and for a variety of reasons. Swimming is perfect for escaping an exercise rut because it can give athletes the option to stay in shape while also retaining a resting period from higher impact sports. This can even give a boost to your mental health.

Additionally, there are a variety of strokes to help break up the monotony. Freestyle does not have to be the only option: breaststroke, backstroke and butterfly are all options swimmers can use to mix it up. Swimming also offers a new look at the individual relationship one can have with God. Looking into swimming as a cross-training option gives an individual’s mind a break from their stressful lives. Swimming laps can make the world slow down, especially if life seems crazy. “Even during a global pandemic, God has a place everywhere— including the pool,” Evangeline Soerens said. Visit Messiah’s pool to give swimming a shot. It does not have to just be for recovery or sport— just take a swim. You will not regret it.

There are four main ways using swimming to cross-train can boost physical and mental health: it significantly improves cardio,