Thursday, 24 February 2011

Exercise: Swimming

After all this talk of eating, I guess it is about time I spoke about how I burn off all the food I eat. I won't put all the different aspects of my work-out routine into one blog, as there is quite a lot to it. Instead, I will do a different post for each different exercise I do in my daily routine.
At the moment, my work-out routine is pretty intense. Probably about 3 hours a day I spend working out, everyday. This is only because of the wedding being 11 weeks away. I will take it down to 4 days a week after the wedding or honeymoon. My routine is all about toning up, not loosing weight. But, for any of you looking to loose weight, the routine would work well for that as well, and tone you up at the same time. When I first started loosing weight, I made the MASSIVE mistake of not exercising anywhere near enough. I did some stupid diets that saw a lot of weight loss in a short space of time, and no toning to go along with it. That is very hard to fix. To fix the damage that I did, I have to work really hard. So, if you take anything from this blog......TONE! Don't just change your diet. They go hand in hand.

So, about an hour and a half of my routine is cardio and yoga/pilates and the other hour and a half is weights, sit-ups and press-up.
My cardio is what I will talk about in this blog post. Due to my heart problems, I can't do intense cardio. I would LOVE more than anything to be able to go running. Or do an aerobics class. But I can't. It messes my heart up for days. And yes, I have tried easing myself into it, it doesn't work. It is a medical thing, not a "I am really unfit" thing. Instead, I go swimming. I absolutely love swimming. I hate the swimming pool, but that will be a rant for another post.

Everyday, I swim for 45 minutes. In between every 10 lengths, I do leg exercises in the water for a couple of minutes. The resistance from the water really helps.
So, the benefits of swimming. Well, what isn't it good for? It works your whole body! As well as toning you up, it works your heart and lungs. If you are trying to lose weight, then swimming is a great way to help you achieve that. 30 minutes of swimming will burn around 300 calories and is equivalent to a 45 minute "on land" workout. You don't have to just swim at the pool. Try running in the water or water aerobics. Any kind of movement is going to be a good thing.
Swimming is also low impact, so it won't put any pressure on your joints. Running can give you problems with your knees and ankles, as it is high impact, but you won't have this problem with swimming.

At the end of the day, you have to find an exercise you enjoy doing, otherwise you won't stick to it. I can praise swimming all I want, but if you don't like swimming, or you can't swim, then it just won't be suitable for you. Like I say, I love swimming. I don't dread going everyday, in fact I really look forward to it. I come out feeling so much better and my head is clearer. Of course I do miss days, when we have people to visit I let up on my routine, but I can definitely notice the difference in how I feel when I don't exercise.
Some people have told me that I am crazy for spending 3 hours of my day exercising, but I do actually enjoy it, so I think it is a good use of my time.

So, time.....I can almost hear some of you saying "if only I had time to work out 3 hours a day". Most of the time I am lucky that I can fit it into my day, as I have been unemployed. But, if you are dedicated to it, you can find the time. Now, this isn't meant to boast, more to show that it can be done, but during my final year of my degree, I was attending 15 hours of classes a week, writing a dissertation, working 25 hours a week and planning a wedding and I still fit in 3 hours of exercise a day. Don't get me wrong, it was really tough and I would sometimes be doing yoga at midnight, but I personally think it is worth it.

I really can't stress enough how important it is to exercise. Not only for your body, but for your mind. I still have a prescription for Prozac that I refused to take and instead decided to exercise to clear my head. It 100% worked. If only the doctors gave out gym passes before pharmaceuticals.

Find an exercise you love and get moving!!

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