A Fun Way to Get in Shape

By Courtney McArthur –

Tired of spending an hour on the treadmill just to burn a minimal amount of calories? Do you hate going to the gym? I’m happy to report that there is a solution!

Growing up, I tried about every sport there was in order to get in shape. I hated almost every one of them. I hated running because it hurt my back and I had asthma so it was hard to breathe. I hated being sweaty, which comes along with almost every other sport in the world. Finally, I found one that was perfect for me. It didn’t require running, being sweaty and it burned more calories than any other sport. I began swimming.

Swimming is a sport that can be practiced whether you are five or ninety-five. Swimming is a low-impact sport, which means it is easy on your joints, bones and muscles. Because of the low impact, swimming is commonly used as rehabilitation for people who are injured. Once you begin swimming daily, it builds strength, flexibility, endurance, heart health and lung capacity. It is also the only sport that uses every muscle in the body. If you are 150 pounds and you swim for an hour, you will burn approximately 900 calories. The heavier you are or the faster you swim, the more calories you will burn.

Not only is swimming beneficial to your physical health, but it is also good for your mental health. It is very relaxing and once you get into a daily routine of swimming, it will become almost a form of meditation. Something about being submerged in the water and focusing on nothing but swimming really calms one’s mind.

Another great thing about swimming is that there are many different ways to get involved. You can go to your local recreation center and swim laps on your own, form your own workout in the comfort of a private pool in your backyard, or you can join a swim team.

You are incredibly wrong if you are saying to yourself, “I’m too old to join a swim team,” or “I can’t do that because I’d be the oldest person on the team!” U.S. Masters swimming is a national organization that provides workouts and competitions for adults eighteen and over. It doesn’t matter if you are a beginner or you once were a competitive swimmer, Masters has a place for you.

I know firsthand about Masters, because my freshman year of college, I swam for the Auburn Masters program. The coach was helpful and understanding; I made some great friends, and I had such an enjoyable workout that I wanted to go every day of the week. I never had to stress myself out by making up my own workouts. The workouts were already made for me and all I had to do was show up. The great thing about joining a team is that it gives you a social outlet along with the mental and physical benefits of swimming.

So, next time you are dreading getting off the couch and going to the gym, try going to the pool for a refreshing swim instead. You will burn more calories, ease your worries, and maybe even meet a friend!

Courtney McArthur is a junior at Auburn University. She is a workout enthusiast and former competitive swimmer and is excited about helping people find workouts that are best for them.

About Courtney McArthur

  • Advertisement


One Response to “A Fun Way to Get in Shape”
  1. Robin J. Steinweg says:

    You are absolutely right. In addition, it’s an activity in which folks suffering from asthma can participate. What a blessing to get a workout without needing that nasty inhaler.

    Thanks for the reminder about swimming, Courtney. Just in time for the coming cold,when northerners feel more like hiding inside!

Speak Your Mind

Tell us what you're thinking...
and oh, if you want a pic to show with your comment, go get a gravatar!

Prove You\'re Human: *