The cardiovascular system is tasked with carrying nutrient- and oxygen-rich blood around our bodies, feeding the organs and soft tissues that sustain us. Cardio exercise focuses on improving the efficiency and effectiveness of that system through regular workouts, with the end result being a healthier, fitter and slimmer body.
When you close your eyes and think of a cardio workout, you might conjure up images of a run or an aerobics class. But cardio comes in many forms, and swimming offers one of the lowest impact (and therefore most comfortable) options, while also letting you choose your level of intensity.
Is swimming a good cardio exercise? Is swimming perhaps the best cardio option available? To find out, let's dig into all you need to know about swimming and cardio.
Is swimming considered cardio?
Cardio exercise is simply any exercise that elevates your heart rate. If you finish the session puffing, you’ve completed a cardio workout. This is the difference between cardio and training that focuses on strength and flexibility, such as yoga and weightlifting.
Swimming is certainly considered cardio, as it raises your heart rate and kicks your cardiovascular system into gear.
Is swimming a good cardio workout?
How good is swimming for cardio? In short, very. There are a number of things about swimming that make it a uniquely accessible and effective form of exercise.
The first is the fact that you’re floating in water. The buoyancy essentially cancels out the effects of gravity, which in turn minimises the constant impacts that can make land-based exercise uncomfortable, or impossible, for so many people, particularly those with chronic pain or limited mobility.
The second is that swimming can be as gentle or as intense as you like. Whether you go for a gentle paddle or train at an Olympic level is up to you, which is why it’s the workout of choice for all manner of people, from the elderly to professional athletes.
What’s more, this 2017 report states that regular swimming can drive some rather incredible health outcomes:
- Regular swimming reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease mortality by 41%, and the risk of all-cause mortality by 28%.
- Those who swim recreationally or competitively are 8x more likely to meet physical activity guidelines than those who don’t.
- Swimming improves cardiorespiratory fitness and endurance for almost every segment of the population (including pregnant women, children with asthma, and people with chronic and potentially debilitating conditions).
How much do I need to swim to get fit?
To understand how much you need to swim to get fit, you first need to identify what ‘get fit’ means to you – the goals that you hope to achieve through swimming. Swimming is a rare form of exercise that uses every major muscle group: arms, back, core and legs. This means it delivers a broad range of benefits to your body:
- Fitness: As a low impact, highly aerobic form of exercise, regular swimming can get you fitter than you’ve ever been, which is ideal for people who might be working towards a fitness goal or training for a competition.
- Health: Regular swimming can lead to a longer and happier life, by reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease and positively impacting mental health.
- Aesthetics: When you look good, you feel good, and if you’ve ever seen an Olympic swimmer in their race wear, you’ll know swimming can do wonders for the body! Regular swimming is a great way to lose fat and tone muscle.
But what exactly does ‘regular swimming’ mean? To enjoy the benefits above, it’s wise to aim for at least 30 minutes of swimming, three times a week – but the more you swim, the sooner you’ll meet your goals, so a daily dive might be worthwhile.
And the best way to enjoy such a regular swim? By investing in your very own Endless Pools swim spa.
Why choose a swim spa over a pool?
The convenience of a backyard pool makes it far easier to commit to a regular swim. And in an Endless Pools swim spa you have a machine that represents the evolution of the traditional swimming pool.
Why choose an Endless Pools swim spa over a swimming pool or lap pool? Here are just a few reasons:
- Space: Kiwi backyards are shrinking, making it ever more difficult to squeeze in a pool. But with footprints measuring as small as 8m², and an infinite swim-in-place experience found inside, a swim spa brings aquacise to more backyards.
- Price: Traditional pools are expensive, and the sticker price only tells part of the story. Between excavation, installation, landscaping and fencing, the extra costs are significant – but not with a portable, self-contained Endless Pools swim spa.
- Time and effort: Traditional pools take a lot of time to build and a lot of effort to maintain. An Endless Pools swim spa, meanwhile, can simply be put in place, power connected, and filled up. From there, automated systems make maintenance easy!
- Year-round use: Fitted with heaters and lined with ultra-efficient insulation, your Endless Pools swim spa will always sit at the perfect swimming temperature, even in the depths of winter. Traditional pools, meanwhile, are lucky to be used half the year.
- Hydromassage: On top of the incredible swim-in-place experience, Endless Pools also offer high-end hydromassage to help you warm up before exercise, cool down after, or just rest and relax.
- Exercise options: An Endless Pools swim spa offers more than just swimming: between the underwater treadmill, Aquabike, rowing kit and resistance bands, you’ve got plenty of aquacise options to choose from.
- Portability: When you move house you can’t take your pool – but you can take your self-contained and fully portable swim spa. SImply empty it, unplug it, and load it on the truck!
Is swimming good for cardio? Low impact, high intensity, and accessible to more people, in many ways swimming is cardio in its ultimate form. And in an Endless Pools swim spa you have the ultimate machine to deliver it.
Keen to see why more Kiwis are choosing to invest in a swim spa? Chat to our team today!