As the winter season rolls around, many athletes will be approaching their off-season. It can be tempting to abandon all things fitness and spend the season camped out on the couch. Though cozy, this can lead to a few problems if you are planning to jump back into your sport in the spring. For one, it will inevitably be much more difficult for your body to adjust to its active state during the spring season. Your body will also be more susceptible to injury after a long break from exercise. Finally, everything that you may have learned in the fall season will either remain stagnant or drift from your mind when you return. To avoid all of these issues, it can be beneficial to keep up your training during the off-season, and the perfect way to do this is to pick up swimming!
During the off-season, building endurance and at least maintaining your strength will help immensely with your athletic performance once you start going back to practice. Swimming is an overall full-body workout, and it places high value on full-body strength. For sports that require constant cardio, swimming during the off-season can help build your cardio stamina. Swimming is constant movement and as you improve your swimming skills, you will most likely notice an improvement in your cardio stamina in regard to other forms of exercise (running, jumping, etc.). Building your core strength is also something that swimming can help with. Keeping proper form in the water requires a certain amount of core strength, and simply swimming laps will continue to build that core strength.
Being able to swim properly requires a certain amount of breath control. Because of this, if you take on swimming as an off-season sport, your lung capacity is sure to significantly improve. Whether it’s something that you are consciously aware of or not, your breathing patterns and capacity has a great impact on your athletic performance, so any opportunity that you have to improve your lung capacity should be taken advantage of. Having good breath control is beneficial to every athlete, no matter the sport.
Injury Prevention and Healing
The very act of exercising during the off-season is going to decrease your chances of injury because you are less likely to overwork your body when returning to your sport. Utilizing aquatic exercise will protect you from joint and muscle injury because it’s less stress on the body. If you happen to be getting over an injury, one of the best forms of rehabilitation is water therapy. Swimming and aquatic exercise is low impact, therefore allowing your body to heal and strengthen at the same time.