By Nikos Vasilellis
The ACFT is designed to test a soldiers overall health and fitness.Cardio strength is a big part of that! At army-fitness.com we want to provide our readers with diverse content to prepare them for the ACFT. Read on to find out how to improve Cardio Strength Through Swimming.
Health is the most precious human asset, and preserving it the best way possible should be the most fundamental priority. Damaged health leads to a dysfunctional life. Think of the human body as a car, and the heart is the engine of it. It is the vital muscle that guarantees the continuation of life and shall function well at all times. Of course, there are many ways to preserve a healthy heart: Getting the right nutrition and diminishing stress is prerequisites as well as practicing sports that reinforce the heart’s function. Although most sports help to preserve a healthy heart, swimming can enhance cardio strength to a great extent. Take a break from your track workout and try swimming! Your body will thank you for the change, and your times will likely improve as well.
Why is Swimming Good for Building Cardio Strength?
The heart is a muscle that works like a pump. It provides human organs with the blood, which is indispensable for them to live. Swimming increases blood circulation, strengthening the heart and raising the heart rate. It is the element of water that plays a crucial role there: Because of the buoyancy factor, the body stands horizontally in the water during the swimming process, thus allowing a larger quantity of blood to move back to the heart. On the contrary, the vast majority of other sports “pushes” blood to the legs, because the body stands vertical. When speaking about cardio strength, we refer to the cardiovascular functioning that is responsible for the circulatory system.
Maintaining cardiovascular fitness ensures that our hearts and lungs are healthy and capable of supplying oxygen to the muscle tissues. The muscles then use oxygen to produce the necessary energy for being able to move. Swimming is an excellent activity for building and maintaining cardio strength because it helps to keep your heart rate up while at the same time, it releases stress off your body. Furthermore, it strengthens your muscles, builds your endurance, keeps your heart and lungs healthy, and contributes to the maintenance of a healthy weight.
How do you Improve Cardio Strength Through Swimming?
Swimming is not only great for enhancing cardio strength it also strengthens the whole body. Lets talk more about that buoyancy factor. Buoyancy is the upward force that enables swimmers to float in the water even when they are still. Buoyancy helps to enhance the flexibility of our bodies, which then is a significant factor for performing all motion activities more effectively. Then, like a chain reaction, swimming improves both physical and cardio strength. The more flexible we are, the better we perform swimming sessions and, finally, the more we improve our health.
Another significant feature of water is that of the resistance it applies. Water-resistance is indeed a significant factor because it requires more strength to move in the water. Those two factors -buoyancy and resistance- when used “wisely” can boost cardio strength. There is a great number of aerobic activities that can be applied in a water environment and enhance our overall health. However, you need to be careful when practicing such activities, to avoid possible injuries or burden parts of your body. That’s why it’s important to refer to swimming instructors before starting your swimming “journey” so that they will guide you throughout the whole process
Which Swimming Strokes are the Best for Cardio?
There are four swimming strokes:
Every swimming stroke has its style and unique traits. Like any other athletic activity, there are different levels: The basic skill is, naturally, knowing how to swim and feeling comfortable in the water. It’s only after that when you can pass to the stage of learning each swimming stroke. In general terms, breaststroke is considered to be the optimal swimming stroke for enhancing cardio strength, as it helps strengthen the heart and lungs as well as toning thighs, upper back, triceps, hamstrings, and lower legs.
Freestyle is the most convenient and fastest of all, while the butterfly is considered to be the hardest. So, for a swimmer who is competent in all strokes, the butterfly could be the best for building cardio strength, while for a more amateur swimmer, the “easy” freestyle could be the most effective. More importantly, master swimming as a skill. Making it possible to experiment with all swimming styles and then finding which is (or are) the most efficient.
Swimming is a great all-round activity for keeping our hearts healthy. It’s not a one-dimensional activity, like most of the other sports that specialize in particular aspects of body Not only do you improve your cardio stregnth through swimming it also helps maintain a healthy body weight. Additionally, it can be great for stress management. Swimming reduces the risk of heart disease, stroke, and high blood pressure, providing a great “assistance” for the healthy function of the heart. There are so many benefits of adding swimming to your routine!
Training for the ACFT can feel like a grind. Switch up your workout with swimming! Swimming is great fun. Improve your health while you enjoy yourself! You will be pleased to find increased cardio strength through adding swimming to your routine.
Nikos Vasilellis is the Founder of Nereids Aquatic Coaching and has a passion and love for aquatic activities which is combined with his care for helping others. Nereids Aquatic Coaching helps children and adults overcome their fear of water by focusing on their individual strengths and helping them enjoy the aquatic environment safely.