Swimming is a great way to cross train for any sport. Swimming will increase lung capacity and lend an overall tone and fitness to muscle groups that might not be getting worked otherwise. While swimming works the legs, arms, and core, it is easy on the joints and doesn’t cause a lot of stress to knees or ankles that need rest. The way to workout with swimming is to simply get in the water and swim laps. But there are ways to target different parts of the body when you are swimming and you can end up getting a really comprehensive workout if you know exactly what you are doing in the water.

Kicking

Just what it sounds like, kicking is focusing on working your legs. A correct kick will start from the hip and will travel all the way down the leg in any stroke. There are three different ways to kick. Flutter kick is when you move the legs independently from one another, starting from the hip and alternating the legs. Breaststroke, or frog kick, is the kick that involves the most bending of the knees, where you push your legs out and snap them together in order to propel your body through the water. Dolphin kick or shimmer kick is the kick used under the water and with the stroke butterfly. It is a strong kick that originates in the chest and travels into the legs while the legs remain together. Kick sets are when you use a kickboard or just float on your back as you kick up and down the pool

Pulling

Pulling is the exact opposite of kicking, and only really works for the stroke freestyle or front call. You use a float called a pull buoy that you hold between your legs in order to complete pull sets. Holding this buoy, usually between the thighs, will prevent you from attempting to kick while also keeping your back half afloat. This will help you perfect the form on your front crawl and will strengthen the muscles in your shoulders. There is also a breathing exercise that can be performed with a pull buoy called sculling, which is essentially lying face down in the water and using the buoy to keep you floating while moving forward using only the motion of your wrists. While it doesn’t really burn many calories, it can provide a good rest set.

Butterfly

Learn The Butterfly Stroke

Learn The Butterfly Stroke

There are four main strokes that are Olympic certified, and they each end up working a different part of the body. Butterfly is considered to be the most difficult and energy consuming of the strokes and many people prefer not to use it in their workouts. However, it is the fastest way to burn calories in the water, and it works and tones the muscles in your shoulders, back, chest and abdomen. The trick to butterfly is timing the pull of the arms with the pulse of the dolphin kick. There are some great videos and tutorials online, and it is a great workout when mastered correctly.

Backstroke

Backstroke utilizes the muscles in the back and arms to pull you through the water on your back. While not as vigorous as butterfly or freestyle, backstroke provides great tone and a good, targeted muscular workout. It is also one of the easiest strokes to master for beginners along with front crawl, both of which use the constant flutter kick to propel them forward.

Breaststroke

This stroke really works the chest, glutes, and leg muscles. A slower stroke, it is also very easy to breath and can be a good rest stroke. However this means it is also easy to become sloppy when doing breaststroke. It is important to be as aware of the motions you are going through in order to get your muscles fully engaged. It is a short bodied stroke that requires good timing like butterfly, and can produce good results if practiced correctly.

Freestyle

Work On Your Technique

Work On Your Technique

Freestyle is the fastest stroke out there, and is great for swimming long distance. It’s constant kick and quick overhead pulls make in aerodynamic and very aerobic. When done vigorously it works the entire arm as well as the back and abs. It is easy to get tired doing freestyle at first, but it will soon become the most efficient stroke to use for things like warmups and distance workouts. Now that you know all of the strokes and what exactly you can do for a workout, it should be easy to tailor a workout that is good for you in the pool.

Gluten free food is an up and coming phenomenon, and is prized by people who aspire to lead a healthy lifestyle. While it might be popular, though, it could be counted among the many fad diets that exist in this day and age. People are going gluten free constantly, though few take into account what it means to go gluten free. For one thing, your food options will become incredibly limited. Gluten free foods might be more popular than they used to be, but that doesn’t mean that everything has a gluten free option. It is healthier for you, though, so you have to decide if it’s right for you.

Reasons People Go Gluten Free

People Go Gluten Free For Health Reasons

People Go Gluten Free For Health Reasons

Most people go gluten free because they have a gluten allergy or a condition such as Celiac Disease. These conditions can cause violent reactions to any gluten these people may consume, and so they need to be avoided at all costs. Of course, this is the most severe case. For some people, they just have light gluten allergies that could irritate their throat or cause heartburn. For others, the gluten allergy isn’t even present, they just want the healthier, cleaner foods that gluten free items provide.

Pros

Cutting out gluten can be a fast track to weight loss if you pair it with the correct diet and exercise. This being said, you need to be dedicated, because gluten free foods are harder to come by. But, if you can stick to that regimen, you’re going to lose weight in no time at all. This type of diet will also help you cleanse your body of any toxins that might be in there. People who cut out gluten say that they feel healthier, happier, and have fewer health problems. It’s definitely worth the effort that it takes, and you’ll be a healthier person because of it.

Cons

Gluten Free Eating Can Be Expensive

Gluten Free Eating Can Be Expensive

Despite the health benefits, many people decide against going gluten free for many reasons. For one thing, this dietary choice is expensive. While you can purchase gluten free foods and find whole sections for these products in your local grocery store, they do not come cheap at all. These products can cost almost double or triple their gluten counterparts, and you could end up breaking the bank just trying to be healthier. If you have the budget for it, though, then go right on ahead. As we said before, you’ll also have much fewer food options than you would have before. Kiss leisurely restaurant visits with your friends goodbye, because few restaurants offer many if any gluten free options for you to select from.

When to Call It Off

If you do decide to go gluten free, be prepared to call if off if you start showing signs of rejecting this lifestyle in any way. Some people experience weakness or almost withdrawal-like symptoms. You also need to keep your money in mind. There are other way to lose weight that don’t cost so much, so there’s no reason to make yourself go broke just to try to do a diet. Some people have no other option, but for those who do, gluten free might not be the best option. Don’t ever push yourself or your wallet too far, and just know that there are always other options that you can go for if this one isn’t working out for you. Don’t be afraid to call it quits.

Not many people actually understand the full potential of meditation. It is not highly regarded as something that can aid the average person in an everyday situation, seen mostly as something that is only practiced as a religious rite. Fortunately for you, that is not the case. While meditation can be difficult to get the hang of, even the starting attempts can be highly beneficial to your overall health and mental wellness. Here are some simple examples of how small amounts of daily meditation can help keep you healthy.

Breathing Control

Meditate... It Will Keep You Healthy

Meditate… It Will Keep You Healthy

You might not realize it, but the way you breathe can heavily influence how well your workouts benefit you. That is why the breathing that you do during meditation can be a great help in any given exercise regime. Meditation focuses a lot on controlling your breathing and keeping your breath even and well paced. It can be difficult to continue to incorporate this sort of breathing into a workout at first, but given plenty of time to practice, it can become a completely natural habit. And the only way to practice breathing properly is to spend a small amount of time every day meditating, simply getting the hang of how breathing properly feels in your body. All it takes is a few minutes a day to slowly grow used to your own body’s respiration and how you can control it even in a more strenuous environment.

Increased Optimism

Meditation Contributes To Your Happiness

Meditation Contributes To Your Happiness

Meditation is a very simple way to relax not only your body, but your mind as well. By clearing your thoughts and focusing on nothing more than your breathing, you make it easier for yourself to focus on the positive things in your life. Through this, meditation can help make you a much more optimistic person. An optimistic view of your future means that your workout is more likely to actually help you get into shape. When you approach exercise with an open and bright mind, it becomes a lot easier to take on tasks which you might have thought too difficult for yourself. For example, losing a certain amount of weight by a specific date might seem daunting, but if you have meditated on it and face it with optimism it becomes so much more likely to actually happen for you.

Rested Mind

A well-rested mind and a well-rested body go hand in hand, as a well-rested mind can allow for a much more restful and peaceful sleep. Generally speaking, it is easier and more beneficial to your exercise regime if your body is up to the task before you get started. Meditation is a very good way to rest your mind and, in correlation, your body. Deep breathing exercises during your meditation is a quick and easy way to relax your muscles and either prepare your body for the workout ahead or calm it back down afterward. In this way, you can be sure not to harm yourself with your workout. It’s like stretching before you do anything too vigorous with your body. Meditation is a kind of important stretch for both your mind and your body. On top of that, keeping your mind and body at ease after exercising allows you to rest better when you sleep. A more restful sleep, in turn, leads to a rested mind and a rested body, both of which have already been noted as very important for helping your health and your happiness.