Swimming Can Help Blood Sugar and Cool You Off

This summer, there is a national shortage of chlorine as the demand has skyrocketed. Americans are flocking to pools and building them in their backyards. Additionally, a chemical plant in Louisiana that produced a large amount of the country’s supply burned down last year, significantly cutting down on the available amount. It’s putting a strain on pools around the nation. Some local swimming pools and YMCAs have had to close while waiting for chlorine to become available or more affordable.

However, if you have a pool, have a local pool that is open or live near a natural swimming spot, swimming is an excellent form of exercise that can help you stay cool, fit and may help you maintain healthy blood sugar. It’s aerobic exercise that doesn’t put pressure on your joints. If you have problems with walking, being more buoyant in water can give you a better, easier workout.

Swimming can increase insulin sensitivity. Your muscles work overtime to keep you afloat and absorb glucose more readily. That better use of sugar can last for hours after you get out of the pool. So swimming regularly is a wonderful form of exercise for people with blood sugar concerns. It can also help you lose weight, improve your endurance and is an excellent workout for heart health. You should speak to your doctor before taking up swimming to ensure that there aren’t any reasons you should avoid it.

Swim shoes can protect your feet from injury; they’re especially useful if you’re swimming in a natural area when you could step on something sharp. And, remember to drink. You sweat while working out. But, when you are swimming, you stay cool, and you’re wet, so you might not realize you’re becoming dehydrated. A good rule to follow is to drink eight ounces every hour.

Another essential thing to remember is to build up your exercise. If it’s been a long time since you last swam, you might remember splashing about in the pool for hours. Swimming for 45 minutes to an hour three times a week is ideal. But don’t expect to jump into a pool and just swim for 45 minutes on day one. Instead, work up slowly. Start with 10-minute sessions — or even five minutes! It might be easier on the joints than walking, but it is still a workout that will take getting used to. Take breaks when you are tired, and remember to listen to your body.

In the summer, it’s easy to shun exercise in hot weather. But, instead of saying no to working out, lean into a cool and refreshing swim. You’ll get a great workout and beat the heat!

Banner image: Efe Kurnaz via Unsplash

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