Related article: Cross-Training Basics
Episode 108 was an overview of cross-training for runners. In that episode, I grouped all cross-training into three categories. In this and the next episode, we’ll look at the two most popular forms from the cardio category of cross-training for runners, swimming, in this episode, and biking will be Episode 110.
Swimming is a great whole-body workout that’s easy on the body, but beyond that, it is unique from any other sport or exercise for two reasons:
- It’s the one exercise that virtually all doctors recommend for rehabilitation when people get injured participating in other sports. That’s a great indication that it’s safe and healthy for most people, most of the time. While it’s not always recommended after injuries, it is much of the time, and even if the physician restricts it in the early stages of healing, it is almost always the first form of exercise the injured athlete can safely return to when healed or nearly healed.
- No other exercise restricts breathing. While performing any other exercise, the athlete can and does breathe hard without restriction. Not so with swimming. You can’t huff and puff with your face in the water. This creates a unique respiratory restriction, a unique benefit; swimming develops your lungs like no other sport.
That explains how swimming is different, but the benefits of swimming as a means of cross-training are far and wide, and I explain them in this episode of the Mojo for Running Podcast.