Do 20-minute or 30-minute swim really do anything?
This is a common question for most swimmers and triathletes. Unlike other forms of fitness like running or cycling, you need a pool to swim in. This requires you to take extra time to make it to an aquatic facility and as a result you may only have 20-40 minutes to complete a swim workout.
Will it be worth it?
The answer is: YES! Short workouts DO have benefits for your health and even performance in the water. Even if the workout is short, just by being in the water and moving even a few hundred meters will help you improve or maintain your feel of the water. Maintaining your feel of the water is really important to improving your swimming technique and endurance because it allows you to make consistent progress from the time you were last in the water.
Benefits of Short Workouts
What benefits can you get from very short swim workouts?
Improved Cardio Health
An increase in cardiac health can be achieved with as little as a 4-minute workout routine. Several studies noted a positive effect of high intensity exercise in overweight and/or sedentary individuals. For those with very low levels of fitness, this can mean a significant decrease in mortality risk. Read more here and here.
Enhanced Feel of the Water
The more frequently you swim, the better your feel of the water will be. There is a dramatic increase in this feel of the water when you go from swimming only once per week to twice per week. This improved connection with the water will help your technique and endurance in training. You don’t have to swim a lot to benefit from an enhanced feel of the water. A few hundred meters is enough to get the blood flowing through your fingertips and feel a connection in the water.
Improved Mental Focus
There’s nothing like going for a refreshing dip in the water. It feels like your body has regenerated and you have a renewed sense of energy. Improved mental focus is noticeable after completing just 10 minutes of vigorous exercise. This makes short workouts a great option when you need to take a break between two mental activities. Read more about this study here.
Is a Short Workout Better Than No Workout?
The answer is yes! Quick, short workouts are great when you don’t have a lot of time, travel, or trying to squeeze in multiple workouts in one day. It’s important to have the right expectations set for yourself if you’re doing shorter workouts. For achieving specific fitness goals, it’s still better to have a training plan. Check out our swimming and dryland training plans here >
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