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  • New and could use some opinions on swimming and yoga.

    Hi, went looking through the old swimming threads, just curious what people's thoughts are about swimming as a tool for cardio system improvement, full body strength improvement, and general fitness.

    I've been pairing swimming for about 30-40 minutes 3x-5x times a week with 1x of 90 minutes hot yoga (which utterly wipes me out). I'm basically living my life sore, and sleeping a lot. Alternating between days where I'm not hungry, and days where I eat like I haven't seen food in 3 days.

    I've been wanting to get my breathing and endurance up a bit through swimming before adding in running, since I'm carrying around about 50# more than I should be on my frame.

    Any gotchas I should keep an eye out for with swimming, yoga, both... and anything anyone cares to suggest for addressing occasional rotator cuff soreness?
    My Fitday public journal.
    Me vs. Russian Boar, hunt is on Aug. 20th. WHAT'S MORE PRIMAL THAN THAT?!
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  • #2
    Swimming's a pretty good total-body movement, I'd put it in the "move frequently at a slow pace" portion if your sessions are 30-40 minutes (I'm guessing pretty continuous effort).

    The rotator cuff soreness is probably a combination of overuse, improper use (form), and inappropriate nutrition; without knowing exactly how/what you're eating or seeing your form I couldn't say, but you can probably figure it out. As far as nutrition goes I'm going to guess that you're avoiding the inflammatory grains, sugar, and omega-6 fats, but you could definitely support joint and tendon function by eating collagen/gelatin-rich foods like bone broth (actually, that's pretty much the best way to get it ). Use it as a base for any soups you want to make and you'll discover a new depth to soups you never thought existed.

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    • #3
      Good call on the form, youtube is my friend right now. Went from not really knowing any strokes a couple weeks ago to having "learned" breast, freestyle, underwater dolphin, and sidestroke. I've even been decreasing my lap times with breast, freestyle, and have extended my dolphin to about 18 yards underwater from the wall where it was 3 yards.

      As for the food, I've been pretty diligent about cutting grains and sugars, about 90% there, I'm to the point where when I eat grains I spend at least a couple hours feeling pretty "off". Easily eating half my intake as veg, then the rest is probably 40/10 or 35/15 protein to fat. Omega-6s - I'm not sure where to go with that. I'm not avoiding poultry, eggs, nuts, avocado (you can have my avo when you pry it from my cold dead hands! ), or sunflower seeds. I am avoiding grains/cereals/legumes though (Dietary source list), as well as the rest of the items on that dietary source list. I'm also supplementing with Omega-3 at 1gr a day right now.

      Bone broths are good, just a pita to make at home when it's so hot. That and the butchers around me don't seem to believe in making soup bones available. Guess this is a good excuse for pho without the rice noodles and extra on the connective tissues. (I would kill for PPQ from 19th and Irving)
      My Fitday public journal.
      Me vs. Russian Boar, hunt is on Aug. 20th. WHAT'S MORE PRIMAL THAN THAT?!
      Recently survived Warrior Dash, New England.
      Game Developer, ex-Chef, long time Fatbody.

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      • #4
        My physical therapist just told me last week that swimming is THE best cardiovascular workout there is. Breaststroke should not flare your rotator cuff, eh? I'd just work on that to give your shoulder a rest. (Which is exactly what I'm doing at the mo.)
        "Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food." -- Hippocrates

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        • #5
          I'd echo the comments regarding "move frequently at a slow pace". Swimming certainly isn't the best cardio activity out there. But couple this, Yoga and some LHT and you have a pretty good programme. Good luck!
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          • #6
            Years and years ago I was very religious about diving. SCUBA. I dove almost every night during the week and on Saturday mornings I dove as a safety diver with basic SCUBA classes. That last is how I 'earned' free air for my other dives. I rode my bicycle--or one of my bikes--everywhere. My car and my pickup usually were in driveway and garage. I was in the mountains around Los Angeles and Riverside as often as possible, especially when the weather was bad and the amateurs stayed home. No workouts. My life was a workout. The 'more than regular' swimming especially kept me fit.

            In my book, swimming is the finest kind of fitness tool.
            Tayatha om bekandze

            Bekandze maha bekandze

            Randza samu gate soha

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            • #7
              I think you need to add in a pure strength training day.

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              • #8
                Is swimming the best cardio exercise? Depends how you do it I reckon. If you glide up and down like my gran, then no. If you sprint until you can't swim anymore without gulping water, then why not? Cardiovascular fitness is built in the muscles - if you are breathing hard, you're probably improving your muscular cardio fitness.

                But it's pretty difficult to get any bone-building effect from swimming, I think I remember a study on lower bone density in pro swimmers, so I'd go +1 on the heavy weights day.
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                • #9
                  IMHO swimming is a great for both cardio and strength workout. Several sprint intervals of Free and Fly will definitely get your heart rate going.

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                  • #10
                    Swimming is awesome and you should do it as much as you want if that's what you enjoy doing. This is "play" or "move frequently". I would still have a focus on strength training.

                    Remember that chronic cardio (for the sake of doing chronic cardio) is something we are trying to get away from.

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                    • #11
                      @racingsnake, @arthurb999 - the yoga surprisingly has a lot of strength components to it, and I do lift, just on a small lifting hiatus. Last fall I was lifting 5x a week, now I'm at 1.5 weeks since my last lifting workout, I keep bringing sandals instead of shoes to the gym. That said, the breaststroking is doing crazy things to my pecs. Since I sink like a stone in water (full lungs, the top of my head barely breaks the surface) I think I might be a little dense. Consequently, I've been swallowing a lot of water, I'm definitely not phoning it in.

                      @TigerLily - good point about the breaststroke. I'll give it priority tonight, it's just... so... hard sometimes, and that kick bugs me, now that I finally figured it out I don't move backwards in the water when I do it.
                      My Fitday public journal.
                      Me vs. Russian Boar, hunt is on Aug. 20th. WHAT'S MORE PRIMAL THAN THAT?!
                      Recently survived Warrior Dash, New England.
                      Game Developer, ex-Chef, long time Fatbody.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by secretlobster View Post
                        Remember that chronic cardio (for the sake of doing chronic cardio) is something we are trying to get away from.
                        Absolutely, don't have time for doing it just to do it. All the swimming is so I can feel better, AND prep for learning to surf.
                        My Fitday public journal.
                        Me vs. Russian Boar, hunt is on Aug. 20th. WHAT'S MORE PRIMAL THAN THAT?!
                        Recently survived Warrior Dash, New England.
                        Game Developer, ex-Chef, long time Fatbody.

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                        • #13
                          I took yoga lessons for 2 months this spring.

                          I am a musician and I attribute doing yoga to helping me stay relaxed while I play. ( A HUGE part of my craft)

                          My teacher went on the road for 3 weeks and did yoga every day. He said he's never felt stronger by the end of a tour.
                          My blog - FitandFree.net - Live Healthy. Be Awesome.

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                          • #14
                            Yoga's great for building strength... watch that rotater cuff while practicing hot - you'll likely find yourself stretching further than you normally should, and that could irritate injury (or, in some cases - help loosen things up....)
                            Robin
                            ~primal mama to 3~

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