Why is Swimming So Difficult?

Question: After reading your suggestion about a 'knee-friendly' swimming workout, I started to swim. I can hold my own with your aerobics workouts but I find myself getting winded much more easily when I swim. Why is this?

Answer: Swimming laps is a great form of cardiovascular exercise. However, even people who exercise regularly and think they are in good shape are often surprised to find that they can only swim a few continuous laps of the pool before feeling very out of breath. Part of the reason is that swimming, unlike cycling or running, involves working the whole body, and particularly the upper body. Also, more than other exercises, swimming requires the conscious control and coordination of breathing with motion, something that swimmers often find exhausting.  However, as you spend more time in the water, your breathing will become as natural in swimming as it is in land based sports.

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