A Swimmer’s Sleek Physique
Not so long ago, the body type women found most attractive was described as a “beefcake”, a man who was powerfully built above the waist, narrowing at the hips and with powerful legs. This image communicated the man’s ability to be a desirous mate, his personal success, his level of determination and a great deal more. This image was envied by other men, and looked upon as the peak of a male’s physical perfection. This image was perpetuated by the media and is now relatively obscure except in the power-lifting world. Society changes, we grow, adapt to the world around us, and as such – so do our ideas of what we find attractive.
Take a look at fashion trends by decades. The world was a far different place in the 1800’s for certain, and jumping forward not by ten year intervals so far back but by hundreds, there’s a massive difference between that and the 1900’s and styles that went in and out of fashion in between. More recent memory as well as any reliable internet search will turn up photos you can see of clothing worn in the “roaring 20’s” or depression era, “rockabilly 50’s” and the “free love 60’s”, disco era 70’s style took a complete turn during the punk 80’s, grunge 90’s and the vaguely metro-sexual “hipster” look of today and beyond. If fashion trends changed so much, and looking back at the garish makeup or hairstyles of times gone by make us wonder how it was every considered attractive – apply that to our innate ability to choose the “perfect” mate…and it makes sense.
As times change, so obviously do our choices in what we deem attractive which is largely maintained by society. What is “in” today and trendy, is going to be outdated and behind the times in a mere 10 years, perhaps less as our technological revolution continues to surge forward in leaps and bounds. It is no wonder that women have changed their ideal look for her potential mate, but it may come as a surprise that the change is merely history repeating itself. During the time of Leonardo DaVinci, he created what was called the Vitruvian Man which was based off of a mathematical component that is tied to something called the “golden ratio” which is more easily seen as a perfect spiral, also called the Fibonacci spiral. This human form is widely considered to be the ultimate in human perfection, symmetry, balance and the peak of the human condition throughout all time.
Mathematically perfect, this form has been sought after for many more periods of time than a simple passing fad like fashion, and it can be most easily seen through looking at the body of a typical swimmer. An Olympian swimmer will have a body most closely resembling DaVinci’s Vitruvian Man by virtue of their workout. Swimming is a fantastic way to build lean ropes of muscle, and the main reason is because swimming is both a cardio workout as well as resistance training. The resistance of the water and the strength required to propel yourself through it, all while maintaining even breathing and a decent heart-rate is harder than it looks, and takes plenty of practice to be proficient. Swimming is often underestimated by people looking to a new diet or exercise regimen to reshape their body, though the costs of swimming tend to be much less monthly than the average gym prices.
Swimming beats running by a long shot for a lot of reasons. Though it doesn’t carry with it the “high” associated with distance running through the dumping of endorphins into the blood, it’s a slower benefit and longer lasting. It also doesn’t cause you to hurt the next day, or have your feet suffer for the cost of your body’s benefit. Something else amazing can be gleaned from swimming that other exercising cannot offer. It’s nearly like yoga, but far more personal. It’s just you and the water, and regardless how many others share the pool space, there’s a natural tendency to tune out everything else as you make your way through the pool. It’s a form of personal meditation in motion that isn’t found through too many other things, and certainly not within a busy gym atmosphere.
Another perk with swimming is the fact that though it takes plenty of practice to become truly adept at it, anyone can be taught to do it, and most do know how to swim already. Swimming is a “zero-impact” sport, meaning that people who suffer from joint issues, or have been overweight or out of shape for a long time can greatly benefit from swimming by not putting any pressure on already stressed tissue. It also doesn’t cause you to feel the sweat for a few reasons, for one thing your body is cooler due to the water temperature unless the pool is heated. Even though you’re raising your heart rate, your body temperature isn’t so high that you’re overly hot within the pool, and you might only feel the heat after you’ve gotten out. Any sweat you do exert is quickly intermixed within the water and the chlorine levels ensure it isn’t harmful to anyone else swimming. Lakes and oceans are more of a risk in terms of passing along anything harmful than any public pool.
One of the biggest benefits to be had with swimming for lean muscle is not just in achieving the closest to physical perfection you can get. It’s good for you inside just as much as your outside might look, and you’ll radiate that in ways everyone will see. Swimming is good for clearing away chronic pain, as a mood stabilizer, lowers body fat and cholesterol as a by-product, clears away plaque that can lead to heart attacks or strokes, and helps to regulate organ functions through higher oxidation levels. Swimming creates this lean look through natural means, and though you can lace up your running shoes, and just head out the door for your daily exercise, this is easily less impact, and definitely a trade up for high gym costs. If you’re looking to spend moderate amounts on your health, to buy home exercise equipment, or a gym membership – you just might want to check out your local pools.