How we see the world shapes who we choose to be — and sharing compelling experiences can frame the way we treat each other, for the better. This is a powerful perspective. I felt powerful, forceful, tranquil and meditative, all at once. I joined the youth swim team at my neighborhood pool, eventually becoming a coach.
A Woman's Advantage in Fat Distribution
Swimmers Benefit From Buoyancy
Most female athletes carry between 8 and 15 percent fat, but swimmers usually have a bit more -- between 14 and 24 percent. While any body fat percentage below 30 is perfectly healthy for a woman, it's expected that competitive athletes be among the leanest and sleekest people around. Swimming has different demands than land-based sports, though. Female swimmers who have a little extra padding are actually at an advantage in competition. Leanness is a benefit for women who participate in land-based sports.
Swimmers, especially female swimmers, face an energy balance conundrum. Elite swimmers typically undertake , m per day in training, burning thousands of calories. However, the typical body fat levels of these athletes are significantly higher than runners or cyclists who expend similar or even smaller amounts of energy in their training. Many female swimmers have fought well-publicized battles with their body fat levels and with their coaches! They are generally prescribed "land training" running or cycling in addition to their many laps of the pool in the belief that it is a necessary treatment to produce lower skinfold levels. Do energy discrepancies really exist in swimming? Why do swimmers seem to have drawn the short straw of body fat management? The following theories have been suggested:. Two studies from Costill's Human Performance Laboratory at Ball State University have tried to address the energy balance oddity of swimmers. Jang et al.
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