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I started swimming 2 weeks ago after 4 years away from the pool. Also started spinning classes about same time (I had never tried spinning before, was using a magnetic trainer at home.

I find swimming to be a good cardio and upper body workout, while cycling/spinning is good for lower body and cardio.

Have you tried spinning? Even though it's only been 2 weeks I'm pretty much addicted. Bought a HR monitor as well. I find the group atmosphere, music, motivating instructors to be a nice incentive. Plus the bikes feel more like a real bike for climbing.

BTW your HR in the water when you are swimming will be lower for the same effect than when you are training out of the water. How much lower I am not sure, but because your body temp is lower because of the water, your HR does not get as high, yet you get the same effect. I am sure you could find HR training zones in water pretty easily.
 
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