This spring, take a dive into a pool of refreshing cool water, make a splash and get swimming! An all-weather and all-abilities sport, swimming brings wonderful health benefits and fitness, whilst being a fun and exciting leisure activity for all. Read on if you fancy you’d like to Spring Back into Swimming!
Whatever floats your boat, (or more literally, your body) find the right stroke for you! Remember practice heightens your pleasure.
Propel yourself with the most popular stroke, the front crawl. Keep streamlined and blitz down the lanes like a torpedo.
The key to this frog-like stroke is to keep your arm movements small and stretch your legs out to the sides.
Turn things on their head and flip over on your back. Make sure you are aware of others in your lane and where and when the pool ends. Surpass yourself in reverse using straight and strong arms.
Less commonly used, and possibly the most difficult, the butterfly stroke involves a lot of movement and coordination. Performing in a wave-like rhythm, this one is sure to give your breathing apparatus (heart and lungs) a real workout as well as getting you so much fitter in the process.
Body and Soul
Your whole body works hard during swimming, from your legs flipping away, arms making continuous strokes and your head turning from side to side. It’s a great full body workout, toning up your muscles whilst building your overall synergistic strength. Pacing up and down keeps your heart rate up, increasing cardiovascular fitness as well as controlling your breathing.
As you can instantly feel, being in the water makes swimming a low impact exercise. You become more lightweight, your body feels lighter to move, making it great for your muscles and joints. Swimming regularly can certainly help to maintain a healthy weight, as well as heart and lungs. It is also a great stress reducer, having positive effects on your mental health, from boosting your mood to quietening that monkey-mind and de-cluttering from those endlessly busy thoughts!
Get in Gear
Good goggles are paramount to a successful swim. Invest in a good pair that will last and make your swim plain sailing – clear vision with no leaking water is essential. Ensure your swimming costume is right for you too – supportive and with enough coverage to avoid any awkward encounters underwater. The more streamlined the better. With such an array of equipment to try, there’s no excuse for not feeling comfortable when in the water. From nose clips to prevent water from entering your nostrils, to pool buoys to support your legs while you work your arms. Try it all out and find out what what works best for you.
Going the Distance…
The average pool length is 25 metres. Pace up and down and watch the distance soon clock up. 32 lengths in a 25m pool and you’ve swum half a mile. Double it up to 64 and you’ve completed the full mile! Don’t lose count and keep focused. Break every 10-20 lengths if you need to catch that breath. Increase the distance ever so slightly each time you swim and soon you’ll be ready to take on the Channel!
Swimming is a great way to get energised, feel liberated in the water and optimise mental and physical health. It’s a great choice year-round, cooling you down in the sticky summer months, whilst rewarding yourself with a warming hot chocolate after training on a cold winter’s day.