Swimming: Where Fitness Meets Fun At Any Age
by Kathy Craig
June 10, 2019
Although I have always been active, exercise for fitness was never a priority in my life. Somewhere around my 40th birthday, I realized I needed something I could enjoy that would provide a good balance of fun and fitness. Whoâ€™d have guessed that Iâ€™d turn to swimming? I learned to swim at 43-years-old and I canâ€™t believe how much I love it. Over the last two years, I have been making up for all that lost time. Itâ€™s a perfect way to have fun, stay fit, and feel great.
If you donâ€™t know how to swim many community pools, gyms, YMCAs and YWCAs offer lessons for beginners and some have groups you can join at any level. It is essential to learn appropriate techniques not only to work your body in a way that is beneficial but also to keep you safe in the water. Proper breathing is more important in swimming than you might realize.
If you have problems at first, donâ€™t get discouraged. When you spend most of your life on land, water can feel a little foreign but given a little time, youâ€™ll become more relaxed and comfortable.
Where to Swim
When you are confident with your ability to swim, the next step is to find a place to do it. There are other options if you donâ€™t have a pool of your own. Many Universities or local gyms have pools and some communities have public pools . Again, the YMCA or YWCA in your area may have a pool available.
Many lakes and rivers are fit for a dip. Searching online for little known swimming spots in your area can also open up an opportunity to go for a hike on the way to your swim destination.
Because swimming is an aerobic exercise it burns a lot of calories and can help with weight loss. Aerobic exercises are known to enhance your mood, lower risks for common diseases and even prevent or ease many other conditions.
Swimming keeps you cool while you are working out which not only wards off sweat but may even help you keep your workout going longer.
Water exercises are gentle on your joints and muscles so you wonâ€™t have to worry about impact on those hips, knees or ankles. Swimming will also make you more flexible and stronger.
There are a few things to keep in mind when deciding to incorporate swimming into your life. First, never swim alone. If you are planning to go alone, itâ€™s best if you go to a pool or beach that provides a lifeguard. Anyone can get into trouble in the water.
If you suffer from respiratory problems such as asthma, swimming in chlorinated pools can cause complications. Chlorine can dry your skin out and even cause your hair to develop a green tint if you donâ€™t wash it out soon after swimming.
If you choose to swim in lakes or rivers, youâ€™ll need to pay close attention to things like water currents, diving in shallow water, and wildlife that may be local to your swimming area.