To kick off swimwear week, I’m talking about swimming as exercise. Because I love it and because there was a long time that I didn’t swim because I was weird about being seen at the local pool in my swimmers. Maybe that’s you too. But trust me, it’s madness for us to give up such a great outlet for getting your body moving JUST because of the clothing you have to wear to do it.
Right? So yay, it’s that time of year again for me, my local pool has opened. Like I said earlier, swimming for exercise is my favourite thing, a go-to love from my days as a kid spent staring at the black painted line on the bottom of the pool. All that time to think, plot, plan and chill, perfection.
It’s easy on the body and it develops strong lungs, cardiovascular fitness and gives you long lean muscles. And I know it’s not really a thing these days, but from the early morning sun I always get this golden glow. Sounds good, right? I’ve answered some of the frequently asked questions I receive about swimming for exercise below. I hope that helps!
Swimming for exercise FAQ.
Do I need special swimwear? Yes and no. Helpful, right? But the thing is you don’t need special swimwear, you don’t need to buy some Speedos and resemble an Olympic athlete to get into swimming laps for exercise. But what you do need are some well-fitting togs that won’t more, bunch or distract you.
I own a few pairs of chlorine resistant pairs now and I love them, so if you’re looking for new swimmers start with a pair that won’t wear out in the chemicals of a pool. Keep in mind they go on FIRM but they won’t move. My hot tip? Pee before you get into them. Haha.
Speaking of which, what gear will I need? You don’t need much to get started. A simple pair of goggles and a cap (especially if your hair is colour treated) will do the trick. I also have a kick board, while some people use flippers. Again, it’s about your personal preference and I’ve found most pools sell a small range of products for purchase, so add to your gear as you want it.
Got the gear, now what?
Won’t people be looking at me? If there’s one thing that I’ve learnt about swimming for exercise, it’s that most people there are there to swim, not gawk at anyone else. My favourite part about swimming laps in the morning is the diversity of bodies, ages and stages of fitness there. No matter what, you’ll fit right in, seriously.
What do I even do? It’s as simple of swimming back and forwards. Whatever stroke or method you find comfortable. There are folks at the pool that swim non-stop laps, some that stop every lap or two, some that use a kickboard and people who walk laps. Whatever works. Just get in and get started.
I’m not a strong swimmer. My tip for people who aren’t strong swimmers is to get a kickboard or some kind of a float to assist, stay close to the edges (hanging off the lane ropes is frowned upon) and stop for a break whenever you need to. As your fitness and confidence in the water improves you can rely less and less on these strategies and just get out there. But don’t be afraid to do what you need to do in the beginning.
If you’re really not feeling confident, speak to the pool attendant and see if they do swimming classes for adults. You may not need to be in the class for long, just long enough to build your confidence. Sometimes it’s worth spending an hour or two with a professional to find your feet.
And in case that isn’t enough (when is enough EVER enough?) check out these older posts on the blog about swimming, swimwear for swimming and get your butt in the pool! Maybe I’ll see you there.