“ While I’m swimming, I sing songs in my mind.” Alexandr Popov
Ever since I was a very small child I’ve been a swimmer. My Dad used to take me as a baby and I have continued to swim very regularly ever since. For the past 10 odd years I swim on average 3–4 times a week. I find counting the breaths and lengths to be extremely meditative and I never fail to feel great after. There is so much research that links the benefits of exercise for good mental health that it’s something we should all try to build into our lives in one way or another.
Swimming is great exercise because it uses nearly all the muscles in the body without the impact of some other sports that can result in injury. If you’re new to the sport or haven’t swum for a while, there are some really good swimming workouts on the Zoggs website that are worth trying out.
If you do swim regularly or fancy trying the workout I’m currently doing, I’ve put it below. This will build endurance and stamina quickly!
Warm-up: 16 lengths front-crawl (start at 40% of your maximum effort for the first 8 building to 60% effort for the last 8 )
Rest: 1 minute
Main-set: 6×4 lengths front-crawl (70–80% of max effort. 30 seconds rest between each set of 4)
Rest: 1 minute
End: 8 lengths front crawl at 100% of your maximum effort — this is where the real fitness benefits come!
Total: 48 lengths and depending on your fitness itshould take anywhere between 25 and 45 minutes in total. In this time you should be burning anywhere from 300 to 500 calories, depending on how fast you go and for how long.
If you can build this routine in to your weekly exercise 2–3 times, you will see and feel the benefits very, very quickly! Enjoy!