The Trials & Tribulations of a Non-Swimmer

18 02 2011

When it comes to exercising, not much sounds worse to me than taking my workout to a cold, chlorinated pool. And that is precisely why I force myself to hit the lap pool about once a week.

You see, I have a motto: the things you like to do the least are usually precisely the things you should incorporate into your exercise regimen. We don’t like things because they’re hard. Maybe they’re foreign to us. So we stick with what we know – maybe the elliptical? Hitting the pavement outside? But I cannot stress enough the importance of variety. Our muscles get used to our workouts, and that’s when we stop seeing the benefits of exercise.

Only variety, variety, variety can combat this dilemma.

And this is why you’ll find me – never a swimmer, never even close to a swimmer – in the lap pool at the YMCA once a week.

Swimming is great for your body. In fact, I started swimming laps when I had injuries from exercise. I needed a break from high impact workouts, and so I took my cardio sessions to the pool.

I’ll admit, when I first started swimming, I had no idea what to do. How many laps should I swim? What stroke should I use? How often should I breathe?

I’m still definitely not an expert. Sometimes I even dread my swimming days. But once I go and get in the pool, I never regret my decision. Actually, I feel amazing afterward. Here is what I do, and I think it’s a good swimming workout for beginners. So just take the leap (or should I say the dive..har har) and go burn some calories in the pool!

My Typical Swimming Workout:

I’m an obsessive lap counter. I can’t help it, I just like to keep track. So, to break things up and make the workout fly by, I count in increments of 10 [lengths, not laps]. I swim 6 lengths of the forward crawl, then I do 2 lengths of sprinting the forward crawl. –Refer to my previous post on intervals, this alternating between regular and fast paced exercise even works in the pool. Then, I swim 2 lengths of breaststroke to calm my breathing down from the sprints.

I repeat this 10 length cycle usually about 7 times. In my pool at the YMCA this is a mile. It takes me around 35 minutes or so.

*Just a note: I belong to the YMCA, but the UofM IM building has a pool–check the hours of operation here.




2 responses

20 02 2011

It’s inspiring to know that you have such a commitment to working out. As a person who has finally pledged to do something about this gut I’m always complaining about I like to hear about different ways to keep myself motivated without being completely bored. I used to swim all the time but I have dry skin and it was just becoming detrimental to my hair and skin, maybe once a week wouldnt be so bad.

One thing about swimming is I always get freaked out when I realize I’m thirsty, hot, sweating and out of breath in water. Lol its such a strange sensation!

20 02 2011

Haha I totally know what you mean–it’s so weird to be tired and breathing heavily in water.

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