Sunday, May 23, 2010

Ready, Set, Go Swimming!

Tomorrow morning I'll be swimming to get in my cardio exercise. It's been at least two years since I went swimming in the pool at the gym.

In February 2008 when I started Weight Watchers and made a dedication to exercise, I would get in the pool at the gym a couple times a week, but I never felt like I was getting a good workout. After a few months I gave up swimming for the StairMaster and the elliptical for my cardio workout. I'm a nut about my heart rate, and addicted to my heart rate monitor (as well as my music).

Lately I've been feeling a little bored and tired of the elliptical, cross-ramp, StairMaster, and the hated treadmill. I'm adding in swimming to make things a little more interesting.

I have my swimsuit laid out, along with a pair of sweatpants to throw on in the morning. My swim cap, goggles, swim shoes and towel are all packed in my workout bag.

For some bizarre reason I'm a little nervous. It's totally silly, but it's been a while since I actually got in the pool. I know there's never anyone there at 5 a.m., and it's not even the fear of wearing a swimsuit in front of strangers. It's just because it's something different and something I haven't done every day for two and half years. I could do the StairMaster or elliptical blindfolded. Swimming seems like it takes talent.

I'm not a strong swimmer, but I don't have a big fear of the water either. Having grown up in Alaska there wasn't a lot of opportunity to go swimming (short summers and ice cold lake water), so I've never been really comfortable being in deep water.

My breathing technique is something I really need to work on. I sort of taught myself how to swim over the years, and have never had an actual swim lesson. My husband has taught me a few things too. He's like a fish in the water, he was a scuba instructor when I met him. It was his passion back then and he's still a really strong swimmer.

There's a great article in the June 2010 Women's Health, "Swim Your Butt Off". I can't find it online yet, but it has a lot of tips on how swimming can be a really good workout. The line I like best is where they describe the swimmer's body. "Runners have the legs. Yoga chicks have the abs. Swimmers, well, they've got the whole package."

Wish me luck!


Then I Got Fat said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Then I Got Fat said...

I used to swim a lot in high school and was pretty fit and trim. We have a pool in our complex but I typically don't use it as I will not wear a bathing suit at my current size. Maybe next year. :)

Have fun!

Miz said...

how went it???

Roxie said...

When I was semi-seriously considering doing a tri, the best advice I got was to take a couple of swimming lessons. I, too, grew up where outdoor swimming wasn't much of an option and while I can swim, I'm not "good" at it. I could save myself from drowning, but I'm not "at ease" in the water.

Let us know how it goes. I think changing things up is a wonderful way to keep the mind and the body engaged.

Have a great week, Diana.

Helen said...

I sucked at swimming. But I took lessons through our local Parks & Rec department. Totally worth it. I'm still not a great swimmer (no tris for me!) but at least I feel more confident now. Hope you had fun!

M Pax said...

I was on the swim team in hs. It is a total body workout and is tough. The upper body along the pecteral line especially bulks up. But, we were swimming about 4 hours a day.

Jetta... said...

I understand!!! Did you read my swimming post??? It is scary. I always think I am not getting a good work out because I don't get all sweaty....but we know swimming is a kick butt workout!

Have a good swim!