Hi everyone! How’s your day going? Just plugging away over here doing the work thing – closing deals and taking names. 🙂 Lunch today consisted of an (overflowing) wrap made with a: Whole Wheat tortilla, Laughing Cow Garlic and Herb Cheese Wedge, Deli Style Rotisserie Chicken, and Organic Spinach. On the side I enjoyed some BBQ Pop Chips. Have you ever tried these? They come in a ton of flavors, have amazing nutritional facts (for being chips!) and aren’t fried or baked -they’re popped! I love the Sea Salt, and Salt & Pepper flavor but the BBQ ones take the cake for me.
Just what I was in the mood for! I’m currently munching on some organic Strawberries for dessert (yes it’s absolutely necessary to have dessert with lunch) since I may or may not have already eaten my Justin’s Dark Chocolate PB Cups as a mid-morning snack. I have no self-control around those things. And to think yesterday at this time I didn’t even know they existed. The things you learn in a day.
As promised, this afternoon’s workout post focuses on SWIMMING!
Growing up, I was on swim-team for 12+ years, had an AWESOME swimsuit tan. permanent goggle lines on my face and I swear even my brown hair developed a lime green hue. I swam summers when I was younger and then JV/Varsity for a couple of years in high school . When I was younger it was a great way to get a workout and then hang out with your friends at the pool all day. Swimming in high school became a bit much (6am dry-land training when you’re 16? No thank you. I’m a growing child, I needed sleep!) That ended real quick.
Recently (blame my exercise ADD for this one) I’ve had a desire to get back into it, so I started swimming at my gym 1-2x a week – 1 day for Sprints and 1 day for Endurance. (Let me just add that the sprinting day ranks WAY higher in my book than Endurance – it’s beginning to occur to me I actually may have a very short attention span) 😉 My gym has a “Swim Club” twice a week so it feels exactly like swim practice used to – only I’m a lot slower, and a lot hungrier.
As swimmers know, no other work out gives you the calorie blast, metabolism boost and muscle toning like swimming does – all with zero impact on your joints. And once you get past the act of actually putting on and having to wear the swim cap (the key is to put it on .5 seconds before you jump in the water, then apply goggles so no one will ever be able to tell who you are) you’re good to go!
Women’s Health has this to say:
“The body-shaping benefits of swimming are the result of a perfect storm of calorie burn and muscle recruitment. An easy swim burns around 500 calories an hour, while a vigorous effort can torch almost 700. And because water is nearly 800 times denser than air, each kick, push, and pull is like a mini resistance workout for your entire body—especially your core, hips, arms, shoulders, and glutes. So in addition to blasting calories as you swim, you build lean muscle, which ignites your metabolism so that you burn more calories once you’ve showered and dried off.”
The irony is that while swimming makes you lean and mean, it’s also kind to your body. Water basically neutralizes gravity, so you become virtually weightless when immersed, giving your joints a much-needed vacation.
And that makes swimming something you can do for your entire life—a major bonus because it can literally help you stay younger: “Our research shows that habitual swimmers are biologically up to 20 years younger than their actual age”
Blasts more calories with less impact. Makes you biologically 20 years younger. (Only SPF, water, sleep and a darn good under-eye cream can help with the rest). Tones your muscles. Minimum gear required.
Swimming required a different level of fit- just because you can qualify for Boston, bike up 90 degree incline hills or downward facing dog your face off, doesn’t mean you should start out at marathon pace in the pool – your lungs need to adjust to the fact that they’re not going to get air any time they want it.
Tips for Beginners:
-Do short intervals (Start with 50-100 yard distances and repeat several times in a row)
-Take lots of rest breaks in between sets – your heart will stay elevated for almost a minute after you stop
-Drink water – just because you aren’t sweating doesn’t mean you won’t leave the pool thirstier than Lindsey Lohan after a stint in rehab
-Between swims strengthen arms, legs core – pushups, ab workouts, squats and lunges are all great
-Focus on form – look at the bottom of the pool when you swim freestyle and maintain a strong, fast kick
-Breathe on both sides – I try to aim for every 3-5 strokes. I actually find that breathing every stroke makes me feel more fatigued than I probably am (and gives me that “I’m about to drown” look)
Now let’s get to the good stuff… the GEAR! (I clearly bought my suit, goggles, and cap a good month before I even decided I wanted to start getting back into swimming). Priorities people. J
–Barracuda Predators – the go-to goggles for many swimmers I know. Anti-fog, huge lenses, leak proof
–Speedo Vanquishers (great if you have a small face!) and a perfect marriage between the Predators and the Swedish goggles – comfortable but also great for speed/racing. I use these regularly
–Original Swedish Goggles (cheapest, but zero padding around the eyes). When I used to swim competitively, I preferred these to any other. They are a no-frills goggle. Sometimes simple can be the best.
-Silicone (any brand)
Disclaimer – I prefer Latex for racing, it just feels faster for some reason. But for a workout, and most of all to avoid getting your hair ripped out of your head and wincing every time you move your head – Silicone is the way to go.
-I do not recommend the meshy swim camps – they will weigh you down in the pool. To me it feels like you have a wet diaper on your head. Unpleasant doesn’t begin to describe it.
However if you really want to let your inner Naomi/Heidi/Iman out- I will pay you good money if I ever see you wearing something like this:
I prefer Speedos or TYR – but if you’re just getting started, it probably doesn’t matter either which way. Find a brand that fits your body (they usually fit true to size) and roll with it. The Speedo Flyback and TYR Durafasts are my favorites. (And affordably – relatively speaking – priced)
One of my favorite magazines, FITNESS, has great Beginner/Intermediate/Advanced Pool Workouts if you’re really looking to give your mental motivation a run for its money and do these on your own – Pool Workout! Get to it! Your Dark Chocolate PB Cups are waiting for you afterwards. (Seriously, I can’t stop thinking about them).
Have you ever been a competitive swimmer before? Would you ever get back into it? Do you prefer indoor/outdoor swimming? What’s some of your favorite gear?