Starting A Swimming Routine
Swimming is well known for being one of the best forms of all-round excercise. It is low impact and uses a large number of muscle groups at one time, which makes it an ideal activity for anyone looking to ad some aerobic exercise to their fitness routine. If you are thinking of adding a swimming routine to your schedule be sure to consult your physician before your begin.
The USMS (United States Masters Swimming) offers these tips to get your swimming routine started:
Start Slowly, and Build
Ease into the routine. During the first week try swimming for 30 seconds and resting for 30 seconds. Repeat, nine times for a total of ten.
Now try kicking: Try the same set as above while doing kicking. Just pick up some fins and go. Kick for 30 seconds and rest for 30 seconds. If you’d like to try a kickboard, most pools will have them available. If your pool doesn’t have any, they are inexpensive and last forever.
Add Variety: Try varying the length of swimming/kicking time in relation to the resting time. When trying to increase the amount of time exercising, start by making the 30 second swimming time into 45 seconds while making the 30 second rest period into 15 seconds. Also, try different strokes, such as backstroke, breaststroke and even butterfly!
Watch the clock. Pools where competitive teams swim will usually have pace clocks installed. Most pace clocks have a sweeping second hand that is usually a bright color. If there is no pace clock, or if you can’t see it from the pool, consider purchasing a waterproof watch.
Build your routine. Start with two or three days a week, and build your routine to include more days, if you are comfortable. Make sure to take enough rest to catch your breath in between repeats. If 30 seconds rest is not enough between swims, adjust your rest interval.
You can’t swim too slowly. Swim comfortably and you will enjoy it for a lifetime. Don’t worry about how fast other swimmers are, unless you are preparing to enter a lane with other swimmers. Be honest with yourself about the pace you are able to maintain. If you are not a fast swimmer, do not enter a lane with fast swimmers.