Swimming is the perfect form of mental & physical exercise for anyone and everyone. It doesn't matter what age, shape or fitness level you are, you will benefit from a few laps up and down the pool. This gravity defying environment makes you feel weightless and takes pressure off your bones and joints. If you feel good you can swim fast and if you feel tired you can take it easy. No matter what the question is, swimming is the answer!
So why do I hear comments like 'Swimming is too hard', 'Swimming is boring', 'I can't swim'? The answer is simple. They are not doing it right! If you do swimming the right way it is the perfect cure for everything. Feeling stressed? Go for a swim. Want to lose weight? Go for a swim. Got an injury? Go for a swim. You get the idea :)
It is my mission to get you to enjoy swimming. For whatever reason you're taking to the pool, you should enjoy it. So here is my tips and tricks for you to make swimming fun!
The right mindset
First things first; Do you go to the pool thinking 'I have to do this' or 'I get to do this'? This little difference in words makes a big difference in your mindset. Having to go for a swim as a punishment for being unfit or eating too much sets you up for a horrible time in the pool. No one likes to be punished, especially not by yourself.
If you think in a way of how lucky you are that you get to go for a swim, you will feel way better about making a splash. Think about how lucky you are that you have a well working body that enables you to swim, a local pool that's open (hopefully), time in your day to look after yourself and a few dollars in your pocket to pay for pool entry. There is so many big and little things to be grateful for!
Diving in the pool with the right mindset will make your swim a much more enjoyable exercise.
Have a goal
A goal, big and audacious or small, will help you push that little bit harder in the middle of a challenging swim. A good goal can even be the difference between making it to the pool for a swim or staying in bed on a rainy morning. Think about the person you are hoping to be in a few months time and imagine how proud you'd feel of yourself achieving this.
A goal can be an upcoming event you have signed up for or a more internal goal of achieving a distance or time. I used to have event related goals, but Covid has made me rethink this and I am now working on goals that I can achieve no matter what happens.
Get your technique right
If you've never learned how to properly swim chances are you swim with your head up, legs down and die after about 10 meters. No wonder you have find it hard to enjoy your swim!
Swimming is the fine art of reducing drag and increasing power.
Reduce drag or resistance by laying in the water in a streamlined position. This way you can put energy into pushing yourself forward and you're not wasting any. I've written a blog with 4 drills to perfect your body position.
The other issue swimmers face is breathing. I can only imagine how hard it is to enjoy a swim if you feel like you're running out of breath all the time. This is not how it should be! Check out this Swimfit Blog for tips on how to get your breathing right:
Click here --> Why are you struggling to breathe while swimming?
If you're still struggling with your technique after reading all of this why not take a couple of private swimming lessons to help you in the right direction. Swimming is super difficult to get right on your own because you can't see yourself and we're not used to moving in water like we are used to moving on land.
Don't be shy or embarrassed to take swimming lessons as an adult, this is a very normal thing to do. I offer private sessions for beginner to more advanced swimmers and I absolutely love introducing adults to swimming! If you're not based in the Cairns or Port Douglas area I am sure there is someone near you who can help you.
Click here for more information on Private Sessions with Coach Irene
Swim with others
Swimming by yourself can be just what you need after a busy day at work or looking after your kids. If this is the way you enjoy swimming, good on you and keep going! :)
Swimming with others however adds a whole new dimension to your swimming workout. You will get challenged to go faster and/or further, you'll make new friends and you can cheer each other on.
I prefer swimming with others. It just makes it more fun and as I'm super competitive I will push myself to swim just a bit faster when Grant swims next to me!
Ask around if someone would like to come swimming with you or join a swim group at your local pool. Adult swim squads or groups are really nothing to be scared off. They're nothing like the kids squads where you get kicked out if you're not fast enough or hold up the rest of the group. Adult swim squads are full of people just like you.
Have fun & challenging sessions to follow
Of course swimming is boring if you have to drag yourself to the pool to swim a boring 20 laps up and down the black line.
If you'd drop me in a pool now and made me swim 2km just like that I would struggle to make it. Challenge me with a fun session and I easily swim 3 or 4km! Break your desired distance up by doing short distances in different strokes and paces. 10 x 100m Freestyle (1 fast / 1 easy x 5) is a lot more fun than slogging out 1km on a steady pace.
Another way to bring the fun into swimming is by using different toys like a kick board, pull buoy, snorkel, paddles or fins. Each one has it's own way of helping your improve and using them intermittently is a great way to keep things interesting.
If you swim with a swim buddy you could rotate the duty of coming up with a fun session or join a swim squad so you don't have to think about what to do.
The best thing after a tough swim session? Coffee!
Smashing out a good swim session is something to celebrate and there is no better way of doing this than going for a coffee with your swim buddies at the local cafe. Debrief on what Coach made you do this time (How could she?!) and get to know each other better by actually having a full chat, instead of 2 words in between intervals.
Especially on a cold winters day a warm coffee if exactly what you need to start feeling your toes and fingers again :)
I hope you've taking a few good tips away from this blog to start enjoying your swims. Remember that there will always be days where swimming will feel hard and your enjoyment level is low, but overall swimming should be a fun way to stay fit, feel good and be happy!
Please comment below if you have any questions or other tips on making swimming fun.