Looking for some new exercise routines for the summer? Swimming is a great activity to introduce into your routine if you are looking to burn fat, lose weight, and build muscle tone. If you are a beginner though, it might feel a little intimidating to take that first step into lap swim.
First things first. Where are you going to swim?
A backyard pool is a great option though you may quickly find it to be too small for laps. Local YMCAs or other fitness centers are a good option to check out. Many of the larger facilities have full 25 yard (or some are meters) indoor pools and many also have outdoor pool facilities as well depending on where you live. You will also find other facility members who are there for the same reason as you and you will see a wide variety of ability and proficiency. Many neighborhood communities also have outdoor pools available to their residents or a local country club.
If you are going to another facility to swim, make sure you find out about the daily pool schedule before you head over to get your swim in. Often the pool is shared for other activities such as swim lessons, water aerobics, swim team practices, etc. so you just want to make sure you plan your workout around the pool schedule.
Okay, now that location is decided, what should you bring?
The great thing about swimming is if you have a bathing suit, you can get started . But there are recommendations related to the bathing suit and a few other things you might want to consider. The biggest thing about the bathing suit is that it is comfortable and fits properly. A bathing suit that is too big is going to create drag and will pull down when you push off the wall; you don’t want that! For women, it is usually more comfortable to have straps that either cross in the back or a suit with a racerback style. This will keep the straps from dropping as you swim and propel through the water.
If you have long hair, you will probably want to at least have it pulled back tightly or consider purchasing a swim cap. Goggles are another item to consider. The benefit of goggles is keeping the water out of your eyes and having the ability to see where you are going while your face is in the water. The challenge with goggles is there are so many options and they don’t all fit the same. Don’t buy the cheapest but there is no need to go with the most expensive. A good basic pair of goggles will do fine.
Oh, and don’t forget your towel and water! You will need to stay hydrated as you are sweating even though you may not realize it!
Are you still with me? Great, let us head to the pool!
Lap Swim Etiquette - Swimming Laps Workout
Let’s be honest; the pool area during lap swim can be a little intimidating to a swimming workout first timer.
How do you decide what lane to get in? If there is an empty lane, that is an easy decision. Hop in! But if you are going to be sharing a lane, there are a few things to consider and know before you hop in. First, a good rule of thumb is to look for a lane where the other person or persons are swimming at a similar ability to you. Now go to the lane. Are you there? Good. Etiquette usually says that you politely ask the other swimmer if you can share the lane. It is really just courtesy as they can’t actually say no but it does give them a heads up as you will also want to confirm with them how they’d like to share. If there are only two of you in the lap, it is usually easiest to each take a side and stay to your side of the lane. But if there are three or more in the lane, you’ll need to use a technique called “circle swim”. Don’t panic; it really isn’t that complicated. Think of driving a car, you always stay to the right and nobody gets hit. Oh, and don’t stop in the middle of the lane as then you do put yourself at risk for collision. Try to keep your stops and rests at the wall. Easy as that!
Need help to improve your stroke technique or learn new swimming skills? At Sunsational Swim School we have experienced swimming coaches that travel to your home or community pool!
Jennifer Stanger’s bio:
Jennifer moved to Charlotte, NC several years ago after growing up in CT and living in various states in the New England and New York area. She was a competitive swimmer from ages 5-18 competing at both local and state levels. She started teaching swim lessons and coaching at the age of 16 and has continued her love of swimming. She now teaches group exercise classes at the local YMCAs, works in the behavioral and mental health field and continues to swim while also taking up the love of distance running. She continues to teach swim lessons to all ages and abilities as it is a way of sharing a positive experience of her own childhood with others.