Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Wednesday Workout Update - Why Swim?

Far be it from me to push anyone into doing anything they are not comfortable with - I am the poster child for thinking (and thinking, and thinking some more) about it, whatever IT may be - but if you are at all considering, or curious about swimming for exercise, I encourage you to give it a try.  And hey - it's summer - what better time than now?  I can assure you that I would not have been as enthusiastic about swimming had I started in January, indoor pool or not.  That said, the temperature at my (ha! MY pool)(that I have to share)(with a swim team and the gray panthers, no less) is usually 82 or 83 degrees.  Sounds warm enough, but it's still hard to do that first shudder-inducing dunk at 8 o'clock in the morning.  However, by the time I'm halfway down my first length of the pool, it's all good.  And hey - spending some time in the water (probably) lowers your core temperature (hey, I'm no scientist) which should keep you cooler during the day (helpful if you live in hell Texas).

I would like to share with you a few truths about swimming:
  • Although I will be the first person to acknowledge that putting on a swim suit can be nothing short of mental torture, the fact is that once you're in the water, only your head and shoulders are visible.  So jump in quickly!
  • There are no rules - you don't have to do anything you don't want to.  Not comfortable with putting your face in the water and trying to breathe?  Then don't.  You don't have toooooo!  Make this fun.  If all you want to do is grab a kickboard or a pool noodle and kick up and down the length of the pool 10 times, then go for it!
  • You don't know how to breathe underwater?  No problem.  You don't have to swim any particular stroke - the back and side strokes are working just fine for me.  I don't stress over that whole "breathing while swimming" thing, I rarely suck down water the wrong way (ok, sometimes it happens, usually because I get overly exuberant with my kicking), and I'm still getting in a good workout.
  •  No one is paying any attention to what you are doing.  Case in point:  while using the kickboard, I do a lot of different things.  I kick, sprint, straight-leg kick, bicycle kick - basically I do whatever entertains me.  It also feels like I'm using different muscles when I vary the style of kicks.  So far no one has reported me to the pool police.
    • Even though I thought it was the height of nerdiness, a swim cap has, surprisingly, become a necessity to me.  Why?  Well, not only does it keep my hair off of my face (and out of the pool), but you can create this awesome "seal" over your ears, so the water doesn't get in.  Makes for doing the back stroke much more pleasant.
    • If you think you might continue with swimming, just go ahead and buy a 100% polyester swimsuit now.  You'll save yourself the frustration of having your favorite "pretty" suit destroyed by chlorine.  RIP purple suit, RIP black suit.
    • Although not nearly as much fun as running outfits, you CAN coordinate your pool ensemble.  Here's my latest creation, with my absolute favorite swim suit - as you know, I've tried several, and this one works great - high neckline (no cleavage and no drag)(have I mentioned that I swim sandwiched between young kids and old people?), 100% polyester, lined, and it's supposed to retain its color with the chlorine.  We'll see about that, but my dad will be happy to know that I marked down the date of when I started wearing it (he dates his clothes so he knows when they are worn out)(he also dates light bulbs)(usually dinner, sometimes a movie) so I will report back to you on that in the future.
    Ocean Moderate Lap Suit - I bought it here. 


      1. ok
        the husband announced last night HE is starting to swim.
        I almost fell over.
        Ive known him 18 years.
        Ive never seen him swim!

      2. Yeah! Noon in Holland on Monday, Wednesday and Friday means a Shelley post! Jippie!

        I love this post. Why? Because you got me swimming again. And I love it. I use the elegent swim cap too but mostly because I color my hair and the chloride is bad for my color. I look like a dork with that thing on my hat but who cares. As you know I got the pool to myself so far and no one sees me.

        I love it that you have a matching ensemble. I would be disappointed if you didn't because it wouldn't be you.

        Have a nice Wednesday my friend.

      3. Dating clothing and light bulbs is kind of ingenious! I love your swimming ensemble...purple is my color and I love how you are coordinating different hues :-)

      4. I love the coordinating swimwear.

        I like reading your posts about swimming. I can "hear" your enthusiasm.

      5. All so true!
        I just bought some plus-sized suits on mega-sale from Lands End. You're inspiring me to pick up swimming again, Shelley!

      6. I actually thought of you yesterday when I was doing my dumbbell routine in the water, I first thought, people must think I am crazy - but then realized, no one is paying any attention to me!

        Shelley, you crack me up with your matching outfits - most of my workout clothes have stains on them!

        Wow, your Dad writes the date in his clothes? I thought Hannah was bad because she has colored hangers that represent different things - all I know is that after a certain amount of time, a colored row of clothes get thrown out because apparently that means she hasn't worn them in three months, so she never will.

        I have no idea how that organized child came out of my body!

        Happy Hump Day!

      7. Always love your enthusiasm! Your runner's spirit took a dive off the high board and came up like Esther Williams. A less-resourceful woman would have given up with your runner's injury. You're inspiring to me.

      8. I think this is going to have to be me sometime in the very near future. They want me to limit my workouts in the heat and, as you know, that means I can't go outside until mid-November. So the indoor pool at 24 hour may be IT. Thanks for the advice; I'm sort of terrified of swimming and knowing that you've already taken the plunge (HA!) helps.

      9. I"m glad I got on the underwater treadmill at the private therapy place that goes along with the aqua jogging but it really does look lame! lol

        P.S. My oldest just said your pink bike is beauuuutiful! lol

      10. That sounds so smart to date your clothes and date your lightbulbs! I watched a show where the women had all her clothes catalogued with photos which made it easier for her to decide what to wear and what she needed to buy. I think that is going to be my project in August. You are half the way there with your fashion Friday photos.

      11. I love your tips. Especially the one where no one really cares what you're doing. Thinking that someone is watching and being self conscious kept me out of the gym forever. I tell my patients this all the time. No one is watching you. They're too busy wondering if someone is watching them. LOVE the purple cap!

      12. As you know, I wish I could swim. And, I wish there was an affordable pool within a reasonable distance around here. But, there's not so I just have to live vicariously through you.

        My favorite part of that ensemble? The stolen goggles.

      13. Wow! You answered a ton of questions I really wanted the answer to but was afraid to ask!

        Like the 'no face in the water' is okay. I have to wear a noseplug if I put my face in the water, and that kind of takes the meditative aspect of swimming away, so I avoid it. And I've been wanting to know the 'right' way to use the kickboard. Thanks for permission to do it any old way!

        The swim cap--never thought about it keeping the water out of my ears.

        And you know I already followed your advice about the polyester swimsuit.

        Now I just have to find some goggles to steel, and I'll be "Shelley-ready" for the pool.

        Seriously, its been really fun getting back in the pool this year, and that is largely due to watching your transformation from landlover to pool babe!

      14. so glad you are promoting swimming :) I think its the best low impact around.

      15. You are a star for using the kickboard so much. They are so hard!

        Also, it is awesome to see you take your ankle annoyance and turn it into a soaring swimming routine.

        Reading your blog makes me happy!

      16. Thanks for such a great post. You are really inspiring me to see if my speedo still fits. I haven't done any exercise swimming in years, but I think it's time to get back into the water.

      17. I want to go swimming with you! You make it sound like so much fun. And it is! :D

      18. I love how matchy-matchy you are :) so festive!

      19. You are a floating fashion plate in that coordinated outfit. (despite the fact theft was obviously involved in your google acquisition! :) ) You are a role model in the water Shelley!!! Have a great day!

      20. Shelley,
        Thanks for providing the insight into swimming to lose weight. I know you have been swimming for awhile now and it looks like it is paying off in lost weight. The truths you revealed were great and very helpful.

        Shelley, by the way I wanted to let you know that I am linking to your site “My Journey To Fit” on my “Totally Weight Loss” site under Blogroll and have been for some time. You have an excellent site and I would be honored if you would consider linking to my site as well in your "My Blog List.".

        My site, which is called “Easy Weight Loss”, is located at

        Thanks for your consideration,


      21. You are totally making me regret quitting my too expensive gym, because they had a great pool. I should look into finding a pool elsewhere where only fat old ladies like me are allowed to swim!

        You are such a fashionista in all things. I need you to come do a fashion makeover on me.

        This was a great positive post.

      22. So glad you are enjoying the swimming Shelley - that really makes me happy for you!

      23. I read this outloud to my sister who's been expressing (by thinking and thinking and thinking about it) the urge to swim the past month. Of course I'm just sitting here, bored still waiting (and thinking) for any urge to do anything to pass.

        I would jump in so fast. But i was told by the lymphedema folks that if I were to go to the Grey panther sharing pool, I'd be considering a very hot item.Bleech

      24. Both of the bathing suits I bought for swimming are polyester - the guy at the store said they hold up very well. Spandex falls apart apparently. I am thinking of getting a swim cap - the hair in my face gets annoying.

      25. I LOVE swimming. It was how I lost my 110 pounds and it's SUCH a great sport for people who are injured or overweight. Being weightless in the pool feels fantastic.


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