The past week I have gone swimming five times. I confess, I am motivated to get my $20 gym reimbursement for going 8 times in the month to the gym. As you know, I broke my ankle and foot on April 2nd, so are you wondering how I can go swimming? When I broke my ankle two years ago, the orthopedic surgeon doctor said, “No swimming, no biking, no weight on the ankle or foot for a solid six to eight weeks.” Of note, that particular orthopedic doc was a knee and shoulder specialist.
This go around, I made a point of getting a foot and ankle orthopedic doctor. Turns out that was VERY wise! This doctor said, “Sure, you can start putting weight on your ankle and foot. And yes, you can start riding your bike trainer, inside, and indeed, you can swim. Just use pain as your guide. Pay close attention to how you’re feeling. And for swimming, you might want to use one of those leg floats also known as a pull buoy, so you can focus on your upper body, and not tax your ankle.”
Thus I have been swimming this week, and it’s AWESOME!!! As I was swimming, I thought about all of you, and I realized for me there are three excellent reasons I like swimming so much. Here they are for you!
- You can approach swimming as meditation
Swimming is a solitary sport generally. Of course if you have a coach poolside, or if you swim with a team, then it’s a group and individual sport. When I swim by myself, I use the time as a meditation. I methodically breathe and I pay close attention to how I am moving my body in the water. I’ve taken swim lessons as an adult and I’ve had my stroke analyzed on camera and that’s super helpful. Thus I have lots of awareness of the most efficient ways to swim. When I focus on the here and now and how my body is moving and how to be most efficient, the end result is that I feel calm and centered at the end of a swim session. It’s amazing.
- You are floating – weightless, little to no stress on your joints or bones
After all, swimming is a zero-impact activity!!! You can get a great cardiovascular workout that works the whole body without pounding on your joints. Or your bones, like in my case, bones that are trying their hardest to heal! I love how effective swimming is on my diabetes management.
- You will burn lots of calories
Well, truth be told, how many calories you burn does depend on how much you weigh and how fast you swim. Here’s a great ACTIVE article about EXACTLY how many calories you burn in a given swim workout. The thing I know is that based on what happens to my blood sugar and my hunger levels, I am burning calories! And that feels good!
There you go! I sure hope you find a pool, lake, reservoir or ocean to swim in! And while you’re there, have fun!!!
If you’re a swimmer, leave me a comment and tell me your favorite place to swim! I love pools and most of all, I love lake swimming. Since I live in Minnesota, land of 10,000 lakes, I love being able to swim outside in the lake all summer!
In swimming solidarity!