Swimming is often thought of as a summer activity but it’s actually the perfect sport for staying in shape and having fun throughout winter.
If you don’t already have a regular swim routine, now is the ideal time to create one: pools are generally quieter at this time of year so you’ll have more space to try new strokes and improve your technique or if you’re a nervous swimmer, build up your confidence in the water.
Here’s a few tips on how to find and maintain your motivation to swim throughout winter:
Try Something New
Lane swimming is great for your physical and mental health but don’t get stuck in a rut with your routine. There are heaps of fun pool activities you can do in the winter that will help you stay motivated to head out in the cold and gloom.
Swap one of your lane sessions for a class; aqua running, pool aerobics, diving or synchronised swimming lessons – they could all boost your confidence and make winter swimming more fun. Classes are also a great way to meet new people and introduce a social element to your swimming routine.
Setting yourself swimming goals is great for motivation so whether you compete with yourself to achieve better lap times or distances, represent a swim club in a gala or join a team to play a sport such as water polo or octopush, a little competition can be a great incentive to get to the pool. Check out our swimming training and tracking website Swim4Fitness if you’d like to set yourself a swimming challenge such as Escape From Alcatraz (1.5k) or even a more daring Channel Swim.
Swim with Friends
It’s much easier to stick to a swimming plan if you go with a friend; you’re far less likely to pass on a session if you know you’re letting your buddy down! Check out the timetable for your local pool and agree on set days that you can both commit to.
Heading out on a cold, dull day to get wet at the pool can seem unappealing but you can overcome this by keeping warm before and after your swim.
Remember, the temperature in swimming pools is regulated so you won’t feel the cold once you’re there, but wear warm layers on the journey to and from the pool and try wrapping your towel around a hot water bottle; it’ll be nice and warm by the time you get out of the water!
Give Yourself a Reward
It isn’t always easy to stick to any exercise plan so when you do, reward yourself.
As a sport or recreational activity, swimming is a great calorie burner so treat yourself to a yummy hot chocolate after a swim or better yet, choose some swimwear or pool accessories you’d really like; perhaps a beautiful new swimsuit, some training aids or an underwater mp3 player, and set a target number of swims you need to achieve to buy them.
Think of the Summer!
Summer will be back before you know it and when it arrives, think how happy you’ll be that you kept fit by swimming throughout winter - you’ll be lengths ahead of those that spent the winter curled up on the sofa!
You can find all the encouragement, advice, swimwear and equipment you need to get swimming this winter, online at Zoggs. And if you have any great tips on staying motivated to swim throughout the winter, let us know by diving into Facebook to say Hi or tweeting us #WinterSwimTips