If you are looking for the perfect year-round exercise with maximum health benefits, swimming could be your answer. Swimming has terrific cardio and strengthening benefits, not to mention how fabulous you look and feel after a good swim.
To get started, you’ll need to find an indoor pool where you can enjoy swimming during all seasons of the year. Joining a pool will be an investment of your time, energy, and money, so be sure to take your time in finding the right indoor pool for you. Here are some things you might want to think about before joining.
Location, location, location
The location of the pool is an important factor for many people. If you have to drive too far, or if the route is often backed up with traffic, it makes it harder to keep up your motivation to actually go to the pool. Try to find a pool that is conveniently located.
Make sure the membership fees will be worth your while. Certain types of pools may be pricier than others. Be sure to investigate the local YMCA, community rec centers, hotels, gyms, and colleges in your area, and do some price-shopping before you make a commitment.
Some gyms and spas might require that you sign up for a full year membership. If you’re not 100 percent sure you’re going to stick with it, you may want to look for a pool with monthly memberships.
Before joining, ask the manager if you can take a trial swim or a trial water aerobics class, to see how you like the feel of the pool and the pool’s facilities. Not all pools offer a free trial swim, but it can’t hurt to ask.
Schedules and crowds
Lane time is in demand! Some pools’ schedules may be booked with swim teams, swim lessons, and other activities. You want to make sure the pool’s schedule is convenient for you before joining. Ask about the schedules for lap swimming, water aerobics classes, and anything else you may be interested in.
Size of the pool
Some gyms have small pools that are more suited to water aerobics than lap swimming. If it’s lap swimming you’re looking for, be sure the pool is at least 25 meters long, with lane lines separating the lanes. Ideally the pool will have at least 6 lanes to accommodate a lot of swimmers.
Locker room facilities
If you plan to shower after your workout, give the locker rooms a quick tour before joining. You want the locker room and showers to feel safe, comfortable, and clean for you.
Getting yourself in gear
Once you’ve found your pool, the next step is to set yourself up for success. After all, it can be hard to want to go swimming on a cold winter day! Here are some ways to keep yourself in high gear:
- Look great to feel great
Treat yourself to a new swimsuit before you start your winter swimming workout. You can find something sporty and cute, like racerback styles and athletic cuts that offer support and style. If you plan to swim regularly, try a chlorine-resistant swimsuit. Chlorine-resistant swimsuits are engineered to last longer than regular swimsuits, keeping their color and their elasticity 5 to 10 times longer than other swimwear.
- Set a regular schedule
Before signing on the dotted line for a pool membership, make sure you have dedicated time in your schedule. If you say you’re going to go “whenever I feel like it,” chances are you’ll rarely go. Instead, choose 3 or 4 times per week that are set aside for your swim workout. Block them out in your calendar, and commit to doing them.
- Develop lap workouts
Going to the pool without a swim plan can be challenging. Let’s face it, swimming back and forth can get tiresome. To beat the boredom, develop a plan that gets progressively more challenging as you get better and better. Try these boredom-busting tips to spice up your swim workout.
With these tips, you will be sure to find a pool you love. In no time, you’ll be cruising along in your new chlorine-resistant swimsuit, reaping the rewards of an invigorating swim workout!