I posted yesterday about swimming for my sanity and a bit about how good it is as exercise.
Here’s an interview I did with swimming champ Hayley Lewis on just these topics.
Why is swimming such good exercise for women?
Swimming is such a great form of exercise – and not just for women, it’s great for all the guys out there too! Swimming has so many benefits as part of an overall fitness routine – it’s an excellent low impact exercise that’s great for muscle development, fitness and stamina. I also find being in the water really relaxing and therapeutic – and you don’t have to worry about getting all hot and sweaty!
Does swimming tone muscles? How does it compare to weights?
Swimming is great for toning up and building confidence – it’s a full body work out, so it really works everything from your finger tips to toes.
Do you prefer swimming in a pool or the ocean/ocean pool?
For training purposes, I definitely prefer a pool because I know exactly how far I have swum and there are no varying elements to deal with (current, sea creatures, cold water). Swimming in a pool also means than there are lane ropes which obviously help keep you on course whereas ocean swimming requires constant checking to make sure you have veered off. Also – you can train all year round in an indoor swimming pool.
As a mum of two boys… do you have tips for mums who have to feed a hungry, growing family and yet not eat too much themselves?
It’s true – growing boys seem to have an endless need to be fuelled for the day ahead, so my husband and I make sure that we are providing them with the right food.
It can be difficult at times to avoid over eating especially when the boys are eating so much but it’s all about setting goals for yourself and not letting others in the house sway you. I also like to keep the ‘treat’ food in an area in the pantry where I don’t frequently go!
Can you recommend any videos which can help with swim technique?
I personally would recommend anyone learning to swim to attend a squad session with a swimming coach, so they can correct your stroke as you swim. However if you can’t make it to a session, I would recommend: BILL KIRBY SWIMMING TECHNIQUE. It’s a great online video and Bill has a lot of experience, being a former member of the Australian Olympic team.
What is the advantage of using flippers?
I love wearing flippers for many reasons, but I especially like to wear them when I am warming up. It’s great because you automatically feel propelled through the water and it also helps you to ease into it gently before getting straight into it. If you aren’t a strong butterflyer, wearing flippers can be the most advantageous way of developing the strength. Flippers are also great for build strength and flexibility in the legs and hip flexors.
Is it OK to keep using flippers when you swim?
I definitely recommend using flippers as a beginner, but they are also a great addition for intermediate to advance swimmers. They’re great to adding a bit of variety into your swim plan and nothing beats that feeling of just ploughing through the water with a pair of flippers on!
Do you still swim for exercise? Summer and winter??
Yes – I just love swimming, so matter what the weather. But in winter I do swim indoors! It’s one type of exercise I think I will always be drawn too.
But I do also love walking and Pilates – I just love having variety to keep me motivated and on track with my weight management and fitness goals.
Thanks Hayley. Hayley’s swim plans for SpecialK are available on the website above. They are clear and detailed – very motivating
This post was first published on my old blog ‘The Mum’s Diet’. I’m slowly moving the most useful posts over here before closing it down completely.
See you at the pool.