I don’t know why it took me so long to remember that swimming is my “Find something you enjoy, because then you’ll stick with it” exercise. I grew up in Wisconsin, in a small city that was big enough to have a municipal swimming pool. The fact that we could walk to school in the winter and to the park and the pool in the summers was a big factor in the house my parents chose for us when we moved to Appleton. During my grade school years, I was sometimes there three times a day – swim lessons in the morning, and hanging out afternoons and after supper. I wasn’t a great swimmer, but proficient enough that I was allowed in the deep water, so good enough.
My current home is a small cottage on a little lake in northern Wisconsin. You can swim in the lake in July and August, but it’s pretty cold otherwise.
After I got my hip replaced two years ago, swimming was one of the recommended therapies. As soon as the doctors allowed, I started going to the pool in the nearby city of Shawano. After all these years, I’m back to swimming consistently 2 or 3 times a week. And all year round, not just when Wisconsin weather permits.
I find swimming to be the perfect exercise. First, it takes place in the water element…soothing and flowing. Next, you’re all on your own – it’s impossible to carry on much of a conversation while your face is coming in and out of the water. Maybe a little chatting before and after in the locker room, but not during the activity itself. For those who are more social, there are water aerobics and stretching classes, and I do those some days before the lap swimming. Best of all, you can’t possibly bring your phone along! It’s really an oasis of serenity for me.
But it’s not good to be one-dimensional, either. More about other types of exercise in another post. If you want an “accountability buddy” for your exercise program, contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org