Now that February has passed and the competition has had their turn in the spotlight, I can safely bring the Howls Swimsuit Edition to the press. Unfortunately, all the supermodels were unwilling to travel to this frozen wasteland so I’m stuck with myself as the model for the pictures.
Imagine if you will — a young boy and his family move into a small house. He has just passed his 5th birthday. The house is tiny, but comfortable. But there is something in the back yard that will shape a large part of this young boy’s future. In the back yard is a lake.
One of the activities that I use to keep active and improve my fitness level for golf is swimming. While I don’t get out to the pool on a regular basis I make the most of every opportunity that comes my way to make waves.
When my parents moved to the house on the lake, I began to spend hours per day in the water every summer. During the months from June to September I was a fish. Although we moved twice between this time and the time that I left home for college, the new houses were just a little further down the street and the lake was still there and I continued to swim.
Now that I’m full grown and no longer live close to a lake (or pool for that matter) I find it more difficult to spend time swimming. I was spoiled growing up as whenever I wanted to swim I would just suit up and run out the back door. Now, it involves getting in the truck and driving for 5 or 10 minutes (I know — poor me 8=). There is also the side issue of my children who want to come too. It makes it more work to get wet but it is a still a pleasure to splash and play in the water. Still, I miss the spontaneity of my childhood.
Swimming has many fitness benefits that make it a valuable activity in my arsenal of golf preparation.
- It is low impact. Given my size (which I’ll simply state as too big for now 8=) the low impact nature of swimming is a great feature. It allows me to keep the stress on my joints to a minimum.
- It is high resistance. Moving through the water is much harder than moving through the air. This works my muscles harder than the same movements would out of the water. This gives added strength benefits.
- It is aerobic. Swimming really works the heart and lungs. It helps me to keep my ticker ticking. It also forces you to breathe differently — deep, rhythmic breathing is important.
- It is relaxing. Even though I’m getting a work out, I’m also relaxing. I like to spend part of my swimming time just floating on my back, watching the clouds (or ceiling in some cases 8=) float by.
- It is fun. When I enjoy an activity I’m far more likely to take the time to do it and gain the fitness benefits of it.
I don’t have a routine when I swim. I rarely swim laps — that is hard to do in a lake which is where I like to do most of my swimming (weather permitting). It is also hard to do with the kids.
So, when I swim I don’t have a routine. I just play. My daughter (who is 10) is learning to dive and swim under water so we do a lot of that. We also like to play catch. I’ve been teaching her how to do summersaults and rolls as well. She’s also become confident enough in the water to enjoy water slides and wave pools. We had a trip to Ottawa recently and our hotel had a nice slide and wave pool [sorry for the scary picture 8=]
With my son (who is 4) we’re just getting to the point where he is comfortable in the water. He’s getting used to putting his face in the water, but he still swims with a life jacket on. He is slowly learning not to yell, “I’m swimming!” all the time. With him I’m usually not working too hard as I’m just walking or floating along beside him.
The important things for me with swimming is just to be active and have fun. The fitness aspects of it are a side benefit. That’s what makes it such a great tool in my fitness plan — it isn’t work!
Stay tuned for more in the Two Feet at a Time series.