Fitness-Swimming- a few points to consider.

Photo by Jaana Nuutinen on Reshot

Enjoying retirement and good health go hand in hand. Like making the plan for retirement, the plans to maintain good health are built up over many years. In essence however its quite simple – try to stay fit.

One of the most adaptable methods of staying fit is swimming. I was trying to do just that at our local fitness centre. Being the start of the year there were a few others trying to do the same.
Our fitness centre has a 25 m pool with space for 6 lanes. Lane 1 is the slower, with 2 and 3 marked as medium and fast.

On this particular day there were 3 in the slow lane already and one each in the other two lane.

Unfortunately the person in the slow lane was just a little slower that I wished, however if seemed pretentious to move to the middle medium lane particularly as that person was timing themselves and seemed reasonably fast. In fact they even seemed faster that the person in the fast lane.

What is the correct action in such circumstances?

Does one just follow the swimmer in slow lane?

Does one try and move into the medium (fast) lane and so upset that keen swimmer?

Does one try and overtake the swimmer in the slow lane and should that be like in a car on the right (whilst they keep to the left side of the lane)?

Can one overtake on the left and undertake (so to speak in motoring terms)?

What if the slow lane swimmer seems intent on swimming in the middle of the lane- does the motoring term “middle lane hogging” apply in such circumstances?. Is there any reasonable action one can take?

What should one do when changing direction at the end of a lane- can one legitimately push in front of the slower swimmer- will that cause offence?

As time went on others came into the slow lane and it became clear there was a water aerobics class scheduled. As this is always associated with loud music and various people jumping around it was time to leave

The final reckoning was did one enjoy – yes, but only by allowing ones mind to concentrate on the swimming and try and enter a state of relaxation. Here I personally try and have a regular set time or fixed number of lengths to swim for. That way one can feel good for that day as that this target had been achieved. Better still if there is a long term goal- see the article about rowing in the near future.

The other slightly more disappointing outcome is how many calories did the swim use up. Well I’ve no expertise in this subject so I looked on the web. I came across the following site:

Calories burned swimming at

Based on my weight, stroke and time, their site estimates that I burned 278 calories. Potentially less that in that very tempting latte coffee- even without the special treat of a cappuccino and whipped cream topping. So I will need to either watch the intake, swim for longer and with a different stroke.

In trying to increase the calories burned I would not consider joining those intrepid? swimmers who do a Christmas day sea dip. Incidentally I was once told that when swimmers enter such cold water even professional swimmers are likely to have uncontrolled rapid breathing which they cannot stop. The cold also means that their stroke becomes uncoordinated after about 2 minutes and with it their ability to keep swimming or keep their head above water level. I, on the other hand, decided to chill out at the local swimming pool.

Categories: Fitness

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    • Thank you for the email and positive comments. I aim to make people smile and look at the positives in life. Still amending the site to get best coverage so hopefully you’ll keep wanting to see latest content

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