Swimming for Your Life

Today was the first time in a long time that I actually missed scuba diving, a renewed longing I owe to my swim at the gym. As it turns out. I could owe a lot more to that swim. Perhaps my life even…

The water couldn’t have been more perfect. The temperature was just cool enough. The swimmers that were there cleared a comfortable path for me, and before long, I was one of two in the pool. I could feel the water waft around me, caressing me, lulling me into that familiar underwater dream state I love. It reminded me why I prefer swimming with my snorkel and mask—the ability to stay submerged without worrying about my breathing while I focus on the sensations of my body gliding through the H2O. The goggles also prevent me from colliding with fellow swimmers. And in this case, the whole getup brought me back to my experiences in scuba diving so much so that I’m considering breaking out my BC and flippers and getting my regulator checked out.

It’s funny that I wasn’t really looking forward to swimming today. The crowds, the chlorine, the hassle of suiting up—all worth overcoming only to gently exercise my lower back. Then, once I jumped in and the water took over, I was transported to another world. As I did the backstroke, I was reminded of all the wonderful reasons why people should swim, particularly as they age. There is no better way to exercise every muscle in the body without risk of injury. It improves strength, flexibility and cardiovascular endurance, and it can be almost meditative in its ability to soothe and relax the body and mind. Other than yoga, I can’t think of a better form of exercise to keep aging bodies youthful. Perhaps that’s why competitive swimmers tend to have longer careers than athletes in almost any other sport. Check out these athletes over 50 who are still going strong.

For more good reasons to swim, check out the About.com article, “What”s Good About Swimming?”

This summer, take a dip and cool off. Then continue the routine for the rest of your life. Or, if you’re up for a real challenge, get PADI-trained in scuba diving and explore a little deeper. Either way, have fun and remember…you don’t need a dorsal fin behind you to swim for your life.

P.S. My back feels wonderful!

 

 

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