Swimming is a fantastic mode of exercise, so why do so few of us choose it as our method of staying active? Here to demystify swimming for fitness is Sha Klatt, iGnite leader and swimming instructor. “Swimming does it all,” Sha says. “It gives you a full-body workout, increases your aerobic capacity and strength and builds long, lean muscles. With zero impact on your joints, it is perfect for all fitness levels.”
What do you need to get started? Sha gives the low-down on swim gear.
- An athletic swimsuit. “They tend to run small, so don’t be surprised if you’re wearing a bigger size than usual. It should feel snug, but comfortable.”
- Goggles. “I personally love the Tyr Nest Pro, and petit women may prefer a junior size. Another great pair specifically made for a woman’s face is View, which are very popular among the iGnite swimmers.”
- Cap. “A silicon cap will keep the water out better and off of your hair, but stretchy knit caps are also comfortable.”
- Pool. “I love the outdoor & heated facilities at the J where iGnite swimming classes are held. I also encourage everyone to get out and experience the beauty of the individual pools around the city!” In Austin? Find a pool near you.
Don’t have any gear? Sha brings extra caps and goggles to all iGnite swimming classes. Lane Four Swim Shop in Austin also has a store-full of swimming equipment year-round.
You’re in the water, now what? As a starting point, Sha recommends trying this basic workout:
- 10 minute warm-up: swim a variety of strokes slowly with long, stretched out strokes
- 15 minutes on a kick board
- 15 minutes with arms only
- 15 minutes swimming faster, stronger and harder to build endurance and lung power
- 10 minute warm down of slow, long streched-out strokes and nice, easy kicks