Friday, March 13, 2015

Back in the Swim

Too Bad It's Cold Outside

There's enough water lying around as the snow melts to offer plenty of places for wading or even swimming. One of the farm fields up the road from me is a 5 acre lake. However, it's still too cold outside for such activities.

So, twice already this week, I've been swimming indoors. Again, it's the indoor pool at the county college where the high school I sub for is located.

The pool water is heated to a nice 84F and in the area of the pool, it's nice and warm The hall to and from the pool is a bit "brisk" but a hot shower usually solves that once I'm done swimming.

Since I am dreadfully out of shape since winter began in earnest, I tried to take it easy. That meant only ten laps of the pool.  It was mostly slow swimming but I did add a pool length of my bad version of the butterfly just to get my lungs and heart pumping.

I also add sets of water aerobic exercises into the workout, again limiting the number of reps as I work on building up my stamina. It all felt really good. As I swam, I realized how much I'd missed it during the frigid spell.

I'm not particularly good at repetitive exercises unless they involve horses. I can ride exercises on my horses over and over, seeking elusive perfection and certainly go around in circles "forever."  At least when I'm riding/training, there's an end goal, something accomplished, work done.

Not so with exercises. Twenty-five situps or a half-hour on a treadmill might build stamina and muscle as it burns calories, but what have you accomplished in the end? The stalls are no cleaner, the hay is still not stacked, the grain's not unloaded, and the horse certainly isn't any better to ride.

For some reason, the principle does not apply to swimming for me. I go back and forth, lap after lap just because.  Just because it's good exercise. Just because I like it. Just because????

Walking as exercise isn't bad either provided I do a cross country trek. I do, normally, have lots of outdoor places to walk around here. This winter? Too much snow and ice everywhere.  Last week I started a little regimen of walking up and down my driveway. The driveway circles the house and has hills at each end. I did manage to go up and down ten trips several days. Not exactly exciting, but timewise, I matched the 15 or so minutes the TV ads advertise as wonderful exercise on the elevated treadmill.

No machine for me. I have a real hill.

I also worked on stretching my leg muscles in the pool, trying to simulate sitting in the saddle on a moving horse--a wide backed moving horse.

Maybe when it gets warm enough to swim outdoors again, I'll be fit enough to ride!


  1. Swimming does sound like the perfect exercise and not as boring as treadmills or other machines. I'm sure you'll be fit and ready to go very soon.

  2. Very happy to read this! Exercise is so good for you! Also glad to hear that some of that snow is turning to water. It is here too in the lower mountains. In our little town there is no snow, though it's still sort of cold, like mostly 40's.