How confident do you feel when you exercise? A recent survey from Zoggs found that 38% of women under 45 have avoided the pool, gym or beach in the last year – all because of body confidence.
The Positively Confident survey asked over 1,000 women across the UK about their thoughts on fitness and body confidence, and what it found was the worrying affect that our view of body image is having on our desire to exercise.
Rather than the typical New Year’s resolutions, women should feel confident just as they are. Because swimming is a great way to work out, de-stress and improve your wellbeing, nothing should hold you back from enjoying it.
Make time for yourself
We should all make time for ourselves and swimming is a great form of escapism both physically and mentally. With no distractions in the pool, a half hour swim can help reduce stress, boost energy levels and encourage relaxation. You may find you sleep better too.
Tip: Check the timetable at your local swimming pool and see if there’s any adult-only lane swimming for some kid-free quiet time.
Improve your fitness level
Swimming is perfect for people of all ages and will have a positive impact on fitness. If you swim regularly you will see your cardiovascular fitness improve as your technique does. Swimming is also a great way to improve heart health, blood pressure and lung capacity.
Tip: If you’re just starting out, don’t be afraid to use a float in the water. The more confident you feel, the better.
Give yourself a workout
Our bodies work harder in the water and swimming is one of the best ways to strengthen all your muscles. Regular swims will give your whole body a boost. And you can have even more fun if you swim as part of a group.
Tip: Talk to other swimmers about their technique. Chances are you’ll pick up some helpful advice that you can put into practice.
Increase your flexibility
Swimming can make your joints more flexible and it’s ideal for stretching your entire body without putting pressure on joints and bones. If you’ve been injured, getting in the water is good way to aid your recovery particularly if you struggle with land-based activities.
Tip: Do little and often. Swimming shouldn’t be a chore so start with a 20-minute dip and build yourself up for longer swims.
Burn some calories
Finally, swimming is an excellent way to burn calories without putting a strain on your body. It’s more effective than walking, running or cycling and a superb way to stay active. Once you’re swimming regularly and your technique improves, it’s so easy to push a little harder too.
Tip: For a more intense workout, training aids like hand paddles and pull buoys can be used to make certain parts of your body work harder.
When you’re ready to take the plunge, put our tips into practice for some fun and confidence-boosting exercise.