The Winter Fitness Challenge: a 30 minute swim

When you will read this article, it will be January again and time for goals and resolutions.  One of the top resolutions has always been good health, especially as the result of exercise and proper nutrition.  Swimming for fitness is one of the best ways to a healthy exercise routine.

With that in mind, the United State Master Swimming association(USMS) has just launched a new Series called the 2018 USMS Fitness Series.  It starts with a 30 minutes swim, done anywhere and any way you want between February 15 and 28.  You can wear any and every piece of swim gear you want, you can swim it as a relay with your friends.  Use your imagination and have fun at the pool.  In my mind, the major purpose of the swim is to set your own benchmark to know where you are and to better be able to assess your improvements in the future.  Some Masters swim teams are organizing an event around it and it is an excellent way to promote USMS, your local program and fitness all around.

In my mind, there are also two major benefits linked with the USMS Fitness Series.

The first one is a six week swim workout training plan, written by USMS-certified coaches and catering to three different skill levels: beginner (no prior training, looking for improved health and fitness), intermediate (some swimming experience, looking to get back in shape) and advanced (swimming regularly and looking to improve fitness level).  If you are usually swimming by yourself, this is an invaluable resource which might be the key for you to get back in shape and stay with the program.  By registering for the fitness series, you will also need to register for USMS, and therefore you will have access to all their resources, including a whole variety of workouts, going from basic to advanced, and targeting either the pregnant women, the triathlete, the elite sprinters or long-distance swimmers.

The second one is the fundraising component for the USMS Swimming Saves Lives Foundation.  By participating in the challenge, you will also automatically support the Swimming Saves Lives Foundation and maybe help a kid, or an adult learn how to swim and prevent the numerous drownings which happen each and every year.

The registration for the Winter Fitness Challenge is now open, and will cost $10 between Nov 1 and January 31, and $12 during the month of February.  If you want to learn more about the Fitness Series, or register, please click here.

Of course, the major benefit should always be your own health, and all the rewards coming from reaching your goal and getting fit.  If you are able to commit to the six weeks swim program with a friend, your chance of success probably doubles, and if you are able to stick with the training plan for the whole six weeks, your chances of feeling the fitness rewards and of becoming a regular swimmer are pretty good.  If you need more motivation or guidelines on how to set your 2018 goals, I would also recommend rereading the article “Resolutions, resolutions, goals” published in the February, 2017, Aqua Master.

The whole process is not on being the best, it is on being healthy and being better than you were yesterday.

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