Just Keep Moving

I hope this finds all of you Oregon Masters swimmers safe and healthy.  With the disruption caused by the current pandemic, most of us have been out of the water for nearly a month now.  I have heard from a few swimmers who have found creative ways to stay in the water including backyard pools with bungee cord swimming in place, very cold open water swims and a few private pools here and there.  (See pictures on the pdf Aqua Master)

However, most of us are currently not swimming.  As a coach, that begs the question: “What are you doing to stay active each day?”

I understand that most of us swim because it is our preferred activity and/or it is one of the few intense cardiovascular activities we can safely enjoy without pain.  Although most of us can’t swim right now, it is vitally important for each of us to find something or a variety of things that keeps us moving and active.

I have gained a lot of elderly friends since starting Masters swimming.  I admire each of them for their healthy habits and the longevity they demonstrate.  Over the years of picking their brains to find out the “secret” to living a long and active life, the one thing that stands out above all the rest is to keep active at all times.  The wise adage, “Use it or lose it,” is one phrase I’ve heard used the most.

The more advanced in age we are, the more important it is to move each day.  As we age, our bodies naturally lose flexibility and strength.  Moving and stretching each day becomes critical to offset this natural tendency of our bodies.

I’ve heard from several people who have transitioned to other activities to keep themselves active and healthy.  Great job!  Included in this month’s eAquaMaster is a dryland routine from one of the best role models in Oregon Masters Swimming, — Dave Radcliff.  (see Dave’s workout at the link in the “More Information for You” section of this newsletter.)

Dave’s dryland routine consists of a morning stretch session, rotator cuff exercises, morning walk, afternoon strength, and core routine and a “swimming” workout with bands.  This is a great example of a few things that one can do to stay active and healthy until the time comes where we can all get back in the water.

For some people, the sort of regular routine and structure of Dave’s dryland workout works best to keep them moving.  Others prefer to mix a hodgepodge of activities together that keep them active.  Both are equally effective, so do what you most enjoy doing.

Activities such as home improvement projects, gardening, yard work and a plethora of other seemingly non-workout-oriented activities are actually a great way to keep our bodies healthy.  Any sort of squatting, reaching, raking, lifting that results in any sort of movement and usage of muscles is valid “exercise” during this time.  Just keep moving!

USMS has assembled a set of resources and made them available on the USMS.org website here:

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