The Joy to Swim Again


Oregon finally reached the 70 percent vaccination rate and is allowing businesses to function without too many restrictions.  Most pools in Oregon and Southwest Washington have now reopened, at least the ones which were able to survive the pandemic shock.  It is time to plunge again and restart the sport you love.  During the pandemic, you might have tried some new activities (good for you), but here are some of the main reasons why swimming remains the best lifelong sport of all.

  • Swimming does make you work all your muscles groups simultaneously: core, arms, legs, lungs, heart. Only a few other sports offer you such nice total body workouts.  If you just watched the Olympics trials, did you notice how the swimmers have well-balanced bodies.
  • Swimming does require a lot of underwater and controlled breathing. Swimmers have some of the best aerobic and lung capacities.  When I was coaching high school swimming, I was always surprised how the cross-country athletes (although very fit) could not do one lap of the pool without being out of breath.
  • The water carries you and is so gentle on your joints. If you are overweight or have mobility issues, the only sport you might be able to excel in is swimming.
  • What other sport would you be able to do when it is over 100 degrees outside? The water will cool you down and be a source of relaxation.
  • Whatever your level of fitness, you can share a lane with anybody (your friend, your partner, your children). You will never be more than 25 yards apart and both of you can exercise at the level you want.
  • Chlorinated pools have been proven to be one of the safest places to exercise during the pandemic as we mostly have our heads under water, and it is easy to self-distance ourselves.
  • Being a good swimmer may help to save a life, either yours or the one of somebody else. However, be aware that swimming in open bodies of water (lakes, rivers, seas, or oceans) always remains dangerous.  Never swim alone in open water, and in doubt, never go in.

Swimming can be done at any age and at any level.  It is one of the best lifelong sports and might extend your life expectancy by a few years.  Enjoy it and see you at the pool.

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