Motivation Mondays: Jamie's Back to Talk Swimming!

Do what you love!

Since my last motivation Monday post a lot has changed. I'm going to be completely honest with you. I used to be the kind of person that would work out once a week  if at all in the winter, and then when April rolled around I would grudgingly up my workouts to 3 a week and hate working out. I am in school as well and I would always use the excuse that I had too much school work, or that I should be studying instead.

In April I made a pretty drastic decision. In order to force myself to workout I took my car off insurance and decided to ride my bike to work. No excuses. I rode the 5k each way 3 or 4 times a week (I work part time) for 6 months. Luckily for me the ride to work is mostly downhill, so I arrived at work early enough to change clothes and cool down to avoid being a sweaty mess. On the way home it's mostly uphill and I worked hard to make it a good workout. This only took me about 20 minutes, so there wasn't a lot to complain about.


It grew on me, and I started to cycle on my days off; riding up to the waterfront trails and exploring the back roads in my town 20k at a time. Once I even made a 3 and a half hour trek up to my parents house. I got lost and and really bad tan lines but I was so proud of myself.


As the end of October neared I wondered what I would do for exercise in the winter. I'm not one of those extremely dedicated athletes that rides or runs outside in the winter. I don't do well with cold. I really didn't want to fall back into my lazy winter routine.


I don't know why it hadn't occurred to me sooner.  I took swimming lessons my entire life from tadpole to NLS life guarding courses. I was on the swim team when I was 6-8 years old, again in the ninth grade before the strike cost us school sports and again in OAC when we got our sports back. Needless to say I love swimming. I love being in the water. The pool is my happy place; when I walk in to the rec center and smell that chlorine, hear the loud echo-y drone and water lapping against the side of the pool I am in heaven... and I haven't even gotten into the water yet!


I guess somewhere in my head, I had strangely associated exercise with something that I had to do rather than something that I wanted to do. In the beginning of November I bought a year pass to the pool and started going four times a week. I love it and I look forward to it and so I have been able to keep up my routine no problem. 


Swimming is a great workout, it combines cardio and strength training, and it's easy on the joints. It's a low impact workout that is great for people who are just starting to exercise, or getting back into exercise and it can be customized to your needs and exercise goals.



Right now my swim schedule looks like this:


Monday
  • 10 lap warm up alternating front crawl and breast stroke 
  • Legs: 10 x 25m flutter kick with flutterboard 
  • 10 x 25m breast stroke kick with flutterboard
  • 10 x 25m flutter kick on my back
  • 10 x 25m breast stroke kick on my back 
  • in water stretching using the ledge of the pool like a ballet barre to stretch various  muscles in my legs (it's about waist height)
  • 10 lap cool down alternating front crawl and breast stroke
 Total: 60 laps

Tuesday
 
  • 10 lap warm up alternating front crawl and breast stroke 
  • Sprints: 20 x 25m sprints front crawl
  • in water stretching using the ledge of the pool like a ballet barre to stretch various muscles in my legs 
  • 10 lap cool down alternating back stroke and breast stroke
  • tricep dips and ledge pushups in the deep end using just my arms to raise myself out of the pool and lower back in slowly
Total: 40 laps

Wednesday
 
  • Pilates and strength straining: legs and core

Thursday
  • 10 lap warm up alternating front crawl and breast stroke
  •  Sprints: 20 x 25m sprints front crawl
  • in water stretching using the ledge of the pool like a ballet barre to stretch various muscles in my legs 
  • 5 x 50m sprints front crawl (I am working on switching to these so that I can do 10 x 50m sprints on Thursdays
  • Legs: 10 x 25m flutter kick with flutterboard
  • 10 x 25m breast stroke kick with flutterboard
  • 10 x 25m flutter kick on my back
  • 10 x 25m breast stroke kick on my back
  • 10 lap cool down alternating front crawl and breast stroke
Total: 90 laps

Friday
  • 10 lap warm up alternating front crawl and breast stroke
  •  Sprint Sets: 20 x 50m sets alternating front crawl sprints and moderate breast stroke to return (25m front crawl/25m breast stroke)
  • in water stretching using the ledge of the pool like a ballet barre to stretch various muscles in my legs 
  • 10 lap cool down back stroke
Total: 40 laps

Saturday
  • Pilates and strength training: legs and core

Sunday
  • Day off :)

The biggest difference that I have noticed so far is in my arms, they are really toned and the muscles are well defined, the rest of my body has tightened up quite a bit and is starting to look a lot more firm and toned as well. Overall I have lost about half an inch in my midsection and am down to my "summer size".

Another thing that I have noticed is that a few weeks after I started swimming regularly, my skin completely cleared up. I think it is partly because I am less stressed and partly because the regular exercise is getting all of the toxins out of my body. Plus I think the chlorine just kills any bacteria on my skin :)

I have found that swimming helps to relax me; I am a lot happier and less stressed. It's an hour that I can just enjoy the refreshing feeling of the water on my skin and kind of shut the rest of the world out and not have to worry about anything else.


In May I plan to give up my car again and cycle to and from the pool (4k each way) as well as cycling to work, on top of my 4 a week swim workouts and I also plan to run a 5k once a week; most likely on Sundays so that I can be active every day. The thing about exercise is that the more you do it... the more addictive it becomes.



More true words could not be said!  Thanks so much Jamie for motivating us this Monday!  Jamie and I were actually on the swim team together in high school and boy do we have some fun memories from those times! :)

If you have any questions or comments for Jamie, please post them below.  And remember, DO WHAT YOU LOVE!
xoxo,

Veronika.

10 comments :

  1. Since you're swimming so often, what do you do with your hair when you swim?

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  2. I was wondering the same thing as anonymous. I unfortunately cannot swim. I wish I could though.

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  3. It's not V that's swimming its Jamie. I didn't really realize that til the end of the post. Kinda confusing.

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  4. I love swimming! She looks great. What are the fun costumes?

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  5. V, I am so glad jamie did this post. I find her pictures a lot more inspiring than any celebrities. I hope she does a food log or a post about her eating habits. What is she studying for?

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  6. Hi Lynette,

    Thanks for your sweet comments, I am studying to be a librarian.

    Anon - I wear a swim cap to protect my hair.

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  7. you're so right, swimming is the best ...I only wish our pool was heated!! {you're lucky it cleared your skin up ..sometimes I feel like the chlorine breaks mine out}

    ...smart about the swim cap cuz it ravages my hair too. getting one.

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  8. @maegan---I wish I had the willpower to swim that often (like Jamie does)! I too worry about my hair because of the blonde highlights.

    I was on swim team with Jamie back in the day and wore a cap back then...not the sexiest look, but hey, it helps :)

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  9. Re:swimcaps

    definitely not sexy..luckily it's a small town rec centre so 98% of the time the only other people swiming there are seniors [also wearing swim caps]

    ReplyDelete

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