Shira is a mother of 7, grandmother of 11. Aside from swimming as many days as possible each week, Shira is a writer and translator and does volunteer work for a number of organizations. She lives with her husband in Israel and is a customer of Hydrochic. Shira explains the physical and psychological benefits of swimming:
“I love to go swimming because my body loves to swim and swimming makes me happy.
Swimming is gentle on the knees and other body parts. It builds endurance, muscle strength and cardiovascular fitness and provides a low-impact full-body workout.
I grew up in Massachusetts close to the Atlantic Ocean with beautiful beaches and clear, pristine lakes. For me, swimming – no matter where or when – conjures up happy childhood memories. I went to camp every summer and progressed from beginner to intermediate to advanced swimmer according to the American Red Cross regulations, eventually earning my junior and senior lifesaver and Water Safety Instructor certificates.
A number of years ago, I took a course in my local pool to improve my stroke with an amazing teacher who was on the Olympic swim team in England. Sometimes a subtle adjustment in arm or leg movement and especially in breathing technique can make a huge difference in how efficiently and competently we swim. In the course, I also learned how to use flippers and now I alternate some of my laps during my routine workout using flippers, zipping through the water like a dolphin or mermaid.
Swimming is great for all ages and stages in life, including during pregnancy for women. Even for those who did not grow up swimming, it’s really never too late to learn. I have a friend who took some private lessons at age 45 and is now a regular swimmer at the pool, loving every minute.
I try to swim almost every day, all-year round, and if I miss a day or two, my body starts craving a swim. “Go to the pool! Go to the pool!” my inner voice shouts.
But beyond the physical advantages, the psychological benefits of swimming are enormous. The rhythmic splashing sound of the water soothes and comforts me. When more than a day goes by without swimming, I get very cranky and grouchy and my husband practically pushes me out the door. Swimming is relaxing, peaceful and alleviates stress.
No matter how lethargic or irritable I may be when I walk in, I will always walk out in a better mood, refreshed, ready to tackle any challenge, with a big smile on my face.
“I really needed that,” I say to whoever is in hearing range.
For my 50th birthday, my sister brought me an amazing gift: a tiny lightweight MP3 player made especially for swimming which clips onto the back of my goggles. Now I can download my favorite music and swim to the beat as I do my laps. It makes my swimming experience all the more enjoyable. The perfect swimsuit also changes how I feel in the water, and Hydrochic 100% chlorine proof modest swimwear never fades or thins out!
Of course the best part of going to the pool is sitting in the Jacuzzi alone or with friends after finishing my laps. That is my reward to myself. The warm, bubbly water is nurturing and therapeutic for any minor aches or pains. My pool also has a wet and dry sauna for after-swim pampering whenever I have extra time.
I love to swim because it buoys my body and spirit.“