Swimming to live 100 years.

I’ve been getting up with the sun and hitting thirty laps every morning in this pool:

At first I was going to just post a picture of a random pool off Google, but then I typed in the name of my subdivision here in Wesley Chapel and found this picture! Kudos to the real estate agent who posted this pic on the interwebs.

I started to use our community pool on a regular basis when I moved to this subdivision 14 years ago.

I have to share the pool with all the folks in the community, but if I show up at 7AM I get to have it all to my lonesome. The pool is NOT heated, so I’m the sole user from about November to March. Even on a sunny February afternoon no one wants to swim in a 55 degree pool. Except me.

Cold water swimming is a rush, that’s if you can get past the first initial shock.

In my 4 decades I’ve tried many types of exercise, from running and lifting weights to boxing. Running was great, except for the fact that my feet and knees hurt nonstop. Boxing started to mess up my hands and shoulders.

Even doing the elliptical started to mess with my hip, what the heck?

Swimming has never made my joints feel creaky. I mix it up with breast stroke, freestyle and side stroke. Constant movement, followed by 10 minutes of stretching while in the pool. I wear a mid-thigh speedo, earplugs and swim googles.

My Mom is 68 years old and she swims several times each week.

The key is to find some type of sustainable exercise that won’t debilitate you as you age.

If you have extra weight on your frame it won’t matter in the pool. I don’t notice my extra weight in the pool like I would if I had to run a fast mile! If anything I’m a stronger swimmer today than when I was an 18 year old lifeguard and track athlete.

The weight loss plan for swimmers is very simple: eat smaller portions, swim more laps.

Ben Alexander

June . 2017