If you’re located in the north of England, like myself, chances are you’ve been dodging the rain all week too. Don’t ask me why, but I feel cheated by this weather; this isn’t the warmer climate we’re promised during the month of August! I should be out enjoying summer, yet I’m using it as an excuse to stay indoors. 

Working in an office, I certainly don’t get as much exercise as I used to do when I worked in the classroom; the hot and mithered workout does wonders for your waistline! But recently, I’ve noticed just how much I need to kick start my old exercise routine. For vanity and health. As a keen swimmer, both in childhood and now adulthood, it’s the only exercise I’ve tried that I actually enjoy. But, I’m not doing it as much as I should be right now!

There are so many benefits of swimming. First and foremost, it’s a cardio activity that’s gentle on your body. As there’s no ground to hit when swimming, it protects the joints from impact. For fellow asthmatics, being able to self-regulate the speed is thought to lessen the chances of an asthma attack. On yet another upside, you needn’t rely on the weather to get your workout. If it’s too hot, swimming offers break from the summer heat. If it’s raining, you’re getting wet anyway. If you need further persuasion, the pool near me plays The Beach Boys if you’re in with the early birds.

You can see I’m trying to convince you as much as I’m trying to convince myself. So in a bid to tempt you to join me, here are my top tips for taking up swimming:
1. Leave your body hang ups at the door
Ain’t nobody got time for that. I’ve seen the hashtag, we’re all body confident women on social media but getting your kit off in the local pool is quite another thing entirely and it takes a braver lady than me not to be intimidated by this, at all. One thing is for sure, everyone is a different shape and size, but you wouldn’t be analysing somebody else’s body whilst you swim. You’re there for a swim, right? Wrap yourself in your towel and ditch it just before you climb in. 
2. Make life easier for yourself, go on hair washing day
If you’re someone who washes their hair every day then you can disregard this tip and skip straight to option 2. However, I have waist length hair which requires beating with the straighteners after each and every wash. Needless to say, my hair gets washed every other day. Invest in a shampoo and conditioner which combats the effects of chlorine and wash your hair after you get out of the pool. 
3. Go straight from work
Don’t even think about going home. No, not even for a quick bite to eat. Pack yourself a healthy snack before heading to the pool, then enjoy your tea safe in the knowledge that your metabolism is working overtime after you completed thirty lengths. You’ll even be back back in time for Coronation Street, what more could you ask for? 
4. Take flip flops. Seriously.
The amount of times people have said to me, ‘Aren’t you worried about getting verrucas?’ is unreal. First of all, no I wasn’t worried… but now, I am. You know that feeling when someone plants the seed in your mind? Ugh. If you’re worried, take a pair of flip flops and slip them off just before you get in. Voila, problem solved. 

5. Go alone. In and out.
Picture this, two ladies chose to get fit by going swimming together. They swam ten lengths and realised it was time to get out. They gained nothing, why? Too busy talkin’! You totally knew that was me, right? If I’m alone, I have only myself to blame. Thirty lengths in thirty minutes, that’s always my aim. 
I understand for the runners, gym goers and those less lazy than I, these tips may not be beneficial. But please, oh please, let there be someone out there who takes these on board and says, you know what? I’m gonna go swimming! If swimming isn’t for you, financial giants, Legal and General have produced this handy article to help you stay fit, no matter the weather. Let me know how you get on!

What exercise do you do? 
What are your top tips?
*This post was written in collaboration with Legal and General. They kindly compensated me for sharing my tips!*

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