Get into the swim

Get into the swim

Swimming is one of the best all-round exercises that there is. You don’t need any previous level of fitness, you can take it at your own pace and the support of the water is kind to any injuries.

From lane swimming to advanced exercises, there is a huge choice of ways to get fit in the water.

Here are a few ideas for all levels:


If you missed out or were scared off at school, don’t worry. Adult beginner lessons are now a friendly environment, guaranteed to get anyone’s feet off the bottom. Sympathetic instructors will teach you good technique and help you to cope with any fears. You can even book one-to-one lessons if you prefer.

All you need is a comfortable swimsuit, a towel and possibly a pair of goggles.


There’s a great deal of choice, with new classes appearing all the time. You don’t even have to be able to swim for some of the workouts, so no excuses! 

If you're recovering from injury or have dodgy joints, try aqua-walking or jogging, where the water resistance makes you work without straining joints.

For a more intense workout, aqua aerobics incorporates weights, and the deep-water version keeps you treading water to add a cardio dimension.

For something different, try aqua cycling with special stationary bikes. Or add some dance music and give aqua Zumba a go. Not for the faint hearted but serious amounts of fun!


To improve your fitness, you need to raise the intensity of your lane swim. High Intensity Interval Training techniques translate well to the water.

Like all workouts, start with a warm up phase and then look to push yourself for short intense bursts. A simple waterproof watch will help you time your workout. One top tip is to learn to do tumble turns so that your intensive phase is not interrupted. Here are some plans for the standard 25 metre pool.

With so many gyms and leisure centres now providing swimming pools, it is a great time to take the plunge. Search for your local pool and get back into the swim!


The Author

Jessica Ambrose

Jessica is a fitness writer who loves long distance running, yoga, strength training and healthy eating.


Emma C.
28 April 2016

Emma C.

Swimming really tires me out and reminds me that I need to do more of it to boost my cardio. Someone once told me that it is one of the best ways to improve your cardio quickly. Shame I find it so boring.

Clare R.
27 April 2016

Clare R.

I haven't been swimming in ages but this article has really got me thinking. Back to the pool before the school holidays start to see if I can remember how to float.

Trevor D.
21 April 2016

Trevor D.

that's me too, although I was very late to learn to swim. Tumble turns would certainly be more efficient but I just get water up my nose! I think as long as I'm doing my lengths it is still very much worthwhile.

Sasha B.
21 April 2016

Sasha B.

I was a good swimmer and went in for galas when I was young. But I could never master tumble turns. Now it feels like it's too late, and to be honest you don't see a lot of adults practicing them in the local pool! Has anyone else managed to teach themselves tumble turns now they're older?

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