Whether you're training for your first triathlon or burned out on cardio
machines, swimming is an excellent head-to-toe workout (and it burns
700 calories an hour!). We asked Cami Stock, a masters swim coach at
the Sports Center at Chelsea Piers in New York City, how to get started.
- Find a pool Try a community center, YMCA, health club, or even a local
community college. Many offer weekly times when anyone can swim.
- Start small "Don't just jump in and try to swim for a half hour," Stock
says. Do two full laps (back and forth equals one), pause to catch your
breath, and repeat three times. Try to practice two or three times a week
- Perfect your form "Swimming is all about technique," says Stock. Use
every other lap to do a different drill: Hold a kickboard to concentrate on
your kicking, or swim with a buoy between your legs to work on your stroke.
- Build it up When swimming 300 yards feels easy, increase your total
distance by up to 10 percent per week. Join a masters team for built-in
guidance and motivation (find one at usms.org).