Around three million people in the UK swim every week, which is greater than the number doing any other sport. Swimming is a fantastic low impact way of keeping fit and even a gentle swim can burn over 200 Kcal in 30minutes boosting weight control. Regular swimming has been shown to reduce the risk of chronic illnesses, such as heart disease, type 2 diabetes and stroke and to boost mood.
For most people, swimming is a safe and effective form of exercise. If you’re worried about an existing health condition, see your GP before you start swimming but otherwise all you need is a swimming costume, possibly some goggles and a local pool.
- The first step is to get to the pool, even 10 minutes in the water is better than not going at all and each time it will get easier.
- Try and make it a habit. Perhaps agree to meet a friend or take children. There are also fitness classes at many pools that you can join.
- Try swim fit, which is now available at most local pools and works a bit like having a personal trainer with training cards for every ability. You can also register online www.swimming.org/swimfit
Many people find that increasing their activity increases their appetite and cause you to crave sweet foods. Larder and Gym offer one-to-one, group and email sessions where you can discuss your worries and work on ways in which this can be avoided. A particular problem for swimmers is fluid intake but there are simple strategies to avoid this. We can also give advice to improve performance and to meet the increasing demands of competitive training.
Join a Club
Information about all Sussex Swim clubs can be found on www.sussexswimming.org but the details of the main clubs are also given below. If you are interested in open water swimming many of the triathlon clubs have training sessions either in the sea or at local lakes.
Atlantis Swimming Club – Provides regular swim training for children aged 7+ at three centers: The Pavilions In The Park in Horsham, Billingshurst Leisure Centre (RH14 9RY) and Steyning Leisure Centre (BN44 3AA) as well as regular long course training at K2 in Crawley (RH11 9BQ) and specialist land training. Also have a masters squad for swimmers over 24. www.atlantishorsham.co.uk
Brighton SC – Is a very competitive club being Sussex county champions 2012 & 2013. Training is held at Prince Regent (BN1 1YA) on a Friday and Roedean (BN2 5RQ), Surrenden (BN1 6PW), Brighton Swimming Centre (BN2 5JJ) and Brighton College (BN2 0AL) during the week. The club also has an active masters division training twice a week and does water polo, sea swimming and synchronized swimming. www.brightonsc.co.
Brighton Dolphins SC –is a friendly family club based in Brighton with two weekly sessions at the Prince Regent Swimming pool (BN1 1YA). They encourage competitive and leisure swimming in juniors and masters and also do Synchronised Swimming. www.bdsc.co.uk
Chichester Cormorants SC – A small but competitive swimming club they train at the Westgate Leisure Centre (PO19 1RJ) and Westbourne House School (PO20 2BH). They have an active masters section for those over 25yrs where the goals maybe to train for competitions or triathlons but can be simply to keep fit. www.chichester–cormorants.org
Crawley Swim Club – Large and very active swimming club based at the K2 leisure Centre (RH11 9BQ). They have a very strong masters section which trains in the mornings from 6am-7am weekdays. They also do waterpolo and have www.crawleysc.co.uk
Littlehampton SC – Follow the research based Long Term Athlete Development (LTAD) program for their swimmers aged 4-24yrs and have a masters squad. They train at LSSC (BN16 2NA), The Arun LC (PO22 8ED) and The Arena, Bognor (PO21 5JD). www.littlehampton-sc.btck.
Mid Sussex Marlins – With around 900 active members Mid Sussex Marlins is one of the biggest clubs in the area and has a very strong masters (adult) section as well as water polo teams and usual swim squads. They train at the Triangle Burgess Hill (RH15 8WA), The Dolphin Haywards Heath (RH16 1LY) and Ardingly College (RH17 6SQ). www.midsussexma
Shiverers Swimming Club – Shiverers counts itself as the leading competitive swimming club in Sussex and has training groups for all ages including masters and for those who just want to swim for fitness. They are based in the Brighton and Hove area and train at Lancing College (BN15 0RW), Brighton College (BN2 0AL), King Alfred Leisure Centre Brighton (BN3 2WW) and K2 (RH11 9BQ). They also do land training. www
The Star Diving Club- based at the Guildford Spectrum (GU1 1UP) they run a variety of sessions throughout the week which cater for all ages and abilities. They also have drop in sessions for anyone who was always wanted to have a go. www.stardiving.org
The Sussex Otters – has been set up to enable people with a disability to enjoy recreational swimming in a safe and friendly environment. They are based at Westergate Leisure Centre, Chichester (PO19 1RJ) on a Saturday afternoon. www.sussexotters.org.uk
Worthing SC – Large club coaching swimming, diving, water polo and triathlon. Based mainly at The Aquarena/splashpoint in Worthing (BN11 2EN) but also by invitation at Lancing College (BN15 0RW) and Wadurs. Has an active adults section many of whom have been non-swimmers in the past www.worthingswimmingclub.org