Swimming For My Sanity – And Why Swimming Is Such Great Exercise For Mums

Swimming at Freshwater Pool

Doing laps at the ocean pool at Freshwater Beach

I went swimming a few times last week and my mental health is far better for it.

What is it about being immersed in water that makes one feel better all over, inside and out?

I don’t know how it happens but I know for sure it does.

A very pregnant friend and I did some laps in a pool. Then I swam with the kids down at Dee Why one day. We’d been snorkelling at Shelly Beach the weekend before, and yesterday we were all splashing around in our back yard pool.

So good for the brain but swimming is bloody good exercise too.  I’m so grateful to my parents for braving the Scottish chill and getting us all swimming as kids.

swimmer at North Sydney pool

My Mum and Dad used to take the four of us swimming to a beautiful old Victorian pool in Edinburgh every Saturday morning.

When we moved to the countryside a pool was built in the next town and we swam in the swimming club.

Thanks Mum and Dad, I’m proud to pass on the love of swimming and splashing and playing ‘sharks’ to my own boisterous bairns.


We love swimming as a family because:

* it’s relatively cheap

* it’s relatively easy

* you can do it in so many place; pools, the ocean, rock pools and even rivers.

* it wears the kids out completely

Swimming Training For Fitness

Although I had swum 20 laps at a time for decades, I didn’t really push myself until a couple of years ago when I started going to a swimming for fitness squad.

There we swam for one hour, wearing flippers a lot of the time, and getting coached on technique and taught all sorts of drills. We usually swam about 2km, though I managaed much less to start with.

This swimming really helped my fitness and stamina. My stroke improved a lot. It was a big part part of kick starting my weight loss/healthier and harder exercise regime.

If you do a variety of strokes, swimming really does exercise all the muscle groups, and aids stamina and cardiovascular fitness. It doesn’t strain your joints at all, which was great for me when my knees get sore.

Pool bridge

My very favourite swimming pool in Sydney, swim backstroke away from the Bridge and drink in the views.


Ocean Swimming With Can Too

Last summer’s ocean swim training with Can Too was just the best next step, really challenging physically and mentally. At times it was really scary, but with a great team of coaches and mentors, I did the Palm Beach to Whale Beach Big Swim, slow but succesful. Amazing!


How Many Calories Will Swimming Burn?

I try to think of exercise as being for fitness and my heart.  

Eating food sensibly is  the key to weight control. However, you can’t get away from the fact that swimming is a big calorie burner.

Steady swimming: 90-220kcal

Moderate swimming : 150-370kcal

Hard swimming: 220-550kcal

So when I swim for an hour, that’s a LOT of calories.

This summer, I am aiming to do a lot more swimming in the sea and in ocean pools. Can’t wait for Can Too training to re-start in early November.

See my post on this post for a list of my favourite rock pools and ocean baths for laps.

It’s got to be good for us.

But more than anything, swimming makes me feel so alive.

Are you a swimmer too?

Do you swim for your brain or your body or both?

 Happy  splashing,



Sign up to my weekly email updates to receive a free copy of Sydney’s Best Beaches for Kids

Print Friendly
Posted on: October 14, 2013