My grandmother told me a story about a time when she was a child living in Hollywood. Her parents wanted to teach her how to swim but felt that she would respond better to a stranger. They heard that a neighbor with a large above ground pool was offering lessons in his backyard given by a young actor who needed work between auditions. His name was James Garner. He later became Maverick on TV for many seasons and of course the star we know from movies like the Notebook. He was a good teacher and my grandmother became a proficient swimmer and continued to swim in her own pool all of her life. She taught me to focus on keeping celebrity-fit and healthy by doing pool-based water workouts. That’s how James did it in his young adulthood. He was a veritable stud in his twenties. She then added some of her own movements to the regime he taught so it was a complete program. She published the workout in a woman’s magazine and it has been passed around the family for decades.
Exercises are easy on the muscles in a pool but also particularly effective. It has to do with water resistance. It is important to cover all the muscles of the body and to also practice proper breathing techniques. She required in her program the basic crawl to warm up and the butterfly stroke to accelerate the heart rate. She gave instructions how to use the arms and particularly how to kick the feet with intensity. For a break and relaxation, the backstroke was chosen. You could also substitute any other stroke you like for variety. Diving off a low board was popular when she was young and it wasn’t considered unsafe. If you did it regularly, you would clench the buttocks and straighten the legs gracefully, not to mention pointing the toes. All kinds of muscles are used in these exercises. If you do them regularly, she guarantees results. I can see why. It is a comprehensive program that utilizes most body muscles in an intense manner. No wonder swimmers have some great bodies. Celebrities who want them, and lord knows they do, often add to their gym workouts with swimming exercises. I imagine that most of them have swimming pools at home. I certainly have adopted grandma’s strategies as they are a nice alternative to the gym machines that can get tedious and boring.
There is so much attention given to fitness these days and to having a gorgeous body. Anything you can do that is also enjoyable at the same time makes sense. I don’t see as much attention given to what can be done in the pool so I am writing this blog to let you know to pay more attention to a great form of fitness enhancement. I would like to see more magazine articles on the subject with new ideas to add to those of my grandmother. Meanwhile, I am steadily getting more toned.