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So You Want to Be a Swimmer

So You Want to Be a Swimmer

Lisa Eirene

About Lisa Eirene Lisa lost 110 pounds through calorie counting and exercise. She swims, bikes, runs, hikes and is enjoying life in Portland, Oregon. Her weight loss story has been featured in First Magazine, Yahoo Health, Woman's Day and Glamour.com.

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  1. Lori

    It is so interesting to me to read about what others love to do. I don’t care much for swimming. I like to paddle about a bit, but when I did my triathlon in 2009, I hated the swim and the swim practice LOL! That’s why I switched over to duathlons – no swim 😀

    1. Lisa Eirene

      It’s definitely not for everyone! And if I did a triathlon (which at one point I REALLY wanted to do–pre-running injury) the swimming part is where I’d excel. And it would definitely be my favorite part of training. 🙂

  2. Brie @ Brie Fit

    I would love to learn to REALLY swim. I can swim, but not well, and the breathing part always messes me up. There is a huge pool at my gym, and they offer adult swimming lessons, but, I’ve always been too chicken to take one. It’s one of my goals but I keep putting it off. I shouldn’t!

    One thing I’m curious about–I always recommend swimming to a friend of mine who has a lot of weight to lose and knee problems, but she always says she has trouble finding suits that are supportive enough, large enough, and don’t make her feel totally self-conscious. How did/do you deal with that issue? I would imagine that for someone who has a lot of weight to lose, getting in a swimsuit is a huge challenge in and of itself. I am in pretty good shape and it still freaks me out!

    1. Lisa Eirene

      Basically I sucked it up. I was humiliated at the idea of getting into a swim suit but I knew I HAD to do it to lose the weight. I wore a swim suit for “plus sized” people. It had a little skirt attached to it so I could sort of hide my thighs and butt. But honestly, once I got in the water it didn’t matter. No one could really see me.

  3. jessica

    I LOVE to swim. Unfortunately, I screwed up my shoulder 10 years ago while swimming. I developed bursitis because I was overusing 2 of the 4 muscles that our shoulders are made up of which the orthopedic surgeon told me was a common injury in swimmers. So it is important for people who swim ALOT that they make sure to also do strengthening exercises for their shoulders and CONTINUE to do them every now and then. They are actually pretty easy-I’m just lazy so I didn’t keep up with it. I re-injured my shoulder in January while trying to do the strengthening exercises so I’m taking it easy again. My favorite memories aren’t from childhood because I did not learn how to swim until high school but I remember at my best I could swim 30 laps in 30-35 min. I consider 1 lap as going one way and then back the other way. I envisioned myself as a happy dolphin and for those 30+ minutes completely forgot about the world around me. I’m 39 now so I highly doubt I can get back to that fitness level but I would like to strive to get as close to it as possible. I love the feeling of being in the water and can’t wait to get back in. =) I do agree with Lisa that because of the chlorine one does get itchy skin and dry hair, but one just gets used to it and with the products she mentioned, it isn’t that bad.

    Lisa, I can’t believe that you lost 60# solely from swimming. YOU go girl!

    1. Lisa Eirene

      I am so sorry about your shoulder. Especially in light of your ankle too. Swimming would be THE perfect exercise for you. Has your doctor given you any hope that swimming is something you could eventually do again?

      As for the shoulder injury…what kind of strengthening exercises should a swimmer do to prevent injury? Is weight lifting/shoulder presses etc something that will help?

  4. Posky

    I used to swim three times weekly and this information was something I had to slowly learn overtime. I wish I had this information back then. Maintaining moisture was the most important part. I had quite the dry skin during the wintertime. That, and moving further away from the pool, ended my regular water exercises.

    It was nice to get my shiny hair back, but do miss my extra manly V-shape.

    1. Lisa Eirene

      Me too Matt. I kind of learned all these things a long the way through practice and trial and error. It took a long time to realize that special shampoo would help with the dry itchiness.

      I love my V-shape, even though it’s not very feminine on women. 🙂

  5. Lauren @ Chasing 26

    I love to swim in Spring/Summer/Fall (Hey, it’s Georgia, it’s still warm then!) I can’t for the life of me get to the pool when it’s cold out though.

    One thing I love for swimming — Sallys Beauty Supply has a spray on conditioner that deactivates the chlorine. I use that a lot, especially if I can’t get straight into the shower or am headed out for a swim/bike brick.) It’s pretty cheap, too.

    1. Lisa Eirene

      Thanks for the tip Lauren! I haven’t heard of that product but I will look for it.

  6. Carbzilla

    This post made me realize that I “gave up” swimming while in school when my eyesight got bad, and I started to wear contacts. Now that I’ve had Lasik (7 years ago), I have no excuse! I was looking at old pictures the other day, and it looks like I was learning to swim when I was about two. A little later on, my mom had taken off my water wings and gone to answer the phone (this was the 60’s. It’s amazing any kid survived), and I jumped back into the water. Guess that was my sink or swim moment. I’ll have to go get a new suit and get back into it. I’m a little worried about my hair, since it’s colored (What? No!), but we’ll see. I’m guessing a cap keeps your hair mostly dry, right?

    1. Lisa Eirene

      It wasn’t until I was 24 or so that I finally got contacts. I just walked around not being able to see very well and only wore my glasses when driving. Silly, I know. But I swim with my contacts (goggles of course) and I also swim without them. I guess it depends on how bad your vision is but with Lasik you should be good.

      I OFTEN wonder how little babies learn how to swim and hold their breath under water. How do they just know?

  7. DefineDiana

    I have a question for you. I know its not ideal, but I was thinking about doing a little swimming in my pool at my house but it is realatively small. Do you think I would benefit from it, or should I really look at finding a pool that has lanes where I can acutally do laps? We are tight on money and finding ways to exercise with out actually paying for memberships is what we have to do right now.

    1. Lisa Eirene

      That’s a hard one to answer. I’m a lap swimmer. If you can figure out how to do water aerobics in your small pool that might work. But I honestly don’t know how much of a workout water aerobics is.

  8. julie

    I’ve always loved the water – playing in lakes, oceans, rivers – I’m surprised it took me so long to start swimming laps, but open water swimming will always be the preference for me.
    My shoulders really start to pop out when I’m swimming a lot.

    1. Lisa Eirene

      Ouch! Do you have a shoulder injury that’s been bothering you?

  9. Andrew

    Hey! I recently started swimming laps about 4 months ago for the first time ever. I haven’t seen any weight loss yet which sort of sucks, but I know that I’ve gained muscle, so that’s why the scale hasn’t moved I guess. I just wish my belly would melt off haha. Anyways, are you still swimming? Also, I use this shampoo/conditioner called Ion’s for Swimmer’s that I like better than the one you mentioned in your article. They also make a leave-in conditioner, so if someone wanted to just use that along with their normal shampoo, it’d be perfect. Just thought I’d drop in and say I liked your blog 🙂

    1. Lisa Eirene

      Yep I’m still swimming. I haven’t heard of Ion, I will have to check it out.

  10. Rachel Salinas

    I swim 5X a week and what saves my skin and hair is coconut oil! I slather it on all over right after my shower and in my hair (ends) under my cap as well as after my shower. It smells great (in my opinion) and keeps everything from drying out. I also have scalp psoriasis and the chlorine/coconut oil combo seems to keep it in check.

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