It’s finally summer! And that means it’s time to swim! Out of all the summer activities, swimming is certainly my favorite.
When we were younger, my brother and I would wait all year to be able to swim in my grandparent’s pool. We would be in the pool by 11:00 AM almost every day. We would do tricks off the diving board, see who could hold their breath the longest, race from edge to edge, and do hand stands in the shallow end. My grandma would bring us fruit bowls and lemonade to eat and drink by the pool and we would swim and play until the sun went down. Our fingers and toes looked like raisins by the time our mom came to pick us up.
Even though I don’t have the luxury of laying out by the pool every summer day anymore, I still swim as often as I can. Swimming is one of the most beneficial things you can do for your body. Not only is it a wonderful way to escape the heat, but it is also a great way to exercise! Swimming is easy on the body and will not strain your muscles the way that other physical activities do. Swimming increases flexibility, strengthens your core, increases your endurance, and can even help you lose weight. Not to mention the amazing benefits it has for your heart!
This wonderful pastime can be done anywhere. You can swim at the beach, in rivers or lakes, and in pools. Not only are there many different bodies of water to choose from, there are also YMCA’s or Recreation Centers in nearly every city. Having fun in the water has no limit and it can be fun for all ages. Whether you’re taking your child to swimming classes or going to the beach with friends, the water is the place to be in the summer.
If you end up in an outdoor pool or on the beach, there are a few very important things to remember to bring: sunscreen, snacks, and refreshing drinks!
Speaking as an incredibly fair-skinned person, I know the importance of sunscreen. If I don’t put on sunscreen and end up walking from the grocery store to my car on a particularly sunny day, I run the risk of getting burned. It does not take long at all. However, I do try to be as conscious as possible of what I put on my skin. I have found that even though natural sunscreens don’t have the highest SPFs, they are just as effective if applied properly and regularly. Natural sunscreens, although not always organic due to preservation issues, are usually made of very few ingredients, and in this case, the less ingredients the better. My favorite all natural sunscreen is made out of organic sunflower oil, organic green tea, organic black tea, organic hemp seed oil, organic cocoa butter, mango butter, organic beeswax, rosemary oil extract, and Vitamin E. That’s all! The sunscreen is SPF 30 and if applied at least every two hours (more if you’re drying off with a towel) it works like magic!
As for by-the-pool or by-the-beach snacks, I would have to say that fruit bowls are my favorite. Whether it’s fresh green apples, or sweet summer berries, bringing fruit out to the beach is not only satisfying, but it is also incredibly easy. Before you go to the beach or to the pool, you can grab a container, chop some apples, and throw some washed berries inside, and presto! You’ve got yourself a snack! Of course, if you are planning on staying all day like I used to, then you’ll need to pack a little bit more than fruit, but if you’re just there for a couple hours fruit will work wonders on that swim-induced hunger.
The last thing you need before packing up and going to your pool or beach of choice is drinks! Believe it or not, you still need to keep hydrated even though you’re in the water, especially if you’re at the beach or in a salt water pool. Bottles of water can be an easy fix, but if you’re looking for something a bit more exciting you can make homemade lemonade or, my personal favorite, cucumber infused water! Both take a bit of planning, but they are equal in their simplicity. Homemade lemonade can be as simple as squeezing lemons for their juice, adding some water, and putting in any amount of honey you want depending on how sour the lemons are and how much of a sweet tooth you have. As for cucumber infused water, all you need is a cucumber, one gallon of cold water, and a pitcher. Chop up the washed cucumber, put the slices in the pitcher of cold water, stir, and let it sit for about an hour. Once the water has had time to properly soak the cucumbers, it is ready to enjoy!
Now that you have your destination, your sunscreen, your snacks, and your drinks, you are ready to enjoy your summer day! Happy swimming!