The Summer Olympic Series: Swimming

The 2020+1 Olympics are now in full swing—and if you’ve been following along with the rest of the world, then you’ll have had nearly a week’s worth of reminders that exercise can live far beyond the gym. From the skateboard ramp to the ocean, the beach volleyball court to the trampoline—there are over 11,000 Olympians and nearly 5,000 Paralympians this year that prove the opportunities to move your body are endless.  

So far, I’ve tried sport climbing and tennis (and life update—I became a member of my local climbing gym since I had so much fun trying it a few weeks ago!). However, no Summer Olympic series would be complete without the hallmark of both summertime and the Games— swimming. And what better Olympian to take workout inspo from than the famous gold medalist of the women’s 1500 meter, Katie Ledecky?

 

The Workout

I attempted (the warmup) of workout #1 from this series developed by Ledecky’s former coach, Yuri Sugiyama. In total, I swam about 1500 meters—and I was absolutely gassed by the end. I can run and bike all day long—but swim cardio is a different beast. 

I left the pool breathing heavy, but strangely refreshed considering I exercised midday in 90-degree heat. It was also nice to find a knee-friendly cardio alternative—as my lower body joints have been begging me to lay off. 

Yet, the athlete in me was partially frustrated. Why was this so difficult? That’s definitely a good thing, but if you’re going to swim for exercise—keep in mind this may be a bit different than your usual game of Marco Polo!

Aftercare

With swimming, your job doesn’t end once you exit the pool. While water can provide unparalleled therapeutic benefits for your mind and body—the chlorine will wreak havoc if you’re not careful. 

There are three products I like to use to counteract the moisture-stripping effects of swimming in pools:  

  1. Collagen Beauty Complex – As a SoCal native who spent many frustrated years with both dry and acne prone skin during my summertime swimming stints, this was truly a game changer. It includes a skin-saving blend of collagen, biotin, and hyaluronic acid—as well as Vitamin C to defend against sunspots and hyperpigmentation! Plus, it’s fruity-sweet taste is perfect for a poolside mocktail.  
  2. Phytoceramides – These may be the answer to the itchy, red, and/or dry skin you get from swimming. Phytoceramide soft gels are designed to retain the skin’s moisture, keeping it hydrated all summer (and year) long. 
  3. Biotin – In addition to less than enthusiastic skin, swimming can also leave your hair and nails dry and brittle. Biotin can defend against this by strengthening your hair and nails, allowing you to return to the pool time and time again!

With these products, you’ll be swimming laps all summer…if you’re up for the challenge. 

Overall Ratings

Difficulty to learn: 2/10

Intensity: 8.5/10

Fun: 5/10

Would I recommend to a friend: Insanely good workout—tell them to be prepared to work!

 

This article was written by Melissa Pelowski. Interested in writing for us too? Email your pitch to submissions@sportsresearch.com for consideration.