By Ben Wilkinson, Out Doors’ Program Coordinator
In the summertime, when the weather is fine…’
So begins many of my Winter daydreams, and I’m sure many others feel this way during the colder months when we are looking ahead to some warmth. It really is amazing how often our moods and motivation levels reflect what Mother Nature is doing with the weather outside.
If you, like me, enjoy being beside the seaside over the Summer months, then you will really be appreciating the chance to visit some of the amazing Victorian beaches again over the Summer.
I’ve been invited to suggest a few tips for getting back to the water in this article. So here are some of the things I do if it has been quite some time between swims or visits to the beach or any other water body).
1. Know your limits and don’t be over-confident – water fitness is like any other physical fitness – if you don’t use it you lose it. When I am getting back into things like swimming, I will stay at a depth where I can stand up easily if I need to take a break. I often walk out to about hip depth and then swim parallel to the beach so I stay in about the same depth of water.
2. Look at the water conditions before you head in for a swim – I always have a stretch on the beach before I head in. This gives me time to warm up my body, but also to stop and take a look at what is happening in the water. I’m looking for any waves, currents, rips, rocks or even other people to see where it might be a bit quieter.
3. Take it slow – if you are looking to build up fitness again, then start slow and build up over time. Whether you use time, landmarks you can see while you are swimming or counting laps in a pool, you will help your body adjust to the increase in activity by building up over a period of time rather than trying to do it all straight away. I also find I enjoy the activity more if I build up with it rather than go all out at the start.
4. Swim between the flags – where possible, utilise the service of Life Saving Victoria beach patrols and swim between the flags.
5. Make sure you keep yourself hydrated by drinking plenty of water and remember to be sun smart
I hope some of these ideas help. Most of all, I hope that everyone enjoys the opportunities to get back out and about in nature over the Summer and enjoys waking up the bodies again with some activity.