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Make the most of your me-time in the pool

Parents can often find themselves wondering what to do whilst their child is at a swimming lesson.

After you have assured yourself that your child is settled well in the lesson, do you catch up on emails, read the paper, chat with other parents?  Or do you sit and daydream of a time when you can have a swim on your own without having to give dolphin rides to your kids?

If you’ve a bigger family, your kids may be swimming across different session times, so you might end up sitting around on poolside for an hour or more.

Why not make the most of that golden pocket of me-time and put that dream into action? Some leisure centres have more than one pool which means you could dive in at the same time and have yourself a stress free workout. Even smaller centres with one pool sometimes cordon off lanes for leisure swimmers, so make the most of it.

Swimming is the perfect way to stay in shape. If you don’t fancy the gym and running doesn’t fill you with enthusiasm, swimming at the same time as your child’s lessons could be a great way of keeping fit. You can even sign up to a British Gas Swimfit programme if you are looking for some structure to your sessions.

Register for a Swimfit Programme

Although over 3 million people in England swim at least once a week, swimming laps is not going to be for everyone. There are absolutely loads of classes which involve getting in the pool and doing a bit of physical activity. In pool classes like Aqua Aerobics, Aqua Zumba and many more are offered at leisure centres across the country, so if the local leisure centre does have more than one pool, you might even be able to slip off for a bit of a boogie.

Your leisure centre should have details of any in-pool activities they offer, so ask someone next time you’re in. One of the most common excuses for not being physically active is a lack of time, but this is the perfect way to make some time for exercise, plus swimming a few laps, doing Aerobics or Zumba in a pool removes the strain off your joints and skeleton, and helps to stop you getting too hot and sweaty. Exercise like swimming can also help with de-stressing, something everyone with kids could use a bit of!

"Doing Aerobics or Zumba in a pool removes the strain off your joints and skeleton"

In some cases you might already have a pretty intense exercise regime in place without adding to it on the days your child is learning to swim. In this instance there is nothing wrong with simply pulling up a chair and relaxing with a good book. Many people complain they cannot find time for reading and this could be the perfect opportunity. 

It might be wise to make the most of the peace and quiet whilst you have it...

If you already have a real passion for swimming then there is no reason why you shouldn’t look into training to teach or coach swimming. Many parents who are already in training use the time to get their head down and do some swotting for their qualification. Details of courses can be found on the Institute of Swimming website www.theiosonline.com.

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