Swimming into shape

A Campus Recreation-sponsored program promotes use of Temple’s pool facilities and aquatic cardio workout.

A Campus Recreation-sponsored program promotes use of Temple’s pool facilities and aquatic cardio workout.

Campus Recreation’s aquatics department annually hosts Swim into Shape to spread the word about Temple’s indoor pool at Pearson Hall and of the overall healthy benefits of swimming.

The goal of the program is for participants to get into shape by swimming 20 miles throughout the semester. Anyone with access to campus recreation facilities can sign up, including full-time students, part-time students, alumni and faculty who have paid recreation fees.

Those who help plan the program gear it especially toward those who don’t know about the pool or don’t swim.

“We want to show them that aquatics is great exercise,” Aquatics Coordinator Mike Freeman said. “It’s one of the few, if not the only, activity that lets you use all the muscles of the body.”

Those who swim already know that aquatics as a means of exercise comes with a lot of perks. For starters, it’s low impact.

Kristen Foley, senior women’s administrator for the athletic department, was looking for an aerobic activity to take stress off her joints when she started swimming. Once Swim into Shape started, she was eager to start tracking her laps.

“I’ve been using the facilities for a while, and I wanted a new challenge,” she said. “It’s something new to try.”

Assistant Director of Computer Services Michael Stech is also participating in the program.
“[Swimming] is good exercise, and I feel a lot better after, more energetic,” he said.

Graduate student Louis Valencia agreed.

“I love the feeling after swimming,” said Valencia, who is also working toward the 20-mile goal. Formerly an avid swimmer, Valencia said he heard about the program and thought, “Why not do it? It will keep me motivated.”

Participants record their laps on a sheet given to them at sign-up. Keeping track of their laps on a pre-made chart allows swimmers to pace themselves, increase their goals and see how far along they are.
This system keeps participants like graduate student Sivanio Reis motivated.

“I’m a pianist, and this is how we rehearse,” Reis said. “When you have a target in the long run, you can get more accomplished.”

Although swimming is an individual sport, program participants aren’t left to motivate themselves. With six pool lanes open during program hours, many share lanes with friends or fellow swimmers.

“It’s a camaraderie thing too,” Stech said. “We push each other to swim harder, faster.”

Lara Taylor Strayer can be reached at lara.strayer@temple.edu.

1 Comment

  1. I think that most pools in the world are measured in metres, but in the United States pools are almost always measured in feet and yards. In the United Kingdom most pools are in metres, but older pools measured in yards still exist. In the US pools tend to either be 25 yards (SCY-short course yards), 25 metres (SCM-short course metres) or 50 metres (long course). US high schools and the NCAA conduct short course (25 yards) competition. There also exist many pools 33 m long, so that 3 lengths = 100 m. This pool dimension is commonly used to accommodate water polo.

    Regards, Carolina

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