Despite the growing number of young people who take up gym memberships at various institutions up and down the country every year proving that the younger generation in Britain, as whole, is becoming more health conscious, one particular type of fitness centre that they’re not making use of is the humble swimming pool.
Indeed, recent research has shown that while the older generations (those aged 60 and above) are still taking full advantage of swimming pool facilities throughout the UK, younger folks aren’t.
When you consider how many people in their 20s and 30s use gyms throughout the country regularly, it’s a bit of a mystery as to why less and less of them are using pools. Okay, maybe there are a few reasons – that whole stripping down to what might as well be your underwear in front of a room full of strangers thing is always going to be a bit weird, as is the idea of putting your body on “display” if you’re not entirely happy with how it looks. And let’s face it, if you’re in your 20s and you’re not going to the pool regularly at the moment, chances are you haven’t really done so since you were a kid and your mum and dad used to take you there at the weekend to tear you away from the Mega Drive.
But I mean, it’s really not that bad, and it’s a pretty handy form of exercise for losing weight and toning up all areas of your body at the fraction of the cost of a gym membership.
I’ve recently started going swimming a couple of times a week for the first time in years, and at present, I’m absolutely loving it. I approached my first trip last month with more than a little trepidation – if I’m being honest with you, I only really agreed to go along after my girlfriend told me there would be flumes – but left pleasantly surprised, feeling equal parts exhausted and invigorated, and anxiously looking forward to my next trip.
Since then I’ve kept the habit up, and I don’t see myself stopping anytime soon. I’m already seeing more progress with regards to muscle definition than I did with my, admittedly, sporadic trips to the gym over the past couple of years, and I’m feeling much fitter for it too.
Unfortunately, one thing that’s got me down is how I seem to be one of the only people without a bus pass that uses my local swim centre regularly. Nothing against the old folks – it’s great to see them out and about and getting a bit of exercise – but you do have to wonder what it is that puts the younger generation off, aside from the points I’d listed earlier and that swimming just isn’t as “cool” as a trip to the gym.
As I’d alluded to, I guess a lot of it comes back to either not being in the habit of it, or unease with regards to stripping down to a swimming costume in front of strangers. The first problem should be easy enough to take care of – let’s face it, even if you go to a gym regularly chances are you weren’t exactly in the habit of bench pressing or running on a treadmill before you visited for the first time – so have a couple of trips down and see if you can make a habit of swimming, or at least get used to the idea of it. As for the second one, well, I guess that’s where the old people might just come in handy…
I’m hardly Brad Pitt myself, and I’ve felt pretty out of place at the weightlifting section of the gym in the past, but I know that my body has been through less wear and tear than the average 70-year-old’s, so I’m hardly body conscious when standing next to one. I’d wager that most younger folks would feel the same way under the circumstances.
So if you’ve never used your local swim centre, why not at least give it a try? Many of the older buildings that house pools have been around for substantial periods of time and keep their members of staff in a job, it’d surely be a shame to see the amount of people using them go completely down the drain?
Do any readers swim regularly? If not, let us know why in the comments section below!
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