Photo of Dr Anne Malatt by Alan Johnston for articles and audios on self-care

Self-care moments: Swimming

- Photography by Alan Johnston
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Hi, this is Anne Malatt with self-care moments and this is a moment on swimming.

Swimming is an absolute joy for me. I love the feeling of being weightless in the water and gliding along in a rhythmic, flowing way.

I have been swimming since I was a young girl, and learnt to swim in the conventional way, breathing through my mouth.

I have since learned to swim while breathing through my nose, which may sound and feel strange to begin with, but makes absolute sense when you start to practise it.

We don’t go for a walk puffing and panting through our mouths, so why do we swim as if we are a fish out of water gasping for breath?

If we swim at a pace, in a flow and a rhythm, that is true for us on the day, we can get plenty of air while breathing through our nose and if we push beyond this, so that we feel the need to gasp through our mouth, then we have taken ourselves out of our natural sustainable rhythm.

Olympic swimmers have been trained to breathe in this way, so you don’t need to mouth-breathe to swim fast or for long distances.

It is about learning to swim in a rhythm that honours your body and where it is at on the day, that allows you to breath naturally through your nose.

To do this I have to be consciously present in my body, with my mind aligned to what my body is doing. I don’t swim mindlessly, with my thoughts elsewhere or completely checked out. I swim very present with my body and its movements and my breathing.

Swimming in this way can be revitalising, energising and deeply enjoyable. My body loves the feeling of floating, gliding and flowing through the water and my lungs love the feeling of expansion and the rhythmic nature of the in-breath and out-breath. Swimming is an all-in-one exercise.

If you are looking for an exercise that is gentle on your joints, works your heart and lungs and develops aerobic fitness, while helping to tone, stretch and strengthen the whole body, try going for a swim!

2 COMMENTS

  1. Hi Anne,
    I’ve just come across your soundbites on LinkedIn and wanted to thank you for your self care moments. Really enjoyed your caring and teaching style.
    I didn’t realize you are an eye specialist, so I’ll have to book in to for a check up when I’m down that way later in 2021.
    Thank you again,
    Ian Muntelwit

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