People are realising swimming is a healthy option and easily the best workout

With this year’s unusually hot summer, people are heading to the pool to cool off.

City-based national-level swimmer Nisha Millet, who also runs a swimming academy, says “Once people finish work work, they want to exercise. Most people don’t find sweating it out in the gym a particularly attractive proposition. So everyone is taking to the pool. We’ve had a really good response to our adult batches. Normally more kids would come for our summer courses since it is the holidays. But this time we have seen a surge in the number of adults as well. Luckily, we have a lot of options in the city if we want to hit a pool.”

On why she thinks the trend is making waves, she says the obvious reason is the heat. “The second reason is that people are realising swimming is a healthy option. Swimming is one sport with no injuries. And with people living very sedentary lifestyles sitting in front of the computer, it’s easily the best workout.”

Nisha goes on to say a lot of people with back problems also frequent pools now. “We have at least 20 to 30 people, who are recommended swimming for certain medical conditions.” She adds that many are taking swimming very seriously. “Earlier people used to opt for swimming only because they would go snorkelling in their holidays and needed to know how to swim. Now with events like the iron man triathlon and the running revolution, people are realising that swimming helps in more ways than one. Now we get a lot of adults who want a proper tough workout. They pant and cough at the end of the workout but still come out fresh since it’s nice and cool.”

Puttanna from the Meteorological Department of Bangalore gives the inside scoop. “Swimming is a viable option to beat the heat since the season has not ended yet. Both the minimum and maximum temperatures this month are above normal but it is not extreme. There is good news as the rain is expected in a few days. The month of May, which is famous for cyclone formations in the Bay of Bengal and the Arabian Sea, may compensate the poor rain this April.”

On the reason for the hideous this beating down heat, he says it’s quite obvious. “All major cities are warmer this summer – mainly due to rapid population growth. Urbanisation has led to more pollution, felling of trees and several other factors.”

Robin Felix, a state-level swimmer who is passionate about coaching kids, says swimming is an art. “It’s different from other sports like football and cricket. Swimming also does not have any side effects unlike gyming and yet it helps tone the body well.”

Felix The passionate coach points out the fact that almost all the State-level swimmers are from Bangalore and says a lot of schools, clubs and organisations are opening their doors to encourage swimmers. “The trend is changing and a lot more people are taking to the water.”

Roshini, a college lecturer and newbie to the world of swimming, says she initially used to be afraid of large bodies of water. “I went swimming to overcome that fear because unless I face my fears, I won’t get over it. I’m happy now and I encourage everyone to go swimming.”

Though she has been swimming only for the last 20 days, she says she can already feel the difference. “I believe it’s a total workout. I’ve reduced weight and I have gained self-confidence. It’s a healthy option to shed those extra kilos as well.”

Afza, a mother of a three-year-old boy, says both of them love to swim at the St. Joseph’s Indian High School pool. “For Bangalore’s summer, it’s the smartest way to cool off.” She adds that it’s also a life-saving skill and recommends all mothers to take to the water since it also helps in maintaining their fitness.

Arpan Biswas, a fifth standard student of Bishop Cotton Boys’ School, says he’s been swimming in summer camps since kindergarten. “I enjoy swimming. It has helped me gain confidence in school and is the healthiest option to stay fit. I try and get as many friends as possible to join me in summer camps.”