It’s really easy to look at yourself in the mirror or step on the scales and regret those Friday night pizzas, curse those bad decisions and choices, to consider your efforts a failure, and to sink into a fit of depression.
As human beings, we have a tendency to focus on the negative due to a cognitive bias called negativity bias. This bias means that negative events or experiences have a greater impact on our brains than positive ones, and as a result, we tend to pay more attention to negative information than positive information.
There are several reasons why negativity bias exists, but I’d simply ask that we recognise that this bias exists in all of us, and make an effort to focus on the more positive experiences and information as well.
For every pizza ate on a Friday, I had fresh veggies and fruits, lean meats, and pulses on most of the other days of the week. Yes, I made poor choices at times (don’t we all?), but I also made decisions to stop at two biscuits, to walk to work, to get some help (yes, another blog will detail this and hopefully provide a wee offer), and to be more mindful of my tendency to reach for food when emotional.
The result is that since February 2022, I have lost 32lbs. Rather than dwell upon how much more could have I lost, I am going to buoyed by the fact that my knee doesn’t hurt as much, that climbing the stairs in my house doesn’t leave me breathless, and that I’m wearing XL clothing and feeling more comfortable with my body.
Not completely comfortable, mind. I won’t rest on my laurels and I will press on. To give me a little more motivation and a goal to aim for, I’m delighted to share that I am once again a Swimathon Ambassador and this year, I am setting myself a big target for the event between 12 – 14 May 2023
Swimathon is the world’s biggest fundraising swim, held annually across the United Kingdom. It’s a fun and challenging event that allows participants to swim in a pool or open water and raise money for a Cancer Research UK, Marie Curie and the Swimathon Foundation, which supports swimming and aquatic activities in local communities.
Swimathon is one of my favourite events of the year. Not just because it fundraises for two charities close to my heart, but also because it brings together so many wonderful people in a fun and rewarding activity, and because it always pushes me to improve my swimming.
And also because swimming is for every body and Swimathon is a #SwimForAll. Nobody cares what you look like and it’s not a race. You can do any distance you want, from 400m all the way up to 5k. You can go solo or get involved as a part of a team. For the mermaids and aquamen, there’s even the Triple 5K or the ultimate 30.9km swim.
Swimathon 2023 has been supercharged for superheroes, and who doesn’t want to be a superhero?!
So that’s why, on #BigSwimDay, I am announcing my Big Swim. I WILL be doing the 30.9k (there, I’ve said it). Not all at once, but over the course of a week (or maybe a tad longer).
Another reason why Swimathon is so inclusive is that it’s a great way to connect with others. It’s a fun event with a great atmosphere. Participants can enjoy the music, entertainment, and camaraderie of other swimmers as they complete their chosen distance at their chose venue. There’s also a sense of achievement and satisfaction that comes from completing the event and raising money for a good cause.
Of course, there are some people who might not think of swimming as a sport for all. Maybe you’re someone who’s not comfortable in the water, or you’re intimidated by the idea of swimming in a public pool. Maybe you could consider private lessons, adult swim classes, and with online resources, there are plenty of ways to improve your swimming skills in a supportive environment.
And why should you consider swimming as an activity?
Health Benefits of Swimming
Swimming is a fantastic form of exercise that provides a wide range of benefits for your physical and mental health. Here are just a few ways that swimming can improve your health:
- Improves cardiovascular health: Swimming is an aerobic exercise that gets your heart rate up and can improve your cardiovascular health. It strengthens your heart muscle and increases your lung capacity, which can lead to better overall fitness and a reduced risk of heart disease.
- Builds muscle strength and endurance: Swimming engages all the major muscle groups in your body, including your arms, legs, core, and back. It’s a low-impact workout that can help build muscle strength and endurance without putting too much stress on your joints.
- Increases flexibility: Swimming involves a wide range of movements that can help improve your flexibility and range of motion. It can also help relieve tension in your muscles and joints, which can be especially beneficial for people with arthritis or other mobility issues.
- Reduces stress and anxiety: Swimming is a low-stress exercise that can help reduce anxiety and improve your mood. The weightlessness of the water can be soothing and calming, and the rhythmic breathing required for swimming can also help promote relaxation.
- Improves sleep: Regular exercise, including swimming, can help improve your sleep quality and duration. It can also help reduce symptoms of insomnia and other sleep disorders.
- Helps manage weight: Swimming is a great way to burn calories and can be an effective form of exercise for weight management. It can also help boost your metabolism and promote fat loss.
- Lowers blood pressure: Swimming can help lower blood pressure and improve blood flow, which can reduce the risk of heart disease and other health problems.
With all of those benefits, there’s one MORE reason to sign up for Swimathon 2023
A discount code from me, giving you 35% off the standard price. Simply visit the Swimathon 2023 website, register for the event, choose a distance and charity to swim for, use my code R2T123 and start fundraising (although not necessary). The website provides all the information and resources you need to get started, including training tips and fundraising ideas.