Why you should sign up for Swim22

 

I’m Jack Bridge, and I’m a para athlete swimmer. I’ve been in the pool since I was four years old, and now swim an average of twenty miles per week. I’ve competed in the Paralympics and World Championships, in backstroke, breaststroke and medley races.

It’s a great form of exercise, for many reasons. It keeps you fit, gets your body moving, builds muscle, and improves flexibility. It makes you feel good, by boosting endorphins and reducing stress.

If you’ve ever thought about giving swimming a go, now is the time to do it. Diabetes UK are running their annual Swim 22 challenge. It’s a simple idea  – swim 22 miles – the width of the English Channel – in 12 weeks, in your local pool. That’s over 1400 lengths of an average 25 metre pool, or 118 lengths per week. It’s quite a challenge, but not an impossible one.

Like any exercise, it’s important to start slowly. If you haven’t swum in a while, don’t go racing ahead. Make sure you warm up and cool down properly. I’ll be giving you tips on how to do this very soon.

As well as having fun and getting fit, by taking part in the challenge and collecting sponsorship, you’ll be raising money to help in the fight against diabetes. There are nearly five million people living with diabetes in the UK, and every day 700 people are diagnosed. It affects a person physically, mentally and socially, and results in many complications. Diabetes UK provides information, care and support for everyone affected by diabetes. I’m really pleased to be getting involved with the challenge.

I often train with other people, and you can do the challenge as part of a team too. Why not sign up with friends, family or colleagues? Add your lengths together, and you’ll reach the total in no time.

Over the next few weeks I will be sharing tips and advice on how to succeed at the Swim 22 challenge. I will be discussing everything from the right techniques, how to keep yourself fuelled and why swimming is such a good form of exercise to how to protect your skin and top facts about the sport.

If you want to take on the challenge, sign up here.

Let’s get swimming!

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