With summer around the corner, it's time to think about ditching the indoor pool workouts for some unconstrained aquatic fun. Here are some mostly chlorine-free ideas on how to mix it up:
#1. Find a new swimming hole.
See those teens wearing cutoff jeans and towels around their necks jumping over that fence? They know something you don't. Follow them or check out SwimmingHoles.info and avoid the trespassing fine.
More: Freestyle Fitness
#2. Register for an outdoor long-course meet.
If you're not ready to ditch the pool just yet, find a longer one. Chances are there's a 50-meter lap pool within driving distance of your home. With that much black line between flipturns, you can really settle into your stroke.
Plus, the outdoor vibe keeps many of these meets laid back. The U.S. Masters Swimming website is a great resource for finding pools. Or you can search Active.com for a Masters swimming event.
#3. Take a swimming vacation.
Until recently, only runners and cyclists could enjoy guided trips. Now swimmers can combine a vacation with their favorite pastime. In July, SwimVacation runs trips from a small island in a pristine Maine lake, and SwimTrek has options everywhere from Scotland to Sicily throughout the summer.
More: Guided Swimming Vacations: A New Twist on Adventure Travel
#4. Try an open water competition.
It's the hot aquatic sport right now, and for a good reason. Open water swimming is not just about raw speed. Strategy, resilience and guts play a big role, too. Search for an event on Active.com or check out the U.S. Open Water Swimming Connection for a list of places to practice.
More: Learn Open-Water Swimming Skills for Summer Racing
#5. Just jump in.
Wherever you go this summer, bring your bathing suit and goggles. Driving past a tree-lined pond? Spy a canoe launch on the bank of a lazy river? Is that the exit for the beach? Take it and just jump in.
Search for an open water event.
Hopper McDonough is an Active.com contributor and founder and president of SwimVacation.
Youre a triathlete—?t, strong and lean. Youve been swimming three to five times a week,
The open water might feel freer than a lap pool, but that doesnt mean its an anything-goes kind
Swimming is a total body workout and a great respite from the daily damage running and jumping
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