Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Summer Fun with an Open Water Swim

Nothing says summer fun like enjoying our beautiful shores of Lake Washington with an outdoor swim. Here are a couple of favorite spots that are perfect for an outdoor workout. Seward Park and Madison Park are two of the best swimming beaches in Seattle. Both have nice shorelines, plenty of shallow water before the deep water drop off and are easily accessible. If Lake Washington seems a little daunting, you can always head towards Green Lake and enjoy the swimming area there.

Before you jump in, remember a couple of things. Always swim with a buddy when doing open water swimming, never swim alone. Early mornings can be the best time as the waters tend to be much calmer then. Check the water temperatures before you go and if the water is a little too cold for your liking, then wear a wetsuit made specifically for outdoor swimming. These wetsuits are designed with a thinner and more flexible material and will enhance your open water experience. Too cold of water can make for a higher chance of drowning if not properly prepared. Finally check the bacteria and algal toxin levels before you jump in. As the weather gets warmer and warmer some swim areas level of bacteria pollution increases and may become a health risk for swimmers. You can find this information, as well as current temperatures online at www.green.kingcounty.gov/swimbeach. Armed with some friends, a wetsuit and a safe and clean swimming area, your open water swimming this summer is sure to be nothing but fun and exhilarating. Enjoy!

For more questions and information about open water swimming, please contact any one of our swim instructors or Aquatic Director Dan Lavin.

Written by Laurie Leonetti
Personal Fitness Trainer, Seattle Athletic Club Northgate
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