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Last week, in a longer than usual episode, I spoke about the lessons I’ve learned from several successful crowd funding campaigns. If that’s a topic that interests you then please go back and have a listen and if you are on a podcasting app right now then please remember to hit subscribe so that you won’t miss any of the new shows I have coming up.
Today I’m releasing release two shorter more on point episodes. This episode SWIM FOR YOUR LIFE is the first show where I’ve talked about fitness… it’s a very limited immersion (pun very much intended) in a topic that I feel may make a big difference to your life if you can go with it. There’s plenty of other stuff in here too if you are a non swimmer so stay tuned! Now not only is STAYING ACTIVE one of the ESSENTIAL 5 A DAY FOR GOOD MENTAL HEALTH elements, it’s vital if you are to be as productive as you possibly can be.
Maya Angelou says If you don't like something, change it. If you can't change it, change your attitude.
Before I’ll be talking about why going for a swim is something you may want to consider every now and again – but if you’re already thinking that you can’t fit anything new into your schedule then stop right there. I’m not saying it’s gonna be easy for everyone but it’s possible and I absolutely know that listeners that work in the film industry are often working crazy hours in unrelenting schedules, BUT THE MINDSET of I CAN’T can easily be changed into one of I CAN.
To change your mindset, you need to have a clear picture of what it is that you want – so - you’ll need to have a vision of what it would be like for you. When you visualise things that you want, it will act as a powerful motivating force, particularly when you’re struggling to find time to do something new or stay focussed on something you are already committed to.
Simply put, if you can visualise what you want it makes it easier to achieve that GOAL. With a plan or strategy in place you can work towards achieving it.
So in June there I tackled my first social media fast, which I later did an episode on – give it a listen if you haven’t done so already, and right now as I put together this third season I’m on another social media fast to write and record it. During the first fast I decided to do something which I had recommended we all do in an earlier show. To exchange a bad habit for a good one. I exchanged social media for swimming.
And here we are with sound effects to spice up this episode, recorded by my own fair hand this morning – actually that’s not true – I had to download it in the end , because a swim class of about 40 old women came in and started doing water aerobics but I’ll gloss over that - don’t worry I’ll fade it out sooner rather than later and you can relax again.
At a glance exchanging social networking time for swimming is probably somewhat strange, but when I say exchange a bad habit for a good one, there’s really no rules to it. We are the MASTERS OF OUR OWN DESTINY after all. I simply wanted to use the time which I had freed up for something productive and SWIMMING had been on my mind for some time.
In an earlier show, I can’t recall where, I talked about taking something you used to enjoy, whatever that may be, reading, making model aeroplanes, playing netball, skiing, drawing, painting, coding, going to the theatre, playing tabletop games, horse riding anything at all, and then finding time to fit it back into your life.
The concept of doing this is to me very attractive, but the time I once had seems to have slipped through my fingers somewhere along the road and now I need to exchange time I am kinda wasting in order to indulge myself in those hobbies that I once did, or indeed in completely new ones.
As a kid I swam every week, my mum or dad would run me and my brother to Coatbridge baths and we’d spend, I think it was 45 minutes a session, swimming and playing in the water… we’d even been part of a sub aqua club and it had been a major part of my life growing up - but somewhere along the line my priorities changed - I went off to college - and I just… stopped swimming. Getting into a pool suddenly seemed to me to be just too much bother.
Over the years, I have occasionally ended up in a pool but usually for fights which take place in water. I certainly never, until recently that is, got back in to the swing of going there for fun or for fitness… and I avoided it for a number of reasons, I think primarily because I became quite self-conscious for a while, which as I’ve prepped this episode and spoken to a few people, seems to be the reason that most to stopped going. Others stopped because it no longer seemed fun, because it was better to spend their time with friends. I looked into this and several studies say that 70 percent of kids will quit sports, including swimming, by age 13.
I feel myself to be very lucky to be trialling and testing the techniques tips and tricks which I bring to you here. Swimming has not only worked for me, but it’s one that I feel I should bring to you today as I continue to swim as often as I can. If you can get back into the habit of swimming your life and your fitness will improve in many ways.
Perhaps when you read the title of today’s episode, you said to yourself. That’s an episode about why you should go swimming as it’s good for you. Well, yes - you are correct, and it doesn’t necessarily have to be swimming. I know several people that don’t actually like the water, but perhaps what I’m doing is somewhat interchangeable for running or cycling if that’s the case. I know at least one non swimmer that goes to the swimming baths and walks breadths of the shallow end, and it’s never of course, too late to learn.
I’ve been rolling about the ground and staging fights for 24 years and swimming for me is a really great option for fitness as my body, especially my knees, is not particularly happy about me doing impact sports anymore. Running is OUT for me. I just can’t do it. I also have a gym membership which due to injury I’ve not been doing lately but swimming on the other hand is ideal.
An article in HEALTH DOT COM lists a number of a number of reasons you should be swimming. It says that:
1. It's a total-body workout. Swimming tackles everything from sculpting your back to toning your arms—all without having to pick up a weight.
2. It's joint-friendly. If you're recovering from an injury and are eager to build strength, then look into starting a swimming routine to stay fit.
3. It puts your body through a range of movements, helping your muscles stay long and flexible.
4. It doesn't require fancy equipment. That's right; you don't need to spend hundreds of dollars to swim. All you need is a swimsuit.
5. It's a great way to burn calories. One hour of moderate swimming can burn around 500 calories.
If I were to add to that I’d say you should go swimming because
1. You don't need to be a professional swimmer to benefit from going for a swim. Have fun with it, and enjoy being in the water. It can be an awesome way to wake yourself up and get refreshed!
2. It gives you time to think. It slows you down for a period of considered time, which can allow you to plan things out that are troubling you and just unwind.
And the benefits of swimming also include:
· being a relaxing and peaceful form of exercise
· alleviating stress
· improving coordination, balance and posture
· providing good low-impact therapy for some injuries and conditions
· providing a pleasant way to cool down on a hot day
I don’t want to preach to you about all this - my aim here is simply to get you swimming, not go on and on about WHY it’s a good idea. I think you probably already know that.
I do want to add a few things though which might make the prospect more appealing.
· Going for a swim doesn’t necessarily take an hour. I never go swimming each day in fact for more than 30 minutes. I am in the changing rooms and changed in 5, showered in 1 minute more and then I’ve dived in and am swimming for the next 10-15 minutes – then I’m out dried and ready 10 minutes after that. And even If I only have 20 minutes I’ll still go for a swim, so that I keep myself in the habit.
Taking that a little further I’d point out that a five minute swim is enough for me to get something out of it.
I can get swimming in btw even if I’m shooting on location. I simply identify the nearest pool to the filming locations and plan it in. I was shooting a feature this summer and it was hot hot hot and I made sure found time every day to get to the swimming and it felt great. I came back and saw the others sweating away and I thought. This is awesome.
One thing to consider too is that sometimes in the morning I’ll go for a swim, then shower, wash my hair and get ready there - before heading in to work.
At other times I’ll fit it into a lunch or shooting break.
I also try and find hotels if I’m shooting away from home that have their own pools.
And even if you are in one of those crazy shooting schedules, you can still plan for a swim on a day off.
It’s entirely possible to get a swim in, even with crazy long shooting days, if you put your mind to it.
And it is available in many places – although I appreciate it may not be easily available to all of you wherever you are on the planet.
Let me just add that many local councils or governing bodies do deals for regular swimmers. Glasgow charges a hefty £4.50 per swim but only £15 a month to swim in any one of their many facilities.
Call To Action
So have I convinced you? I hope so. Your call to action this week is to put a swim bag together of your swimsuit or shorts, a towel, goggles, shampoo or whatever you need to go for a swim and put it in your car or leave it by your front door.
At a point of your choosing within the next 7 days I ask you to take the plunge – literally – and go for a swim. When you get back home, I want you to hang your stuff up to dry and the next morning I want you to put it back in your bag and leave it once more by the door or in your car.
Build the habit of swimming as often as you can, and reap the benefits that it will bring you. Then check back in on me via social networking and let me know how you are getting on.
In the next episode I’ll be talking in detail about habit forming technique called Elephant Habits but I’ll finish today's show with the words of Aldous Huxley
There is only one corner of the universe you can be certain of improving, and that's your own self.
Now - take control of your own destiny, keep on swimmin’, and join me next time on Film Pro Productivity.
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