Byline: KATE SILVERTON
Swimming is hard to beat when it comes to a sport that does it all. Itbuilds and sculpts the body, soothes the mind, regulates breathing, stimulatescirculation and is the best form of stress relief I know.
Swimming is my yoga and provides a crucial balance to my life. As well as itshealth benefits,there's something spiritual about the effect of water on themind and body and I can completely switch off.
Our bodies are 60 per cent water so perhaps that's why I feel a sense of calmand belonging as I enter the pool. I can leave everything else behind as Ichannel my body through the water.
My life is frantic at the best of times. I am usually up between 3 and 4am topresent three hours of live TV news on BBC Breakfast or News 24. Then I workthrough the day,researching news stories or reporting for Panorama.
If I get enough sleep and three swims a week then I know I can cope with justabout anything. I'll usually head for the pool at lunchtime (which, as I haveto be up so early, is my teatime!) and swim for about 25 minutes. I try to do1km at a time.
I learnt to swim when I was three or four and by the time I was eight I wascompeting in galas for my local clubs, Waltham Abbey and Enfield.
My father, Terry, would take me training twice a day,six days a week and Iloved it. The routine instilled great discipline and it helped with my physicaldevelopment as it moulded and toned my body in a way I am grateful for today.
I seem to be able to maintain a residual level of fitness - even when I haven'tmanaged any exercise for a while. I stopped swimming in my teens as Iconcentrated on academic studies. At Durham University I focused on othersports such as rowing, athletics and cycling.
But six years ago, at the age of 30, I returned to the pool. I had a backinjury following a car accident and my osteopath advised swimming to help merecover. As soon as I hit the cool water, I felt I'd come home.
My exercise regime is now mostly swimming with a few gym sessions thrown inevery few months. I have not needed an osteopath since.
Swimming is low-impact so it's the …