I Swim for My Life All the Time; Early Starts: Swimming Helps Kate to Cope (2) Water Therapy: Doing 50 Lengths a Time Means That Kate Always Feels Rejuvenated Afterwards

The Mail on Sunday (London, England), September 23, 2007 | Go to article overview

I Swim for My Life All the Time; Early Starts: Swimming Helps Kate to Cope (2) Water Therapy: Doing 50 Lengths a Time Means That Kate Always Feels Rejuvenated Afterwards


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 perfect sport if you do have an injurybecause it is so much kinder to your body as it puts very little stress on thejoints. …

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