So it's been about 45 degrees in Toronto lately (no exaggeration!) and it looks like the Farmer's Almanac was right again. That's right, I grew up in the Prairies and I consider the Farmer's Almanac as trustworthy as any Weather Network scientists—it's okay, you can say it: hick. It's going to be a long, hot summer. We've been surviving and the Sweaty Kids and I are looking forward to hitting Toronto's various splash pads and wading pools once they open next week. 

But I have to confess, I don't really take them swimming. I am actually not a great swimmer. Despite my mother's insistence on year after year of swimming lessons at the FREEZING cold lakes near our small town, I am just not great in the water. I can get by, I can tread water, I can even swim a bit to get a bit of exercise. But Sweaty Daddy takes care of swimming lessons and pool parties. I think once I've got a bit more time on my hands for hobbies and the like, I'll take some adult swimming lessons and brush up on my skills. If there is any water left on earth at that point.

Because there is no better exercise when it's 45 freaking degrees than swimming.

 You can't feel the heat.

 You burn tons of calories.

 You tone your entire body.

What more can you ask? So if you are a decent swimmer with a local pool (or your own pool if you're lucky enough), consider adding swimming to your summer routine. And, in case you hadn't noticed, swimmers are officially the hottest athletes. Ever. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In an hour of moderately intense swimming, a 150-lb person burns about 400 calories. And that ain't bad. Swimming is one of the most complete full-body workouts and one of the most effective ways to shape and tone your upper body without picking up a single dumbbell. Take your dip in the pool up to workout level with this routine:

Note: The average lap pool is 25 metres (Olympic pools are 50 metres, so you'll need half the lengths).

Warm up:

Free swim x 2 lengths

Work out:

Breast stroke x 2 lengths

     Rest 20 seconds

Back stroke x 2 lengths

     Rest 20 seconds

Free swim x 1 length

Kick/flutter x 1 length (on back or with board)

     Rest 30 seconds

REPEAT 3 TIMES

Cool down:

Free swim x 2 lengths 

You'll swim a total of 22 lengths. Need a shorter workout? Do the workout portion just once for a quick early morning kick-in-the-butt! Tone your hips, glutes, core, back, shoulders, arms and chest. No sweat. No gear. No kidding.

Swimmers, share your workout secrets here! Do you swim to stay in shape? Swim for fun? Are you teaching your little ones to swim?