5 Ingenious Ways to Stay in the Water After the Competition Ends

Photo Courtesy: Pixabay, Trex7875

By McKenna Ehrmantraut, Swimming World College Intern 

Once the age group days are over and you’ve swum your way through your high school and college days, you are likely taking a nice deep breath and dreaming of sleeping in past 5 a.m. Maybe you’ll finally get rid of those dark circles under your eyes, clear the chlorine smell from your skin and hair, and have the throbbing in your shoulders finally go away. Yet after a week passes, you find yourself yearning for the smell of chlorine and the feel of the water.

Swimmers often have a hard time giving up the water completely as they grow older. Luckily, there are a number of ways to still enjoy the water without the 10,000 yard sets, painful joints and dry skin and hair. Some of the more traditional options include Masters swimming, open water races and triathlons.

While these are great options for those looking to keep in shape and who have the time and dedication, here are five creative ways to stay in the water while trying something new.

1. Yoga/Pilates on Paddle Boards 


Photo Courtesy: Karma Surf Retreat

Don’t be fooled by the zen of yoga – you will be needing that core strength to not fall off your paddle board in this fun water activity. Both yoga and Pilates can be done in either the pool or in open water (make sure the water isn’t too choppy), and you will be working up a sweat while maintaining that coveted swimmer’s body.

2. Join a Mermaid Club 


Photo Courtesy: Instagram, @jvonstratton

Mermaid clubs are popping up throughout the US where your wish of growing a glimmering, scaled tail can be granted. These clubs often gather at a local pool for swimming with tails and camaraderie, but if your location permits, you can also flip your tail through the salty water of the sea. As a mermaid, you can perfect your dolphin kicks and have fun while staying in shape. Anyone can join these mer-mazing clubs!

3. Water Aerobics 


Photo Courtesy: Kasey Coyle

Water aerobics can be tailored to any gender, age or ability. This activity gets you in the water and feeling like a kid again as you spin around to the music with all of your friends. You can make it as easy or as hard as you want by adding drag to your hands and heading to the deep end of the pool, or you can stick to the shallow end to just enjoy the water – it’s entirely up to you in this groovy activity.

4. Synchronized Swimming 

2015 FINA World Championships, Synchronized Swimming

Photo Courtesy: R-Sport / MIA Rossiya Segodnya

Synchronized swimming is the perfect sport for retired swimmers. It requires an insane amount of breath control, you need to know your way around a pool, and you get to wear cute yet wacky swim caps. Really, what swimmer wouldn’t want to look graceful in the water before getting back on land to their uncoordinated two left feet?

5. Teaching 


Photo Courtesy: Instagram, @cullenjones

Many swimmers teach swim lessons throughout their competitive careers; however, it’s also a valuable skill you can rely on later in life. There is always a need for talented swim instructors and coaches. From playing red light, green light with the toddlers to introducing age groupers to their first 200 free or helping adults learn how to progress their current skills, teaching is a great option for those looking to stay involved in the swim community.

There are dozens of options out there for the retired swimmer, from lap swimming to putting on a pink, glittery mermaid tail. While you may not be swimming the mile every other weekend, these aquatic endeavors can ensure that you will always keep the natural aroma of chlorine and sunscreen. As they say, once a swimmer, always a swimmer.


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  2. Noria Gaier

    Célia Gaier 😍