As summer approaches and opportunities arise for jumping into a refreshing pool to frolic and swim, why do so many women choose to sit on the pool deck attired in long shorts and a t-shirt? It’s because most women over thirty-five hate wearing bathing suits! It’s not about the color, the design, the type or the shape of the bathing suit that bothers them. It’s their body in that color, that design, that type or that shape of a bathing suit that bothers them.
Women in the U.S. are constantly subjected to the image the media portrays as the perfect body. That image is unrealistic and in some cases, unhealthy. It’s a size 0-4, flat belly, thin thighs and no cellulite. It’s a prepubescent body with unnaturally large breasts! Whether you’re at the pool or in the supermarket, look around and notice what real women’s bodies look like. No two are exactly alike; most have a lot of curves, and a small percentage wear less than a size 6 dress.
The problem with never wearing a bathing suit is that you miss out on one of the best exercises—swimming. Swimming is a low impact exercise that affects your entire body. While you feel weightless when you swim, you’re actually doing resistance training, which builds strength. You’re also increasing cardiovascular endurance, which burns calories. You can even pump up your workout by using water weights.
Here are 10 tips that can help you get your bathing suit groove on:
- Don’t feel as if you need to wear a traditional bathing suit. Running shorts or tank tops with built in bras are comfortable and light to wear in the water.
- If you truly want to lose a few pounds, start a healthy eating and exercise program a couple of months before your vacation or pool debut. Even if you only lose a little, you’ll feel better about yourself.
- Look around—you’re not the only one with cellulite and a tummy. Embrace your womanhood.
- Darker skin tones can hide a lot of flaws. Get some color first in the privacy your own back yard or use a tanning cream.
- When shopping for a bathing suit, take your time, bring a friend for support and try out all the new slimming features and fabrics. There’s a suit for every body type.
- Don’t sit in front of the mirror and analyze your faults—that only accentuates them in your mind. If you don’t love your body as is, you’re not ready to stand in front of a mirror in a bathing suit.
- Wear a cover up when walking around and remove it when you’re sunning or swimming.
- Join a swim club or exercise class to get used to the idea of wearing a bathing suit on a regular basis.
- Wear sandals with a little wedge to elongate the legs, and polish your toes a bright color to bring attention to other body parts.
- Know that most every other woman is going through the same anxiety about her own body as you are. Maybe it’s time we all move on to something more important in life.