"I'm thrilled to be 40. When you're 40 you feel empowered and you know who you are. I feel comfortable in my own skin," retired Olympic champ Summer Sanders reveals to Healthy Hollywood about her recent milestone birthday.
Summer says her body looks as good today as it did when she was the most decorated U.S. swimmer at the 1992 Olympics in Barcelona.
"You can still be in shape at 40 and be your best. It's a new best. I look at the stages of my body and look at all the [swim] suits I've been in and I'm equally comfortable in the body type I have now as compared to when I was winning gold medals in 1992," she says.
Healthy Hollywood caught up with the two-time Olympic gold medalist at Speedo's offices in New York City. Summer has teamed up with the swimsuit line to launch the Swim Today campaign, which hopes to inspire folks of all ages to get in the pool. "I always say to people who are just discovering the sport of swimming, 'Don't be scared of it and remember to set yourself up for success.'"
The Swim Today website is packed with tips, drills and everything an aspiring swimmer needs to know - whether you're the parent of a young swimmer or want to dive into the pool yourself. "For me swimming is that compliment sport. I love to run but swimming is a constant in my life, so I swim 2 to 3 times a week. I do not train like an Olympic swimmer; I simply love the sport because it's freeing and low impact. It's almost hypnotic that rushing of bubbles near you when you take a stroke."
Plus, there's nothing like the svelte body of a swimmer. "In a half hour of swimming you can burn more calories than an hour at the gym. Plus, swimming is low impact on your joints and will result in toned, elongated muscles. "
The mother of two reveals to Healthy Hollywood that both her kids are into swimming, yet Summer is careful not to push too hard. "I really do what my mother did. She matched my commitment. So, if my daughter really wants to swim the 100IM (individual medley) than I'm going to be at the end of the lane cheering for her."
Best of all, swimming is an activity the whole family can enjoy together. "It is such a great workout. My mom can also swim with my kids, so you have a generational thing. Swimming is one sport you can do for a lifetime."
For more swimming tips and various pool workouts, check out www.swimtoday.org.
-- Terri MacLeod
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