HEALTH

How swim­ming laps can re­build your physique — and calm your mind

Sharp - - CONTENTS - BY ERIC MUTRIE

Un­leash your in­ner Michael Phelps with a dip — and some proper train­ing — in the pool.

IF THE SCALY, MICHAEL PHELPS-IAN SEA CREA­TURE IN GUILLERMO del Toro’s aquatic love story in­spired you to fi­nally per­fect your whip kick, Derek Mcgre­gor can help. He coaches the Mas­ter’s Pro­gram at Toronto’s Boule­vard Club, pic­tured above. Mcgre­gor’s twice-weekly swim meet brings to­gether ev­ery­one from stu­dents to re­tired bank ex­ec­u­tives, and he sees that broad age span as a tes­ta­ment to the en­dur­ing spir­i­tual con­nec­tion that swim­mers form with the sport. “It’s some­thing you pick up for life,” he says, “be­cause you start to re­ally ap­pre­ci­ate the way that it keeps you vi­brant.” Credit the restora­tive prop­er­ties of cool wa­ter, which makes even an in­tense work­out feel like a re­fresh­ing es­cape. Here’s Mcgre­gor’s guide to en­sur­ing a dip in the pool de­liv­ers op­ti­mal ben­e­fits once you’re back on land.

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