Elderflower Fields Family Festival, Review – Can it go …

Disclosure – family ticket provided for purpose of review, …

View Post

Review – Portsmouth Caen Ferry with Brittany Ferries

AD – hosted ferry trip provided for review purposes, …

View Post
Sitting on the lawn in the sunshine at Gites de la Richarderie

Super relaxing French family holiday in the Loire …

Hosted trip – accommodation provided by Gites de la …

View Post

Top Tips: Puy Du Fou, the French theme …

Hosted trip – we were provided with flights, accommodation, …

View Post

Llandudno to Conwy. Walking the Wales Coastal Path.

Castles, coastal paths, dunes, beach cafes, sweeping bays, …

View Post

Family Travel Guide: Swansea Bay, Gower and Mumbles, …

Hiraeth. (n.) a homesickness for a home to …

View Post

Coastal Adventures: Exploring the Stunning Yorkshire Coast

Would I like to share my favourite parts …

View Post

The Malverns: A Dog and Family Friendly Weekend …

From our ivy-framed hotel bay window Narnia style …

View Post

Swimming for Sanity

Swimming for Sanity at Virgin Active Nottingham

I think I am reaching the end of the days when working at home all week was great. When people asked me how on earth I managed to work from home, I always thought they were crazy for not seeing the long list of benefits.

Now I am finding the endless juggling of home and work exhausting.

When Winter comes, even a scented candle on the desk can’t quite make me feel that glow I used to feel.  I need to shake up my routine before I go quietly downhill…

One thing that makes a difference is my weekly swim at Virgin Active. I have been and used the gym and done some classes, but if I am brutally honest the real attraction is the pool for me.

It’s stainless steel and shiny, it’s built into the space where the trains would have run into the station, which now houses Virgin Active. It’s just such a great place to take a dip.

It’s warm, calm and quiet and the lighting is low,  a far cry from the local tramadol pain treatment pool we go to as a family.

As I swim my mind unknots the things that were driving me to distraction at home. After a few lengths I poke my head under water and begin to swim properly. That’s when the real untangling happens.

All the petty things that have crowded my brain via email and social media wash away, to drown somewhere silently in my wake. My brain begins to dive for more exciting things to think about.

Without realising it, problems are solved, connections are made, negative emotions dissolve. When I am swimming my brain churns through things without me asking it to.

Just five minutes in the sauna and I feel the glow again, a stretch in the steam room and I feel energised and ready to tackle the day again.

I don’t think I realised how much of an impact a decent
swimming pool could have on my wellbeing.

More on my experiences at Virgin Active here, I’ve been given 3 month’s membership in exchange for sharing my views. Opinions and editorial remain my own.



  1. 17/11/2015 / 12:45 pm

    That pool looks gorgeous! I’ve recently taken up swimming again, mainly as we now have timed it so both the kids have swimming lessons at the same time (and I no longer have to go in with my youngest – yippee!) and as I go in with them for a play around before and after their lessons it means I can go and swim lengths for the 25 minutes that they are in the lesson. It’s wonderful what an improvement it’s made to my mood, and that’s even whilst swimming in a busy leisure centre pool with lessons going on all around me!

  2. 17/11/2015 / 12:58 pm

    Oh Penny, I feel your pain. I’m in a constant state of under achieving at the moment, while sat in a very messy house, which adds to my frustrations.

    On holiday I found a love for swimming again, and have been meaning to try and join a gym with a pool, but I’m worried it’ll be just one more thing I have to fit into my week to justify the cost and I’m not sure I can take any more stresses! Maybe the benefits would outweigh the time cost though?

    My thinking time at the moment is when I’m in the shower!

  3. 17/11/2015 / 5:29 pm

    Totally how I feel at the moment, sadly me and swimming pools are not the best of friends…well swimming to be more precise! That pool does look good though!

    Fitting the jigsaw pieces into our lives, so it makes the picture as perfect as can be is not always easy.

    Welcome additional pieces to our life and just the way life pans out here means, scratching my head to bring in an income sat here is kind of the deal. Today, got to be honest I would rather it wasn’t. Oh for the pleasure of turning the key in the front door, shutting it and forgetting about the day’s work, that has been left behind and actually having a weekend…without need to share pictures and think of new recipes, blog posts…bliss!

    Tomorrow, is another day though 🙂 xxxx

    P.S Just grumpy, sorry! xxx

  4. Oh I am a big fan of swimming and we have a wonderful Virgin place near us that I would love to be a member of. I think exercise is very healing, but there’s something about swmming that adds another dimension. I try to go on my days off from my new job and it’s enormously beneficial. Speaking of which, I was glad to get out into the workplace but I really miss getting things done at home, so perhaps you can find a nice balance xxx

  5. 23/11/2015 / 3:33 pm

    That pool looks great. My gym membership is in an hotel and the pool is only 12m long so a bit frustrating. I do a lot of thinking when I’m out running. It really clears your head especially when it’s 3°C outside. I think any kind of exercise that gets you away from the mundane and everyday jobs is a great for relaxation and the mind.

I'd love to know your thoughts!