Let's begin with that introduction and remind ourselves that although the idea of taking layers off in January is difficult, you will be doing so in a heated building.

Think of all those runners and their breathable layers and just how much the wind and rain like to blow straight in there.

It's also the time of year when festive waistlines normally stay festive with all the left over chocolate haunting resolutions everywhere. What better form of exercise to pursue then, than one which is indoors, burns loads of calories and puts little stress on your body?

You can rest assured that swimming works all your major muscles and is great for toning and slimming where it counts. It’s also going to give you a big boost psychologically; not only because of your new and improved body, but because swimming is also a great way to relax and have fun too.

Dive in, enjoy the 'me' time and wash some of those worries away.

There isn't an age limit either and you can go as hard or as leisurely as you please. Just pick the lane that suits you, or alternatively find a quiet stretch and push yourself off. Always check ahead before you go, as you do not want to be faced with a pool filled with children and inflatables.

Yes, screaming kids and water slides is a scenario that everyone agrees is not good for stress levels, and nor the heart. This leads us nicely into the next marvellous point about the cardiovascular benefits of swimming.

The hard work your heart and lungs do in the pool is fantastic for all swimmers, old and young. Get the blood pumping and you’ll be feeling the goodness immediately, all the way home home. Make sure that you take a bottle of water to re-hydrate. Do not be fooled by a lack of sweat.

Now that you’ve decided swimming is the way, get the ultimate pay-off from your hard work in the pool by adding one of our open water events to your ‘things to prepare for’ or ‘things to feel great about in 2014’ list.