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Swimming can be a frustrating task if you are unprepared or unsure of the best ways to maximise your swim. So here the team at Simply Swim have created a list of top tips that will help make your swimming experience as fun and stress free as possible:
Check out your local pool times before you commit to swimming session. There is nothing worse than turning up prepared to do a great workout or relax in the pool to be turned away because the pool is booked out for swimming lessons or other events. Your leisure centre will normally keep a leaflet or time table for the coming week or two, or they may have a website with their opening times on which will save a wasted journey.
Ask lifeguards or pool staff when the pool is at its quietest. If the pool is quieter, there will be less people interrupting you in the lane and you won’t need to worry about bumping into other swimmers. You can concentrate on you and your swimming rather than what everyone else is doing around you.
If you are stuck for a local pool or wanting to find somewhere closer to home, then try looking on the Pool Finder http://www.swimming.org/poolfinder
By breathing deeply before you get out in the pool encourages more oxygen to be absorbed by the muscles and also helps to get rid of the carbon dioxide in the body. By spending a bit of time focussing on your breathing you help to relax the body in preparation for exercise.
Before you start swimming make sure you do a warm up, don’t just jump in and start doing lengths! Stretching is a great way to start warming up and then start in the pool by taking your first few lengths slowly. Lengthening each stroke, gliding and getting some good rotation is an easy way to begin your swimming warm up and prevent injury.
A swimming cap is a necessity for those with longer hair who want to keep it out of their face. By wearing a swimming cap, the hair is held out of the face and neatly out the way so won’t block your vision or irritate you any more. Also, hair can cause blockages to the drainage systems in the swimming pool and so you will be doing the pool a favour by wearing a swimming cap.
There are many different types of goggles available on the market today. For training purposes you will want the maximum comfort and practicality from your goggles. Try choosing a goggle that has a soft seal and adjustable features so you can tailor the goggles to fit you perfectly.
The majority of goggles now feature anti-fog coatings which make a huge difference to those who enjoy swimming but get irritated by steaming up. The anti fog coating stops you from steaming up and having to constantly clear your goggles. However, often swimmers are seen wiping the inside of their goggle if after a while they start to get a bit of steam – don’t do this if you can help it as it removes the anti fog coating and also scratches the inside of the lens. If after time you do start to fog then it’s a great idea to purchase an anti-fog spray or some drops as they won’t damage your goggle, only enhance your vision.
If you swim outdoors regularly in the sun make sure you have goggles that have UV protection so your eyes won’t be damaged by harmful UV rays. It may also be worth using a tinted lens so the sunlight isn’t so bright.
By keeping your equipment in a kit bag it protects it from any damage whilst travelling between your home and swimming pool. Mesh bags are great for keeping wet items in such as fins or hats so it can dry easily and mould in stagnant water.
After each session in the pool, you should thoroughly rinse your equipment in cold water to get off any chlorine as chlorine will damage your kit in the long term. By doing this and caring for it well you will get better value for money and longer lasting equipment. Your kit is a key element for swimming.