How To Choose The Perfect Towel For Swimming

towel

Not much people think about the towel they use for swimming. To some extent, the towel you use matters. It can help you stay dry and prevent exposure to changes in temperature.

A great towel investment is essential for individuals with pools in their backyard. Here are some tips on getting started with your towel collection.

towels

Quality Weaves

Towels can also be woven in different ways: ring-spun, combed or twisted fiber. Each weave has a different feel. We always use ring-spun cotton, because it yields the softest, most durable towels. It’s made by tightly twisting long and short threads together to create the strongest, smoothest yarn possible.

When choosing a towel, there’s another component to consider – one that goes part and parcel with the weave: the pile, also known as the loops of the towel. Whether or not your towel is single loop or double loop will affect its absorbency.

Both single loop and double loop towels are highly absorbent, but single loop dries a bit faster. That’s partly why single loop is the most common type of towel construction. On the other hand, double loop towels are more dense and feel more luxurious to the touch, so depending on what you’re looking for, you may be willing to wait a little longer for dry towels.

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Do I Need Micro Cotton?

Micro Cotton is a trademarked name for a high quality long-stapled cotton fiber from India. It is soft and plush with a suede-like texture and exceptional absorbency. Other newer Ultra-Fine Cotton fibers are available now with very similar qualities as well as state of the art energy-efficient quick dry properties. They both create a light, soft and fluffy towel that dries faster than most after use and laundering.

What Is GSM?

GSM – short for “grams per square meter” – offers a standard number by which fabrics are measured. The higher a fabric’s GSM, the denser, and therefore more absorbent, the fabric will be.

In a quality towel, particular attention is paid to the stitching and finishing. So when you’re choosing which product to buy, have a look at the seams and detailing.

To conclude, there are a lot of things to consider when choosing a useful towel for swimming. It is important to remember that needing to replace low quality towels frequently can be costly. Therefore, choose a high quality towel that will last a lifetime.

What type of towel are you using for swimming? Share your thoughts with us below.

General Guide To A Swimmer’s Diet

swimmer's diet

If you’re planning on adopting swimming in your fitness program, you need to consider adjusting your diet to suite your new training regiment.

Carbohydrate Intake

Carbohydrates are the most efficient source of energy for muscles. An athlete’s diet should consist of approximately 60 percent of total calories from carbohydrates like breads, rice, cereal, pasta, bagels, muffins, fruits and vegetables. Athletes with low-carbohydrate diets cannot easily recover their pre-exercise muscle glycogen levels before their next workout.

Some swimmers are unable to eat after practice due to time constraints, lack of appetite or stomach discomfort. During these times a liquid meal replacement, such as a nutrition shake or a high-carbohydrate drink, can be used.

Staying Hydrated

A swimmer should keep taking fluid up to the start of training, and also during REST periods in a training session. Sports drinks provide the best form of complex carbohydrates, minerals and water replacement for the swimmer. Fluid loss during competing will affect performance if the body does not have adequate levels of fluid in reserve. Therefore, fluid replacement during exercise is extremely important to the swimmer. It is worth remembering that thirst is an extremely poor indicator that fluid is required by the body. A sports performer should drink fluid long before thirst arises.

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Don’t Forget To Recover

Once the workout is over, it is very important that swimmers eat a regular breakfast. Most competitive swimmers work out six days a week. To recover from the workout, both fluid and fuel must be available to the body. If the meal can be eaten within 30 minutes after the workout, then the body can start the recovery process faster and be ready by the next practice to provide a quality workout.

Example of a Swimmer’s Daily Meal Schedule

Breakfast

  • Whole grain wheat bread/toast
  • 1 Bowl cereal
  • Baked beans
  • 1 Cup fresh fruit
  • 2 Eggs
  • 1 Glass Milk
  • Half a cup serving of cottage cheese

Lunch

  • Tuna/ turkey/ chicken sandwich
  • 1 Large bowl of vegetable salad
  • Stuffed pitas
  • Whole grain pasta

Dinner

  • Grilled fish
  • Lean Steak
  • Chicken soup
  • Brown rice
  • Stir fried veggies

Snacks

  • Nuts and Seeds
  • Fresh fruit/ fruit salad
  • Fruit juice
  • Crackers
  • Granola bar
  • Low fat, dark chocolate

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To conclude, a swimmer’s diet is very different from a weight loss program. Ample amounts of carbohydrates and snacks are required to maintain high energy levels. Furthermore, eating around the clock is often suggested.

Top 5 Benefits of Drinking Water

drinking water

Are you drinking enough water? Studies show that water is essential to a healthy lifestyle. That’s why it is important to get enough of it on a daily basis.

Below are the top 5 ways drinking water can make your life better.

1. It’s good for the skin.

Water is essential to maintain the optimum skin moisture and deliver essential nutrients to the skin cells. It replenishes the skin tissue and increases its elasticity. This helps delay the appearance of signs of ageing like wrinkles and fine lines.

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2. Water is a perfect replacement for your expensive anti-aging treatments.

It keeps the skin well hydrated and glistening, thereby, enhancing the complexion.For soft and supple skin, drinking an adequate amount of water is more important than applying topical creams. Drinking enough water combats skin disorders like psoriasis, wrinkles and eczema. It also increases the metabolic rate and improves digestive system to flush out toxins from the body. This in turn gives you a healthy and glowing skin.

3. Cold water is extremely helpful too.

Cold water bath eliminates redness of the skin and sets the skin for better makeup application. After opening the pores by washing them with warm water, you can seal them by splashing with cold water. Cold water tightens the pores and prevents them from getting clogged. It reduces the appearance of acne.

A cold water compress can also help to reduce under-eye inflammation. As the water evaporates from the skin, the surface becomes cooler. Splashing cold water on the eyes can also reduce eye puffiness. There are plenty of water-rich eye gels which you can use for a long-term solution.

4. It’s great for weight loss.

Drinking water will help you lose weight and maintain a healthy diet. Water flushes down the by-products of fat breakdown and cleanses the intestines. Water creates a sensation that makes you feel more full which suppresses your desire to eat. Water also has ZERO calories.

Metabolism is the rate at which your body burns energy per day. Drinking water increases your metabolism. This is good because you lose weight without even noticing. Daily bowel movements will increase however because of your increase in water intake.

5. Water can prevent you from getting sick.

Water is the foundation of a functioning immune system. It also flushes out bad toxins. That’s why we need a consistent amount of water throughout the day, especially on hot days. While you can get water from vegetables, soups and juice, it is still important to drink it purely.

How To Use Fins For Pool Training

swimming fins

If you’re persistent in learning how to swim properly, try using fins.

It is also a great way to stay in the pool longer and avoid wasting energy. For those who want to train in the water for a sport, fins offer added resistance and endurance.

This article highlights tips on how to use fins while swimming.

Advantages of Fins

Below are the benefits of using fins while swimming:

  • They allow you to keep the legs up and provide propulsion while learning the front crawl or backstroke so that you can concentrate on the coordination of arm and leg movements.
  • While learning the body undulation and dolphin kick in the butterfly stroke, the length of the swim fins provides additional leverage which eases learning the wave-like body undulation.
  • They provide propulsion and lift in difficult swimming drills.
  • They provide an efficient leg workout in kicking sets, especially if you use the short blade variant of swim fins.
  • If you have stiff ankles (for example because you are a runner or soccer player), using them regularly will loosen up your ankles. Flexible ankles are important for an efficient flutter kick.

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Using Fins While Swimming

Swimming with fins increases the amount of water you move with every kick you make. Long fins also let you ride higher in the water thanks to the added propulsion, simulating the speed and position of elite swimmers. You can wear either long or short fins to practice back, front or side dolphin kicks. More advanced drills that build explosive power include “rockets,” in which you kick up from the bottom of a dive well or very deep pool quickly; the goal is to break the surface of the water like a rocket.

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Shapes and Sizes

Swim fins come in many different shapes and sizes tailor-made to suit swimmers’ needs. Fins with long blades put more pressure on ankle and knee joints but allow you to move faster through the water. They increase ankle flexibility in adult swimmers and force you to use you legs more during lap swims.

Shorter and stiffer fins such as zoomers or shooter monofins allow you to move faster without loading too much pressure on your joints. Monofins have one blade for both feet. They force you to work both legs in unison when you kick, creating a dolphin-style kick.

It is important to remember that swim fins should have a tight fit without hurting, as their fit will be more slippery in the water.

Best Tips For Swimming With Your Baby

baby swimming

Are you swimming with your baby this summer?

Taking your little one to the pool can be an exciting experience. Babies naturally love water. Therefore, you shouldn’t hesitate to bring your little one with you next time you go swimming.

For tips on swimming with your baby, check out the rest of the article below.

baby swimming

Getting Started

Before jumping in the pool with your baby, you need to have a plan. Below highlights the important aspects to consider when in the pool:

  • Check that the water is warm enough. If he’s under 12 weeks old, the pool needs to be heated to 32ºC. Any older, and 30ºC should be fine.
  • Don’t spend too long in pool – 20 to 30 minutes is plenty.
  • Don’t submerge your baby unless supervised. This can be fun for both of you but should only be done in a class or with a professional.

Whenever infants or toddlers are in or around water, an adult should be within arm’s reach to provide active supervision. We know it’s hard to get everything done without a little multitasking, but this is the time to avoid distractions of any kind. If children are near water, then they should be the only thing on your mind. Small children can drown in as little as one inch of water.

For new pools or hot tubs, install multiple drains in all pools, spas, whirlpools and hot tubs. This minimizes the suction of any one drain, reducing risk of death or injury. If you do have drains, protective measures include anti-entrapment drain covers and a safety vacuum release system to automatically release suction and shut down the pump should entrapment occur.

baby swimming

In The Pool

Make sure you’re relaxed and keep eye contact as he’ll take all his cues from you. Swirl your baby around in the water and even trickle some water gently over his face and head if he’s happy.

One of the best ways to keep your kids water-safe is to enroll them in swimming lessons, as it can aid water awareness, build confidence and it’s a great way to bond with your baby. Enrollment at four to six months is a good time to start.

To conclude, swimming is one of the best activities your baby can do and it’s amazing that, before the age of three, you can teach him one of life’s core skills. If you go gently, introducing him to the water in a measured, sensitive way, you’ll instill not only a lifetime’s confidence, but open up a whole new magical underwater world, providing healthy enjoyment for years to come.

How To Prevent Swimming Cramps

cramps

Swimming cramps are the worst. We have all gotten them and they can be very dangerous in deep water.

Basically a cramp is when one or more of your muscles contracts way too hard even though you didn’t tell it to and then won’t relax even when you scream at it to let go. It’s a contraction that won’t relax.

Cramps can attack all or part of a muscle, or several muscles in a group. The most commonly affected muscles for swimmers are the calf muscles (back of the lower leg), the hamstrings (back of the upper leg), and the quadriceps (front of the upper leg). Because we point our toes a lot and wear flippers, swimmers are also prone to cramps in the bottoms of the feet. Swimmers can get side stitches, too. Cramps can last a few seconds or several long minutes.

crampsWhat Causes Them?

  • Overexertion. The working muscles don’t get enough oxygen, which causes a buildup of lactic acid. When the buildup reaches critical mass, the muscle reacts by going into spasm. This is why cramps are common at the end of practice, when your muscles are fatigued.
  • Inadequate stretching and warm up prior to exercise. In order to produce movement, muscles need to contract and expand. A good stretching program lengthens and loosens your muscles so that they can contract more vigorously. It also teaches the muscles how to ‘behave’ without cramping, how to contract and then relax.

swimmingSolution To Cramps

When you get a muscle cramp, it’s often because you don’t have enough magnesium or potassium in your blood stream to cause the muscles to relax. When you sweat, you lose not just water but also electrolytes. If you lose too many electrolytes, your muscles can go haywire and start to cramp.

The solution? Stay hydrated. You need water before, during, and after, especially if it’s hot and humid (or dry and cold) and especially if you’re a kid, because kids get dehydrated much faster than adults.

How much should you drink? It depends on your body size and metabolism, but a good rule of thumb is that if your urine is almost colorless, you’re well hydrated. If it’s yellow or orange or dark, you need to up your intake.

Water works fine for practices up to an hour long. Longer than that, and you may want to switch to a sports drink or watered-down sports drink to replace lost electrolytes.

What Is Proper Swimming Attire?

swimming

Attire is a major issue in swimming.

Generally, standard swimming pool rules require proper swimming attire. The very reason is to avoid discoloration of the water. If they will allow the people to swim in inappropriate wear, they will need to put more treatment, which means, it will require higher maintenance.

Below highlights what you need to know about proper swimming attire and why they are suitable for the pool.

swimming

Basic Swim Wear 101

The complete swimming attire consists of a head cap, goggles, swimsuit (female), swimming trunk (male). Head cap is used to lessen the friction of the water and gain more speed in gliding. It is also used to avoid distractions when swimming specially for swimmers with long hair. It also protects your hair from chlorine.

Swimsuits and trunks come in different forms. The most conservative type is the rash-guard (top for men and women). Contrary to popular belief, long swimming trunks and board shorts are generally not accepted as proper swimming attire in a swimming pool. It is more accepted as attire for recreation swimming.

What About Goggles?

Goggles are also needed in swimming. It helps the student to be more at ease with the water. Kids easily get their confidence with water when they have used goggles at an early age even if it was just for recreation. It also helps build more focus in learning swimming skills.

Goggles are classified into the following categories:

  • Competition
  • Practice
  • Recreational
  • Swimming masks

swimming

The main purpose of wearing goggles is to protect your eyes from the harmful chemicals and dirt from water and from the harmful rays of the sun.

When buying your swimming attire, choose the best in quality and those that lasts to save money. Your swimwear may last according to care and maintenance. For swimming enthusiasts you can have at least three sets. Remember that board shorts are generally for pool and beach parties only. When doing a lap, you will swim better when you wear the proper attire.

To conclude, wearing the right swimming attire is important. It can keep you safe and swimming for a longer period of time. It can also help maintain the quality of your pool. Because of this, proper swimming attire is considered to be a powerful investment.

What are some misconceptions about essential swimming pool attire did you have that was cleared up in the article? Let us know what you think in the comment section below.

 

How To Do The Backstroke

backstroke

Each swimming stroke has necessary techniques that have to be mastered in order to be proficient in movement.

When performed correctly, backstroke can be the most elegant and relaxed-looking of all the strokes. However, if a good head-neck-back relationship is not maintained, it becomes disorganized and awkward.

Some swimmers pull their head right back so that their eyes are focused on a point behind them, which can cause the back to arch unduly and water to spill over the face. Others crane their heads forward too far in an attempt to hold their face out of the water. This compresses the chest and puts a strain on the neck muscles.

swimmingPerforming The Moves

Push off from the poolside on your back, hands resting by your side. Your body should be slightly angled to one side. Release your neck-muscles, letting your ears submerge, and discover how effectively the water can support your head if you allow it to.

Experiment with minor changes in the angle of your neck to see how they can affect the way you float, noticing how holding up the head requires more effort than releasing the neck-muscles.

Perform the same procedure with one hand gently supporting the back of your neck. With your hand feel the tone of the muscles in your neck as you experiment with different angles.

Perform the procedure this time with one arm extended behind you as you glide. Notice how much easier it is to float with the weight of the arm helping to balance the body along its length. Does this position have any effect on the sensation of release in your neck-muscles?

backstrokeBreathing Techniques

Backstroke is the only stroke that let’s you breathe at your leisure; use this to your advantage. Not only does the extra oxygen give you the stamina to swim longer, but it can help keep you afloat. By regularly taking deep breaths, you fill your stomach with air, which helps keep the lower half of your body on the surface of the water.

To conclude, the backstroke is not an impossible swimming style to do. With a lot of practice and perseverance, you too can master this elegant style.

What is your favorite swimming style when exercising at home or at the local pool? When learning the backstroke, what were some of the obstacles that you faced? Let us know what you think below.

Health Benefits Of Sunglasses

swimming pool

Long exposure to sun is not only harmful to the skin, but also to the eyes. This is why it is essential to wear sunglasses. One should consider wearing shades during this time of year due to the extreme summer heat.

Below are some ways sunglasses can help you have a safe and fun summer.

swimming pool

Prevent Cataracts

Did you know that one of the main causes of cataracts is long-term exposure to UV rays? Cataracts can cause all sorts of vision problems, and in some cases, they can cause blindness. You can stay protected against UV rays by wearing sunglasses with UV rays protection.

Eye Pain Reduction

Prolonged exposure to the sun can actually burn your eyes too. It’s called photokeratitis, and it’s painful and causes teary eyes. The key to preventing this condition is to wear sunglasses when you’re outdoors.

Tumors And Cysts

If your eyes are exposed to UV rays, they can actually develop pinguecula or non-cancerous growths. This can be uncomfortable, and it can cause redness and swelling to occur.

sunglasses pool

How To Choose The Right Pair Of Shades

Sunglasses come in a wide range of colors and sizes. Choosing the right ones can protect your eyes for a longer period of time, without needing to carry an extra pair.

First, make sure that your sunglasses are UV resistant. The information is usually found in the label. Next, the size of your shades must cover your eyes, including odd angles of light where sunlight can penetrate. This might mean getting a slightly bigger pair over slim fits.

When it comes to the color, darker isn’t always better. As long as the UV protection label is present in the lens, you’re good to go. Dark shades may prevent you from seeing clearly, which is why people opt for blue, or light brown.

Don’t forget to choose a frame that is stable for your lifestyle. Those who move around a lot usually go for thick frames with cushions, while those who are lounging around may lean towards thin, wire frames.

Once you have the basics covered, all you have to do make sure you wear your sunglasses consistently. Even cloudy days can harm your eyes; therefore, don’t forget to have them on at all times. Just like sunscreen, your eyes need constant care.

Do you wear sunglasses on a regular basis? Let us know what you think.

Everything You Need To Know Floatation Devices

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We all have one, or chances are you know someone who has one.

I’m talking about floatation devices.

These days, they come in different shapes and sizes. Some of the most common ones wrap around your arm, shaped like a tube or a spaghetti strand; or resemble an animal. Regardless of your preference, floatation devices are not being used the way they should. There aren’t enough guides out there that elaborate on the proper usage of these summer toys.

Below shines light on the biggest misconception floatation devices and what you can do about it.

floaty

They Aren’t Designed To Save Your Life

The floaty that you buy at the toy store is not the same thing as the one that your local lifeguard uses at the beach or public pool. It’s just not made the same way. If you read the tag of all swimming pool toys, there are usually disclaimers that indicate the boundaries of the floaties.

In compromising situations, the toys will fail you. Instead, it is best to ensure that you and your family are strong swimmers, rather than filling up the pool with small floatation devices.

floaty

You’re Leaving Them Out Too Long

Have you ever owned a floatation device that lost air without a punctured hole? Or maybe you started to notice the surface is showing signs of wear and tear.

This is probably due to exposure to extreme temperatures. Intense heat can hurt your swimming toys. It can cause them to get thin, making it very easy to puncture using your nails. When you’re not using your floatation devices, let the air out and bring them inside.

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You Shouldn’t Use Them Outside Of The Pool

Kids get excited and use floatation devices at home before a swimming trip the next day. It’s hard to prevent but they shouldn’t do it. Most of the wear and tear of floatation devices happens outside of the pool. They just aren’t designed for anything else but the water.

If you want the toys to last long, you have to limit their usage. This includes using them as an extra cushion, or pillow. Lastly, don’t forget to educate your kids on floatation devices. They’ll thank you later for the revealing insights.

What are some of your favorite summer toys for the pool? Let us know what you think in the comment section below.