Swimming helps reduce stress, maintain fitness, and improve cardiovascular health. If you are new to aquatic exercise, it is easy to think you only need a swimsuit and towel before hitting the pool. When developing a swimming regimen, preparation is important. You will need a few items if you are swimming for enjoyment, fitness, or competition.
1. Facial Protection
Chlorine, saltwater, and the sun can all have an impact on your face’s delicate skin. Use a high-quality face serum and moisturizer routine to help support skin health and create the appearance of a youthful glow. Look for a product that contains natural botanicals. These products can help to beautify skin affected by sun exposure. They also help to restore moisture lost from swimming in chlorinated or ocean water.
2. Foot Protection
Water shoes make swimming outside easier. These specialized swimming shoes reduce drag and protect your feet. Look for shoes that have sturdy soles to keep rocks or shells from digging into your feet. Keep sand and small rocks out of your shoes with shoes that fit around your ankles.
3. Eye Protection
Some swimming enthusiasts reject goggles, but wearing goggles protects your eyes. Chlorinated water causes painful eye irritation which can lead to an eye infection. Contact lens wearers need to be especially cautious swimming without goggles. Chlorine or salt water can seep into the lenses and irritate the eyes after you are out of the pool. If you swim outdoors, invest in high-quality swimming goggles with ultraviolet light protection.
4. Ear Protection
Avoid earaches and ear infections by wearing a pair of earplugs. These keep water, bacteria, and contaminants from entering your ear canal. Keep a bottle of ear drops in your swim bag in case you forget earplugs. These drops help to remove water trapped in your inner ear.
5. Nose Protection
Nose clips are a simple way to keep water out of your nose. You may need to try on a couple of styles to find one that fits securely. Most swimmers grow accustomed to nose clips after swimming for about five sessions. Many professional athletes support the use of nose clips to:
- Control breathing
- Improve buoyancy
- Increase turning performance
6. Water-Resistant Bag
When you are done exercising, you have to transport a wet swimming suit. A water-resistant bag is an excellent way to carry your damp suit. You will not have to worry about anything that touches the bag getting wet. This is especially important if you swim early in the day and leave your suit in the bag. Remember, packing a wet swimming suit for several days can give it a musty odor. A mesh bag allows the suit to air dry throughout the day.
7. Waterproof Earbuds
Listening to music while training improves athletic performance. Listen to fast-tempo music in the pool with a pair of waterproof earbuds. If you are not swimming at a competitive level, you can listen to audiobooks or podcasts as you swim. Make sure you can swim with limited hearing. Ask yourself the following questions when selecting your waterproof earbuds:
- How long do the batteries last and how easy are they to recharge?
- Do I need waterproof earbuds or will a water-resistant device work?
- Is a waterproof MP3 player required?
- What eartip style and material do I prefer?
8. Training Plan
Protect yourself by never swimming alone. Make sure a lifeguard is on duty when you plan to swim. When you first start your routine, don’t overexert yourself. Build up your endurance before tackling longer swims. Take a break before you exhaust yourself. Consistency is the key to improving your performance.
9. Reliable Childcare
When building a swimming routine, don’t leave a child unattended near the pool. Select a facility that offers childcare. Alternatively, you can meet a friend with their children. Take turns watching the children while the other swims.
As with any new routine, having the right tools helps you build a more successful program. With adequate preparation, you will enjoy swimming for a long time.