Thank you to Swimmer’s Daily for featuring me as a guest blogger!!!!
Thank you to Swimmer’s Daily for featuring me as a guest blogger!!!!
No, this isn’t Jeopardy. This is for real.
Do you know the shape of your face? Is it a small face, is it medium or would you say you have a large face? Do you have long eyelashes? Long eyelashes can hit the lenses of your goggles. This can be very annoying when you are swimming. If you have small or recessed eyes, you may need to wear small lensed goggles, even though they have a smaller field of vision. If you want a wider field of vision, check out the Aqua Sphere Company. These are all things you need to consider when you are paying good money for swim goggles. (FYI: Even though I am an adult woman, I wear “youth” goggles.) The googles need to fit the face. Just sayin!
Swim goggles are not created equal…one size does not fit all. You may have figured this out the hard way. Goggles are expensive and often times they come ‘nuclear wrapped’. Meaning, you cannot open them, or try them on before you leave the store. Purchasing goggles on the internet is even more difficult since you are just looking at a picture of googles on the screen. Here are some suggestions: Ask your fellow swimmers if you can try on their goggles. “Try before you buy.” Or maybe take a survey in the locker room… “Hey George, how do you like your Aqua Sphere goggles?” Be prepared, because you may get an earful. However, it’s all good – and can save you a lot of money. Also, read the online reviews about the goggles you are interested in. People love to ‘give their opinion.’ Some do not hold back. (Snort and giggleJ).
Let’s talk about the ‘seal’ on your goggles. The seal on your goggles should sit comfortably on the bridge of your nose and around your eyes. There can be no kinks in the seal. How will you know if there is a kink? The rubber (gasket) on your goggles will have a little wave in it. This is a kink. Keep the goggles firmly pressed to your face to prevent gaps. The strap around your head must be secure and stay in place. If the seal is broken and you have gaps this is a little clue that you should invest in a new pair of goggles. Your current goggles are kaput! Your swim experience will be miserable if you wear goggles that leak.
When you find your favorite brand, and you have tried them out, buy several pairs, including clear lenses for indoor swimming and dark lenses for outdoor swimming.
This is a re-print of an article I posted on March 04, 2016.
It is taken from my book (soon to be published) “Breathing Is The Secret To Swimming”. ©
Since most children and adults take the majority of their swim lessons in the summer I decided to reprint this article. If you are struggling with the ‘breathing’ portion of your swim lesson this article will solve that.
Please be patient with yourself when practicing this technique from “Breathing Is The Secret To Swimming” ©. You are learning a new skill. It will take just a bit of practice to learn how to swim breathe.
BREATHING IS THE SECRET TO SWIMMING ©
You have heard me speak many times about ‘swim breathing’ but what exactly is this? Swim breathing is when you exhale air from your nose and inhale through your mouth. When we swim, we do NOT breathe the same way as when we watch TV, drive our cars, talk on the phone, text, ride our bikes, or generally live our life. If we did this, water would go up our nose and in our mouth. Very unpleasant.
Try swim breathing right now. Exhale from your nose and take a breath of air through your mouth. This is swim breathing.
Approximately 90% of the people are “nose breathers” and prefer to inhale and exhale air through the nose. When learning to swim you have to change your breathing and learn to ‘swim breathe’. We change our breathing so the water does not go up our nose and in our mouth. Later in this article I will teach you how to swim breathe.
I will address the other 10% of people who are not ”nose breathers” in another article. These people may have block nostrils from traumas, sports injuries, sinus issues, and other nasal obstructions. Some people may have a deviated septum. I will address your concerns and offer solutions in another article.
No one wants water up their nose–it burns and is gross and yucky. No one wants water in their mouth either–there is a lot of coughing involved. I see heads moving up and down in agreement.
We never hold our breath when we swim. Never. Are you holding your breath right now while reading this article? No. When you hold your breath you are causing your body to tense and you are not relaxed. Also, holding your breath keeps an excess of Carbon Dioxide (CO2) in your lungs and bloodstream. This is not a good thing. BREATHE.
Breathing is recommended by all doctors!
Holding your breath when you swim gives you the Puffer Fish look. I see this look on many of my younger students. Parents have good intentions when they tell their children to “hold their breath” but this will not work for swimming.
Many students, young and old, come to me for swim lessons but they do not like to put their face in water—not even in the shower or bathtub. They have a fear of water being near their face. This is a very real fear. Learning how to ‘swim breathe’ at home will be helpful to these people.
Let’s get started! Yes, I am going to teach you how to ‘swim breathe’ right now. Read through the directions before starting.
Congrats! You have just learned how to swim breathe.
Repeat Steps 1-4 until you are comfortable with this way of (swim) breathing. Be patient with yourself. This is new to you. Go slow.
You may want to practice while wearing swim goggles, if you have them– then you can see the bubbles coming out of your nose. Perhaps you have a mirror you can put in the bottom on the salad bowl and look at your bubbles through the mirror. You will find this helpful in your learning experience.
If you have been my student or your children are my students, you have seen me bring my large plastic salad bowls to the pool. I have even bought ‘unbreakable locker mirrors’ with me. My students love to watch their nose bubbles! Everyone is comfortable starting at different levels of water. Some students can go directly into the pool and learn how to swim breathe. Some start at the steps. Some start in the Tot Pool. Some start with the salad bowl. When you learn to swim breathe no water will go up your nose or in your mouth.
BREATHING IS THE SECRET TO SWIMMING. ©
Splashing, wading and paddling means a great day at the pool, lake and ocean this summer. What could be better than a dip in the water on a hot day? Nothing that I know of.
-It is important to remember that the sides and bottom of the pool are (usually) made of concrete, a rock hard material. A slip or fall can be painful and dangerous.
-A lake bottom and the ocean floor can have a “drop-off” that you are not aware of.
-Never run on the pool deck. You can slip and fall on the wet deck and hit your noggin. Just sayin. That is why the lifeguards are always yelling “no running”.
-Never swim alone. (FYI: I have never been swimming alone. Ever.)
-Swim close to the lifeguards. They cannot help you if they cannot see you.
-Know where all the depth markers are located. They tell you how deep the water is at all points. Don’t know? Ask the lifeguard. No lifeguard. Don’t swim there!
-The American Red Cross has this cute saying “look before you leap”. The water may not be as deep as you think. You might be knocked out or injure your neck very badly. Know where you are jumping or diving at all times!
-Know the temperature of the water. Cold water can shock your body and make your blood pressure and heart rate go up. Also cold water can cause leg cramps or worse.….hypothermia.
-Always follow the rules at the pool, lake and ocean. (Tip: following the rules is always a good idea no matter where you go). 🙂
-Beach balls, floats and air mattress come in many shapes and sizes. They are lots of fun but they are not rescue devices. They are toys and float away. Learn to swim.
-Do not chew gum or eat while you are swimming. Why? You could choke!
-Going Paddle boarding or surfing? Use the ‘leash’ that is provided for your ankle. When you fall off and you ‘most’ likely will, the paddle board or surfboard will float away. What if it is a windy day and you do not have the ‘leash’ on your ankle? You will be stranded out on the cold lake or ocean watching the board float away. Happens every year.
-Wear a life jacket when you are paddle boarding or kayaking. Here is a real head scratchier. I have seen people with life jackets on their dogs and they do not have a life jacket on. No one is that good a swimmer to go without a life jacket while paddle boarding or kayaking.
-Do you have your own pool? Hire a life guard when you have a pool party. Those margarita’s catch up with you. Safety. Safety. Safety.
-Learn CPR and First Aid.
-Learn to swim.
-These are just some general guidelines. There are many others. Please be safe this summer and have fun for another day.
You are what you do, not what you say you’ll do. Carl Jung
What? You were expecting an egg recipe? HAHA. No, I want to talk about the benefits of sunscreen.
Who should use sunscreen? Anyone who spends time outdoors should use a sunscreen. This includes men, women, and children. People who tan easily and those who don’t. Fair–skinned people; people who already have tans; sunbathers, gardeners and skiers. Who did I leave out? If I left you out, shame on me. Please add yourself in. Sunscreens are safe for children and can help prevent skin cancer from developing later in life.
What does ‘SPF’ mean?? SPF stands for sun protection factor. So, slap on a high number SPF sunscreen and I am good to go? Whoa, not so fast.
Without making you a nut-job there are two kinds of ‘rays’. There are UVA rays which mean ultraviolet A radiation and UVB rays which stands for ultraviolet B radiation.
Dr. Roopal Kundal, a dermatologist at Northwestern University says UVA rays are responsible for damaging skin cells. This leads to darkening of the skin, aging, and skin cancer because it penetrates deeper into the skin and has more influence in the collagen. UVA rays are constantly present, no matter the season or the weather. (Yes, even on a cloudy day.)
Dr. Kundal goes on to say the sun protection factor (SPF) measures a sunscreen’s ability to filter UVB rays, which are related to sunburn and most skin cancers. SPF only measures UVB rays, it doesn’t address UVA rays. (Huh.) She says there are two ways to tell whether your sunscreen offers UVA coverage: the words “broad spectrum” or ‘UVA/UVB’. These are the most crucial words to look for on a sunscreen label according to the doctor. Without the words “broad spectrum” or ‘UVA/UVB’ your sunscreen will not offer protection from both UVA and UVB.
Fact: Did you know UVA rays can penetrate through window glass? Yep. Even while driving. Ekkk.
How much sunscreen should I use? Use at least an ounce to cover your face and body. In the articles I read that is about a full shot glass or a palmful . Don’t skimp! Apply every two hours and after you go swimming (or if you perspire a lot). Reapply often even if the label says “all day protection”. Don’t forgot your lips!
Fact: You need sunscreen on a cloudy day! Yep. Be extra-diligent around sand, snow and water, which reflect rays and increase your chances of sunburn.
Wear a hat to protect your noggin. Your head pokes out the top of a visor and the sun may burn the top of your head or scalp. You will get a big owie. Or maybe that is ouchie? How about a hurtie? Cover up your head.
As an aside, many years ago my husband and I lived in Florida. We saw the effects of the sun on the beach lovers. I always said to myself, “I am not going to look like an old turtle, ever”. That was the UVA at work. The beach lovers had skin that looked leathery, had a bumpy texture, lots of wrinkles and dark spots. That had a profound effect on me. And I was young! We keep a good stash of sunscreen on hand at our house. Even in our car!
-They are many brands of sun protective clothing on the market. They do not come cheap. But they work.
-Wear sunglasses. Even on cloudy days. Yep. They sell sunglasses that block 99% to 100% of UVA and UVB rays. Who knew?
-Drink extra water when you are outdoors. Always a good idea anyway.
Did you ask what kind of sunscreen I use? Thought so. I use Elta MD UV Sport. Broad–Spectrum SPF 50. It contains Zinc Oxide. It is oil-free. I do not use any products that have a ‘scent’. ‘Scents’ attract insects. (Ever wonder why bumble bees are flying around you at the pool, ocean or lake?) And…. I do not want to smell like a Pina Colada. My hubby uses Equate (Wal-Mart) Broad-Spectrum SPF 70. Non greasy. The man is 100% Irish and does not tan….ever.
We cannot live in bubble wrap but we can do the next best thing. Buy a good ‘broad spectrum’ sunscreen and use it. It is not going to do you or your family any good in the wrapper or in your beach bag.