The Perfect Gear For Swimming

Swimming

Swimming is a fantastic way to exercise the full body. It’s low impact and you can go as fast or slow as you like (as long as you keep moving). Swimming certainly has a place in every workout routine due to its benefits to the cardiovascular system, its place on recovery days and its ability to aid muscle growth and mobility. The key to a great swim (other than great form) is having the right gear.

If you are just starting out, look no further than a swimming costume, goggles and maybe even a swimming cap. But for the more serious swimmers, you may want to look into a heart rate monitor or some swimming headphones to get you in the right mindset.

Someone emerging from a swimming pool.

1. Swimming Costume

Swimming tackles the element of hydrodynamics (how your body moves in the water). A 2012 study showed that swimming costumes had an effect on “hydrodynamic drag”. Hydrodynamic drag is the opposing force that slows you down as you move through the water. Imagine swimming with a rubber ring around your waist. Pushing through the water and swimming fast will be much harder as the water hits the rubber ring.

Swimming costumes can have the same effect. If you swim leisurely every weekend for some extra exercise, the swimming costume you choose might not be your main concern. However if your goal is to set a record time then you might want to choose a compression swimming costume that fits your body shape and therefore reduces drag.

2. Swimming Goggles

It's a no-brainer that swimming goggles can protect your eyes from, not only the swimming pool or ocean water, but also the chlorine or salt that respectively comes with both of these territories. Even if you find it easy to open your eyes underwater, it doesn’t mean you should.

A simple pair of swimming goggles can prevent discomfort and keep harmful chemicals out of your eyes. This means you can swim more comfortably for longer.

3. A Fitness Watch/Heart Rate Monitor

Heart rate zones are great indicators of overall fitness as well as being a great guide for how hard you are working out at a specific moment. Depending on which heart rate zone you are working in, you will be training different systems and burning different kinds of macronutrients for energy (fats or carbs).

Our range of fitness watches from Garmin and Polar include heart rate monitors so you can easily see how fast your heart rate is.

4. Headphones (Yes really!)

Shokz are bone conduction headphones that leave your ears free to hear other sounds around you. Their Openswim waterproof headphone range was literally designed for swimmers, being IP68 waterproof, they are the perfect tool to be able to listen to a podcast or your favourite music in the pool.

5. Swimming Ear Plugs

Swimming ear plugs do exactly as you’d expect - keep the water out of your ears. Given that Shokz headphones don’t need to go in your ears, there’s room for Shokz earphones and earplugs.

Ear plugs help prevent ‘swimmer’s ear’, which is the pain and discomfort felt in the ear after excess water exposure. It’s not necessarily the water that causes the pain, but it provides a great environment for bacteria to grow which then causes swimmer’s ear.

6. Swimming Caps

Swimming caps mainly aid your hydrodynamics, and are also useful for hygiene but can also cover your ears to prevent water making its way into the ear canal. While not being great for keeping hair dry as some people think, the benefits it can bring through speed and keeping chlorine out of your hair might be a great purchase.

If setting new swimming records is fairly low on your priority list you’ll probably be looking no further than a swimming costume and some goggles, both of which you can get from our website or our Gordon Street sports shop. However, for the more competitive swimmers, a heart rate monitor from Garmin and some headphones to get you in the right mindset might also be on your list. Explore our full swimming range at Greaves today with free UK standard delivery on all orders over £75.

References

Marinho, D.A., Mantha, V.R., Vilas-Boas, J.P., Ramos, R.J., Machado, L., Rouboa, A., & Silva, A. (2012). Effect of wearing a swimsuit on hydrodynamic drag of swimmer. Brazilian Archives of Biology and Technology, 55, 851-856.

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