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Swim or Hibernate?

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As the Northern Hemisphere emerges from the winter darkness the Southern Hemisphere enters its ‘cool’ time. For many of us winter does not conjure up excitement when it comes to swimming. Extra time under covers, hot soup and additional clothes are more ‘realistic’ images. One therefore can seriously pose the question, is winter the time to keep swimming or to enjoy some well-earned rest time? Winter swimming is the perfect time to hit the pool and revise and improve technique, connect with a swim group and add that social element to your swimming. It is a super time to build fitness ready for spring.

We can still swim outdoors … just the other day I was enjoying a swim in Lake Wanaka,or if this 2 minute video is anything to go by you can realistically swim anytime in any temperature (with the right training and attitude) … Winter World Swim Champs 2014. Is swimming in cold water a good idea? Depends on a number of factors; Most importantly it is always good to get checked out from the doctor before undertaking any exercise that is significantly different from the norm. The cold water swim championships are extreme. Swimming in 17C/62F for a large number of people isn’t so extreme. For many of us who can remember the good old days of outdoor unheated swim pools it is all we knew. These days with many 30 degree indoor pools providing our ‘normal’ swim environment a dip in the outdoors can seem like a trip to Mars. Like any new climate only time will increase adaption and comfort. Swimming later in in the Autumn/Fall and earlier in the Spring will help you adapt to the outdoor water temperatures a lot easier. Is it good for us? This author seems to think so ‘It may add years to your life’.

My advice … if you’re in the Southern Hemisphere and you have got a swim goal for next summer then NOW is the time to start putting in the swim work, maybe a couple more outdoor dips then hit the pool. If you’re in the North … congrats it is summer, time to hit the open water.

*Article written by Dan Abel –  fitandabel.com

Jetstar Super Swim Squad

Hallway swimming

Swimming Elephant

10 tips to create confident little swimmers

1. Play with water at home
You can help their confidence along with some water play. A tub of water outside, sprinklers and even the bath are all great tools you can easily use to help them grow comfortable to water.

2. Enrol them in swimming lessons
As soon as you can and leave the teaching of skills to the professionals.

3. Speak positively
Speak positively about the water, give your child the information they need to stay safe and, most of all, always supervise carefully and closely.

4. Make it a comforting experience
Provide encouragement and let them know you are near them watching and soon they won’t need you at all.

5. Encourage, but don’t push
If they’re not ready, just try suggesting it again next time. They need to feel safe, not threatened.

7. Take them to a range of water experiences
Children need to be confident in all water forms not just the pool. So get them involved with the ocean, lakes, water parks as well.

8. Give them the tools to build confidence
Things like floaties, kickboards and water noodles are great aides for making your child feel confident in the water.

9. Let your child take the lead
Encouragement is important, but your child will let you know when they’re ready to take the next step.

10. Set an example
It’s important to lead by example and show your child that what you’re expecting them to try is safe.

What to expect at King of the Bays

Techniques for head position while swimming – Part 2 of 2

A few weeks back we showed you part one of Gary Hall Sr discussing correct head positioning while swimming. Gary is back now with part two where he examines the technique of three of America’s best open water swimmers Eva Fabian, Christine Jennings and Alex Meyer.

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Perfecting your Tumble Turn

Gary Hall Snr from The Race Club has some great tips and techniques for reducing drag in the water by using correct head positioning.

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5 reasons why warming up is important

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A good warm up is essential to limit your chances of injury. With swimming using large groups of muscles it is essential that you use efficient movements and maintain a low heart rate so as not to fatigue the body. These 5 tips will give you a good routine to ensure the right outcome.

  1. Warming up helps the body to deliver oxygen to the exercising muscle groups.
  2. Warming up increases body temperature, which reduces the chance for muscle and tendon injuries.
  3. A 5 minute warm-up increases blood flow to the exercising muscles. A greater level of blood reaching the muscles involved in the activity aids in the delivery of the important fuels (e.g., glucose and free fatty acids) required for energy production.
  4. Warming up increases the suppleness of the muscle, thereby enhancing the mechanical efficiency and power of the exercising muscles.
  5. An appropriate warm-up prepares the cardiovascular system for the upcoming (more strenuous) physical activity. Warming up helps to ensure that the cardiovascular system (heart and blood vessels) is given time to adjust to the body’s increased demands for blood and oxygen.

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