The Five Things You Need To Know About Swimming

The Suit

If you’re going to swim properly, you need a proper swimsuit. Itsy bitsy teeny weeny bikinis are fabulous for being seen on the beach but if you want to do some proper swimming then you need a decent swimsuit.

Why? Well for my first swimming lesson I wore one that didn’t quite fit properly and I spent half the time with my arms clamped over my chest trying to avoid flashing my instructor. Not much good for swimming there!

You need something structured and comfortable so that while you’re in the pool you don’t even realise that you’re wearing it. The best way to check is to stretch up from your toes to the very tips of your figures above your head. If everything stays where it is then you’ll probably be ok. Here’s a couple of good ones from Aqua Sphere with surprisingly reasonable prices starting at just £20.

 The Swimming Cap

I HATED swimming caps when I was younger. They looked naff and pulled at my hair. But two things have happened. Firstly they have invented nylon caps which are much more comfortable that the silicone ones and secondly I’ve realised what a godsend they are.


Most swimming pools, public one in particular, have a swimming cap policy these days so they’re an inescapable part of swimming but after a while you realise just how good they are at keeping your hair out of the way. A good quality silicon one will also protect your hair from chlorine.

The Smell

I’ve tried everything. I’ve tried body scrubs, shampoos, shower gels – you name it. Nothing shifts the smell of chlorine. I’ve tried showering immediately after getting out of the pool and I’ve tried having a bath little later when I get home. I’ve even tried having a bath with a heavily scented Lush bath bomb. I don’t recommend this – chlorine mixed with bath bomb is an interesting and powerful scent.


No, I’ve just had to learn to accept that on days that I swim I’ll be accompanied by the sweet chemical aroma of chlorine.

Aside from the smell I’m going to recommended that you shower as soon as you get out of the pool. Chlorine can have quite a corrosive effect on swimsuits but as well as that you will be cold. It’s a special kind of cold that comes with immersing yourself in a swimming pool for an hour, even a heated one. A warm shower straight after a swim is the best way to avoid getting the shivers later on.


You can’t swim without goggles – at least you can’t do it well. Most strokes – excluding backstroke – are performed best when your eyes are pointing at the floor of the pool. It’s why pools have lines on the bottom. They’re designed for swimmers to follow as they look down,  not to divide the pool into lanes as I used to think.


It also makes life much easier not wiping the water out of your eyes every five minutes whatever you’re up to in the pool.


Of course the above mentioned goggles and swimming gap are going to leave you with some stunning lines when you get out of the pool but these will fade quite quickly. I’ve tried a few different brands of goggles but my money now goes on Speedo. They’re a little pricey but you’re likely to get a bargain on sites like Sports Direct.

It’s AMAZINGLY good for you

I’ve always loved the water and still refuse to go on holiday unless there’s a swimming pool. Alongside that I have terrible knees and have been told to stay away from exercise involving impact such as running or aerobics. Swimming involves no impact at all and the water offers gentle resistance that you don’t even know it’s there.

Someone has said this much better than me so here’s the helpful infographic.


And here’s one last thing for you to remember…


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