9/1/08 - 10/1/08

Be a Safer Swimmer - 360swim SaferSwimmer

Sep 29, 2008

Swimming - The Master of All Excercises (Can dryland exercise help my swimming?)

Swimming, as we have always been told, is called the ultimate, all-around excercise activity. It is said that swimming works all of the body's major muscle groups, has little impact on your joints and can burn as many calories as going for a run. Well, the problem of the last statement with the calories is the length of the exercise. A swimmer needs to swim a lot longer to burn the same amount of calories as a runner. However, on the other hand, it is much tougher for swimmer to move through the water than a runner through the air as water is more dense than water, thus provides much more resistance.

Let's look closely at all major muscle groups statement. Is it a truth or a lie? To help us bust this myth or not, I found the following video which gives us insight into what muscles are actually being used during swimming of all the strokes. The video is a work of Dr. Nakashima from the Tokyo Institute of Technology and I am not sure anything else needs to be said, just watch and you will form your own opinion.

So, to answer the question, "Can dryland exercises help me improve my swimming?" we would have to state that it is a BIG YES, so get out there and start doing something.
Be seen, keep your stuff dry and take a break when needed.

Sep 23, 2008

Motivation and goals go hand in hand (Keep Swimming, Show up for Swim Practice)

If you ask top athletes out there about what makes them give it a 100% at practice even if the body says no? Well, usually the answer is quite simple, the thought of their goals being fullfilled motivates them to achieve the impossible. Of course, let's come back to earth and realize that we are all human and succumb to weakness, however, there are some tools you can use to help you overcome your laziness or whatever it is that keeps you away from the desired excercise. For most of us it is not enough to put a poster of our opponent on the wall and stare at it every morning as Michael Phelps claims (or would it be the money ?:), so we need something else to keep us going. Especially, if you used to be a competitive athlete and now just trying to balance your family, work and staying fit.

1. For some it is the group sport aspect. The thought of having other copatriots to show up for practice is a huge boost to your ego. You don't want to be the one that does not show up. Obviously, this works only if you have a certain personality and a good group of lads or ladies to go with it. I know this is a huge help for me.

2. Another great motivator for those of us with a need for gadgets is a new technological toy to go along with your training. Try getting a heart rate monitor to motivate you or even better, the newish Nike Plus series shoes which can be fitted with a chip connected to an iPod which will let you know how far you ran and graphs your progress on a chart on Nike's website. Not too shabby to get you going. You can even have a company or a friend competition who will run the most kilometers in half a year etc.

3. Sign up for a race. Triathlons or open water swims are a great way to get into the sport and also now you have a tangible goal with a real date to motivate you. This works like a charm, just try it. Nobody wants to be embarassed, coming last in a race and most of all, the worst feeling is when you race and you feel out of shape.

4. How about adding some music or podcasts to your swimming fun. The waterproof MP3 player by Finis is a good choice and will keep you motivated as you plow through the waves.

To summarize all these examples with just a few words, "set some tangible goals" and you will see the change happen.

Here is a little something that might help you start with the goal setting. Google has an online document suite where one can build text documents, spreadsheets, presentations and store them online, so access is from anywhere. They have lately came up with new templates for their spreadsheet solution and here is a modification of one of them to help you with your triathlon training and hopefully add a little spice into your motivational training.

Visit http://spreadsheets.google.com/pub?key=ptgf5FDNotd9roFIMqPrqZQ. On the bottom of the sheet you will find instructions on how to fill it out. These were mostly taken from Google's initial template. Of course, feel free to change it to suit your needs.

Or if you prefer visual stimulation to get you going, checkout how life puts walls in your paths, so you are up to the challange and climb over and not stop.

Have fun and if you want, let me know what it is that motivates YOU.
Learning to swim is priceless and SwimSmooth Learn to Swim DVD is a great start

Sep 20, 2008

New Site is Live!

After a long procrastination period of not writing and no maintenance, I was finally able to put some time and effort into the Swimming Hub site. And the result? Well, you can see for yourselves what has changed. The design is a bit different and with the additions of tabs, you can find your related topics easier. Check out also the poll on the right hand side and let me know what you would like to see on this site in the future. Happy Swimming :).
Safer Swimmer - the must have swim safety device for all open water swimmers

Sep 10, 2008

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Learning to swim is priceless and SwimSmooth Learn to Swim DVD is a great start