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5 Reasons You Should Try Open Water Swimming

Open Water Swimming

Summary:

  1. 1. Rediscover the Joy of Exercise
  2. 2. A Boost for Mind and Body
  3. 3. A Social and Supportive Community
  4. 4. Adventure and Thrill
  5. 5. Conquer New Challenges

Introduction: Dive Into the World of Open Water Swimming

Do you ever feel like your regular workout routine has become monotonous? Are you looking for a new and exhilarating way to stay fit while connecting with nature? If you answered yes, then open water swimming might just be the perfect activity for you! Imagine immersing yourself in the refreshing embrace of natural water, feeling the sun on your face, and experiencing the freedom of swimming without the confines of a pool. In this article, we will explore five compelling reasons why you should give open water swimming a try. So, grab your goggles and dive into the world of open water swimming!

Open water swimmer in the ocean

1. Rediscover the Joy of Exercise

Break Free from the Monotony

Are you tired of staring at the same pool tiles every time you swim? Open water swimming offers a refreshing change of scenery that can reignite your passion for exercise. Say goodbye to the repetitive nature of pool laps and hello to exploring vast lakes, rivers, or even the ocean. The ever-changing landscape will keep you engaged, providing new challenges and motivating you to push yourself further.

A Natural Playground

Unlike the controlled environment of a pool, open water presents a natural playground for swimmers. As you glide through the water, you'll encounter various elements such as waves, currents, and wildlife. These dynamic factors make each swim a unique adventure, stimulating your senses and sharpening your swimming skills. You'll learn to adapt to different conditions, improving your overall strength and endurance.

Engage with Nature

Open water swimming provides a rare opportunity to connect with nature in a profound way. As you swim alongside fish, plants, and other aquatic creatures, you'll gain a newfound appreciation for the ecosystem that exists beneath the water's surface. Imagine the exhilaration of swimming in crystal-clear waters, feeling at one with the environment around you. It's an experience that brings a sense of tranquility and peace, leaving you refreshed and invigorated.

Open Water Swimming Benefits Mental health

2. A Boost for Mind and Body

Dive into Serenity

Have you ever noticed how water has a calming effect on the mind? Open water swimming takes this to a whole new level. Submerging yourself in natural bodies of water can have a profound impact on your mental well-being. The soothing rhythm of your strokes, combined with the serene surroundings, creates a meditative experience that washes away stress and anxiety. It's an opportunity to disconnect from the noise of daily life and find inner peace beneath the surface.

Embrace the Elements

Swimming in open water means encountering a range of weather conditions. While this might sound daunting, it presents an opportunity to embrace the elements and challenge yourself in ways you never thought possible. Whether it's swimming against the current, navigating through waves, or feeling the coolness of raindrops on your skin, you'll develop resilience and mental fortitude. These skills will not only benefit you in the water but also in other aspects of your life.

Two women on a beach putting on wetsuits

3. A Social and Supportive Community

Bond with Like-minded Individuals

Open water swimming has a way of bringing people together. It fosters a strong sense of camaraderie among swimmers, as they share the same passion for this unique activity. Whether you participate in organized events or join local swimming groups, you'll have the opportunity to bond with like-minded individuals who understand and appreciate the joy of open water swimming. It's a chance to form lasting friendships and create memories that will last a lifetime.

A Supportive Network

The open water swimming community is known for its inclusivity and support. Whether you're a beginner or a seasoned swimmer, you'll find encouragement and guidance from fellow enthusiasts. Swimmers often share tips, training advice, and stories of their own experiences, creating a supportive network that celebrates each other's achievements. Being part of such a community not only enhances your swimming journey but also provides a source of motivation and inspiration.

A man wearing a wetsuit stood in shallow water looking at a lake

4. Adventure and Thrill

Unleash Your Inner Adventurer

Open water swimming is an invitation to embrace your adventurous spirit. It opens doors to exploration and discovery, allowing you to venture into uncharted waters. From exploring hidden coves and secret lagoons to swimming across vast lakes or along picturesque coastlines, every swim becomes an exciting adventure. The thrill of the unknown and the anticipation of what lies ahead will awaken your inner adventurer and fill you with a sense of awe and wonder.

a woman swimming in the ocean, adjusting her goggles

5. Conquer New Challenges

In open water swimming, you'll encounter various challenges that push you beyond your comfort zone. Whether it's overcoming fears of deep water, navigating through unfamiliar currents, or conquering long-distance swims, each challenge you conquer will boost your confidence and resilience. Open water swimming teaches you to embrace the unknown, face obstacles head-on, and emerge stronger on the other side. It's a powerful metaphor for life itself.

How to Get Started

Gear Up

Before you dive into open water swimming, it's essential to have the right gear. Invest in a comfortable and well-fitting wetsuit for swimming that provides insulation and buoyancy. Open Water Swimming Goggles with tinted or polarized lenses will protect your eyes from the sun's glare, while a brightly colored swim cap enhances visibility for safety. Additionally, consider using a swim buoy, which not only keeps you visible but also provides a flotation device if needed.

Safety First

Safety should always be a top priority when engaging in open water swimming. Swim in designated areas with lifeguards present, if possible. Familiarize yourself with the swim route and be aware of potential hazards such as rocks, strong currents, or marine life. It's also a good idea to swim with a buddy or join a local swimming group for added safety and support.

Build Your Skills

If you're new to open water swimming, it's wise to gradually build your skills and confidence. Start by practicing in calm and controlled environments such as lakes or protected bays. As you become more comfortable, gradually introduce yourself to different conditions, such as swimming in choppy waters or navigating through currents. Consider taking swimming lessons or seeking guidance from experienced open water swimmers to improve your technique and ensure a safe and enjoyable experience.

Conclusion: Dive In and Discover the Wonders of Open Water Swimming

Open water swimming offers a myriad of benefits that extend beyond mere exercise. It's a chance to break free from the monotony, engage with nature, boost your mind and body, connect with a supportive community, and embark on thrilling adventures. So, why not take the plunge and give open water swimming a try? Discover the wonders that await you beneath the surface, embrace the challenges, and immerse yourself in the beauty of the natural world. Grab your swimsuit, gather your courage, and dive into the extraordinary realm of open water swimming. The possibilities are endless, and the experiences will leave you with a sense of awe and accomplishment. Are you ready to make a splash?

How to improve your technique for triathlons

How to improve your technique for triathlons

Triathlon season is fast approaching! Still trying to improve your swimming technique for your next triathlon? We’ve got you covered! Here is how you can improve your technique for triathlons.

Bilateral breathing will open up the ability to take in what is happening around you, but can also reduce damage to your shoulders and neck from the repetitive motion of only breathing on one side. By doing this, you will be able to see more of your surroundings and see any hazards, such as oncoming waves or other swimmers. Try learning to breathe on both sides of your stroke. It will also help make your stroke more symmetrical.

Swimming in open water can throw a lot of variables into the mix. Many routes for triathlons include a turn around a buoy and swimming blindly with your head down will put you at a disadvantage. Identify landmarks before you swim that you will easily recognise and be able to see when taking a quick check of your surroundings.

To sight properly, lift your head slightly up so that only your eyes appear above the surface. Quickly scan to place where you are before lowering your head back underwater. You can do this as often as needed to understand your location and with your positioning in the race.

A major part of success in triathlon is being able to distribute the workload amongst you and your fellow competitors, it is key to not waste unnecessary effort on your first discipline, that you’ll be wanting to save for the rest of your swim. Identify the strongest swimmers around your pace level, and position yourself slightly to the side of them, making sure that you breathe away from the side of the swimmer’s leg. Make sure to push when you have the energy to do so! 

Keeping a high position in the water will keep your legs from weighing you down and sinking into the water, reducing the drag from your own body. Your wetsuit should assist with buoyancy but having the best head position will help guide the rest of your body through the water. Keep your fingers and toes closed to keep your streamline position throughout your body and you will see an increase in your efficiency!

For many triathletes, swimming can be their weakest of the three sports. However, making improvements to your swimming technique will help you move up through the ranks! Try out the points above and win your next triathlon.

Orcas Apex and Athlex Wetsuits

Orca's Apex and Athlex Wetsuits

Orca have spent the past 25 years designing and developing a high performance collection of swimming wetsuits. From beginner to expert, Orca triathlon wetsuits are designed for every ability level and budget. Orca have a new range of wetsuits with new materials and specifications, not just new graphics, making model by model updates to their wetsuits! Let us break down the new Apex and Athlex range of Orca wetsuits!

Below is a guide to show the changes to the new range!

 

APEX WETSUITS

Apex Flow

Replacing the Predator wetsuit is the Apex Flow wetsuit. Having the best combination of buoyancy and flexibility, the Apex Flow wetsuit brings new and improved body support. With big improvements on flexibility and having optimised fit, this wetsuit will help you find the right position in the water. With its great buoyancy, you will be fast in the water and have every possible technical advantage you can have. It will help you to save time and energy in the swim and to put you in the best position for biking, helping you to aim for that podium!

Material: Yamamoto Neoprene #40 and #44

Coating: Nano Ice SCS

 

Apex Flex 

Replacing the Alpha wetsuit is the Apex Flex wetsuit. For the natural swimmer, The Apex Flex wetsuit now has new improved fit and the highest flexibility with the most freedom of movement. They have designed this wetsuit to be easier to get on compared to its 2021 alpha counterpart. The Apex Flex is usually used for short and middle distances and is perfect for a swimmer looking for a light and very flexible wetsuit. This is perfect for a swimmer who has been swimming for a few years with a neutral position in the water.

Material: Yamamoto Neoprene #40 and #44

Coating: Nano Ice SCS

 

Apex Float

Replacing the 3.8 wetsuit is the Apex Float wetsuit. For the swimmers looking for the most support in the water, look no further than the Apex Float! With its increased flexibility and highest level of corrective buoyancy, you will be fast in the water and the suit will help you to find the right body position in the water, helping to provide leg support. This is perfect for any triathlete trying to save their legs for biking and running, helping to improve their overall performance.

Material: Yamamoto Neoprene #39 and #40

Coating: Nano Ice SCS

 

ATHLEX WETSUITS

Athlex Flow

Replacing the Sonar wetsuit is the Athlex Flow wetsuit. For the swimmer with concrete goals in mind, the Athlex Flow wetsuit will be perfect for you. With good flexibility and buoyancy, it will help with the correct body position in the water and can be used at all distances. This wetsuit will give you the perfect balance between buoyancy, flexibility and technical features while not spending too much.

Material: Yamamoto Neoprene #39 

Coating: SCS

 

Athlex Flex

Replacing the Equip wetsuit is the Athlex Flex wetsuit. Looking for a flexible suit for entry-level? The Athlex Flex wetsuit is light and flexible that is perfect for all distances. Having the most freedom of movement, this wetsuit will help you to move fast through the water.

Material: Yamamoto Neoprene #39 

Coating: SCS and Smoothskin

 

Athlex Float

Replacing the S7 wetsuit is the Athlex Float wetsuit. For those swimmers that may need a little more assistance on their position in the water, the Athlex Float wetsuit is a good entry-level model wetsuit with good corrective buoyancy. This wetsuit has good flexibility and strong support that can help you travel all distances.

Material: Yamamoto Neoprene #39 

Coating: SCS and Smoothskin

You can now buy these wetsuits here at ProSwimwear! Check them out here: https://www.proswimwear.co.uk/brands/orca/orca-wetsuits.html

How To Put On A Wetsuit More Easily

How To Put On A Wetsuit More Easily

Putting on a wetsuit can be a challenging task for a multitude of reasons, and can be the most exhausting part of the dive of open water swimming. But, squeezing into a wetsuit doesn’t have to be so difficult. Here are some hints and tips for putting one on more easily.  

 

Keep in mind, some wetsuits are simply too tight. If it restricts breathing or blood flow, squeezing around the neck, the wetsuit is too small. Another indication can be if the wetsuit is stretched tightly that the material leaves a hollow at the small of your back or stretches thin in places, this means that the wetsuit is too small. Over-stretched material will not keep you warm as it would if it is a properly fitting and snug wetsuit. This is because a stretched suit will allow water to circulate inside of your wetsuit, whereas a fitting wetsuit will keep you warm by stopping water from circulating inside the suit.

7 tips for squeezing into a tight wetsuit 

 

  1. The plastic bag trick - place a plastic shopping bag around your foot before sliding into your wetsuit. Once your foot is through the wetsuit leg, remove the bag and repeat the process with your other foot, and then take it to the next level and place it around each hand. The plastic helps the neoprene glide over your skin, without it getting stuck. 
  2. Blow into the wetsuit - this trick requires a helpful friend. Once your hand is through the wetsuit sleeve, have your dive buddy lift the edge of the wrist seal and blow a bubble of air into the suit to help it stretch and slide into the right place. 
  3. Start with the wetsuit inside out - turn the offending wetsuit completely inside out and put one foot through the ankle of the reversed suit. Roll the suit up your leg slowly and repeat with the other leg, the torse, and finally the arms.
  4. If you can, get into the water with the wetsuit and put it on in the water. Whenever the suit sticks, pull the fabric away from your body to allow water to flow into the suit and break the seal between your body and the suit.
  5. A dive skin can be worn underneath a wetsuit. Thin lycra dive skins cover a diver from the ankle to wrist to provide protection from wildlife. When under a wetsuit, dive skins help you to put on and remove the suit by preventing the suit from sticking to your skin. 
  6. Use a water-based lubricant - they can help a dive to put on a wetsuit more easily. The diver spreads a small amount of lubricant on his wrists and ankles to help them slide through the tightest parts of the wetsuit. 
  7. Having zippers installed into a suit's ankles and wrist makes putting on a suit much easier.

 

There are methods you should avoid to try and get a wetsuit on. Using soap, detergents, shampoo, or conditioner as lubricant can affect the suit's neoprene and may irritate or dry out your skin. Biodegradable solutions should not be used with a wetsuit as some of the liquid will also leak from the wetsuit into the water. Even biodegradable versions of detergents and soaps can leave thin residue and can make the neoprene become stiff and begin to crack.

 

Oil-based products can also damage neoprene, such as petroleum jelly or oil-based lubricants. Don’t use oil, grease, or any oil-based lubricants to aid sliding on a wetsuit.

So, sometimes wetsuits can be a challenge to get on. These tips should help you to get a wetsuit on with more ease and avoid the hassle! Take a look at our Skin Slick Anti-Chafe Skin Lubricant 1.5 Oz which is safe with lycra, neoprene, and wetsuits. 

 
 

https://www.proswimwear.co.uk//skin-slick-anti-chafe-skin-lubricant-1-5-oz.html

How to stay safe when open water swimming

How to stay safe when open water swimming

With the open-water season approaching it is important to take into consideration the dangers that could come with it, and follow all of the safety steps required. It is important for everyone to have fun and experience the beauty of natural areas but do so in a safe manner.  

So how do you stay safe whilst swimming in open water? It can be dangerous sometimes to swim on your own. Swimming with another person that you trust can help improve your safety. Even if they don’t get in the water and sit on the side, they will be able to keep an eye on you to ensure that you are safe and comfortable in the water. Check the route that you are taking with your friend and plan it in advance. Swimming with a group means you always have others looking out for you. 

Check the tides, currents, the weather, and check for hidden structures and foliage on your route that may get in your way or could cause any danger. The weather can especially play a large part in the difficulty of open water swimming conditions, so check the weather conditions on the day of your swim before heading out into the open water. 

You can always seek out advice from locals to ensure you understand your route as best as possible. Let another responsible person know where you are swimming so they have knowledge of your location to keep you safe if they need to call for help. Make sure that you don’t dive or jump into the water, enter slowly to allow yourself to acclimatize to the temperature, and not have a shock due to it.  

If you are new to open water swimming or are still not comfortable, swim within a depth where you are able to stand comfortably with easy access in and out of the water. A steady slope or beach is ideal for this. If you still feel unsafe, don’t get in the water. Knowing your limitations whilst swimming in open water is important. If you happen to get in and find out that there are currents, make sure that you swim upstream (against the current or tide) first and get to shore safely.   

Take a tow float and whistle on your swim. A tow float is a visual aid for others to find you in the water if needed and the whistle will help to attract attention if you are in trouble. Wearing a brightly coloured swim cap is also a great way to be seen in the water by your friends, peers, and rescuers. Make sure that you also check for any motorised boat traffic in the area. 

Wear a wetsuit. It will help to provide your body with extra warmth and avoid you getting cold whilst in the open water. The temperature of the water can be shocking in just a swimsuit. It is advised to practice swimming in a wetsuit before going out in the open water as it can change your swimming stroke slightly. 

If at any point you feel your body getting too cold, get out of the water. Make sure you lubricate around your neck to avoid chafing from your wetsuit. You should also wear goggles to help protect your eyes and increase visibility in lakes, rivers, and seas that have poor water visibility. At Proswimwear we have a large range of tow-floats and wetsuits to protect your body when swimming, take a look at what we have in stock. 

Overall, open water can be fun and exciting, but you should stay vigilant and wary when in the water of any dangers that may occur. For example, the changing currents and change in weather conditions. If you are ever in doubt, stay out of the water. Make sure that you have all of the open-water essentials provided by Proswimwear shown in the link below, and swim safely!

https://www.proswimwear.co.uk/wetsuits/open-water/safety-buoys.html?product_list_limit=60 

https://www.proswimwear.co.uk/wetsuits/open-water.html 

 

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