Advertising
Advertising

How to Pick the Perfect Set of Swim Goggles

How to Pick the Perfect Set of Swim Goggles

Ready to take the plunge into the sport of swimming? The benefits of the sport[1] have been shown over and over again to be effective over other types of physical activity. It’s strength training, cardiovascular in nature, low impact, and can be done with a minimal amount of gear.

One of the things you do need, however, is a good pair of swim goggles.

Why You Should Always Wear Goggles When Swimming

There are two reasons that you should always be hitting the pool with a pair strapped to your head:

Advertising

1. They will help you see under the water. This sounds obvious, perhaps silly, but goggles will help you see better under the water. This is important because for starters you need to be able to see where you are going, and secondly, it will help you better see and avoid other swimmers in your lane.

2. They protect your eyes. You know how from time-to-time you go to the pool and emerge with red, itchy eyes? For most of us (myself included), it was assumed that this was because of the chlorine getting into our eyes and irritating them. This is partially true. The reality, as it turns out, is far more disgusting.

As the CDC notes,[2] when chlorine and things like sweat, pee, and uh, other human stuff, interact with chlorine it produces something called chloramine. This is what is causing your eyes to go crazy with redness. While a pair of goggles probably won’t ever remove the mental image I just gave you of what is actually happening in the water, it will help prevent the eye irritation.

Advertising

How to Pick Out Swim Goggles

Okay, so now that you are sold on why you should always be wearing them when you go swim some laps, here are the key considerations when picking yourself out a pair:

The anti-fog doesn’t last.

No matter what the packaging says or what the clerk at the swim store tells you, the anti-fog on swim goggles[3] always falter at some point. Two weeks of regular swimming is usually about all I’ve been able to get out of my goggles, and that is with having the discipline to not use my thumbs to wipe away errant beads of sweat and water from the inside of the lens. Don’t buy the hype, no goggle is truly anti-fog. What matters more is the color of the lens (which we will discuss next).

The tint of the lenses matter.

Dark and mirrored lenses look cool. There’s no disputing that. But with the darkness comes a serious pitfall—it compromises vision when swimming in older, indoor pools. This becomes especially apparent once the anti-fog starts to wear off. Having to wipe the inside of your darkened goggles at the end of each length because you can barely see the wall, the pace clock and other swimmers is no way to go through your workout.

Advertising

Simply:

  • Dark/mirrored lenses: For outdoor swimming, well-lit indoor pools.
  • Clear to lightly tinted lenses: Indoor swimming.

Insure a good fit.

Springing a leak in your goggles is no fun. Half the point of your swim goggles is to keep water out of your eyes and to keep your vision unobstructed. When goggles don’t fit properly, whether because the straps are too loose, the nose-piece too wide or too narrow, or the lenses don’t “suction” against your face, water is going to get in there. You want to spend your workout swimming, not perpetually stopping to adjust and readjust your goggles.

For this reason, check the following when you are down at your local swim store:

Advertising

Get goggles with an adjustable nose piece.

No two faces are built the same. Goggles that come with an adjustable nose piece allow you to not only customize them to your face, but it also means you can cheaply replace the nose piece instead of the whole set when it inevitably breaks.

Check the padding around the lens.

Next, check to see how the goggles feel on your face. Whether the goggles have some sort of padding around the lenses will go a long way in dictating how they feel. The Speedo Vanquisher strikes a great balance between form and function, and can be used by beginner and advanced swimmers. The rubber coating around the edges of the lenses sit comfortably against the eye socket. More experienced swimmers will lean towards the “Swedes” type of goggles, which have no padding on the lenses. Beginner swimmers would do well to avoid these when starting out—they will leave your upper cheeks and eyes ringing with soreness after any kind of extended time wearing them.

Happy swimming!

Featured photo credit: Flickr via flickr.com

Reference

More by this author

How to Pick the Perfect Set of Swim Goggles 5 Benefits a Food Journal The Shocking Power of Prepping Your Meals 4 Cool Things That Happen When You Start Journaling Your Workouts How to Set Goals Like Katie Ledecky

Trending in Exercise

15 Breathing Exercises for Anxiety (Simple and Calm Anxiety Quickly) 23 Home Exercises To Fix Your Rounded Shoulders In One Month 3Workout Every Day: Thursday Music Playlist 4Cut down on drinking! Time for a post-holiday detox 5How To Get A Six-Pack In One Month

Read Next

Advertising
Advertising

Last Updated on August 15, 2018

7 Amazing Things That Will Happen When You Do Plank Every Day

7 Amazing Things That Will Happen When You Do Plank Every Day

Bodyweight exercises are gaining ground in the fitness world due to the practicality and simplicity of getting in shape using your own body weight. Planks are one form of bodyweight exercises that will never go out of fashion. Planks are one of the most effective exercises you can do. Why? Because they require a small time investment on your part, and offer the chance to achieve substantial results in a relatively short span of time.

Video Summary

Why is it important to train up our core strength?

There are numerous sites and blogs which detail ways to build your core muscles or core strength. Often though, these sites neglect to explain what your core muscles actually are, and why building them is important.

This is quite surprising, as core muscles are quite easy to explain. Your core muscles are a series of muscles in your midsection, and are used in most forms of movement. Though they aren’t housed in your arms or legs, your core muscles can help transfer force from one limb to another, or are used in addition to muscles in your arms or legs to increase their effectiveness. As such a strong core will make a big improvement on your ability to move and exercise further.

Also they are great for helping other muscles in your midsection such as your abdominal muscles. Your abdominal muscles are important for supporting your back and spinal column, and as such are important aids in preventing injuries. However for them to be most effective you need to spend a lot of time developing your core muscles.

In short, planking exercises can make a huge improvement in your muscles down your whole body. Making them a hugely effective exercise to perform.

One Exercise, multiple benefits

There are few forms of exercise as effective at building your core as planking exercises. However, planking exercises benefit far more than just your core strength.

By holding yourself in the position for a planking exercise, you’ll notice that your biceps, neck, and shoulder muscles are also being tested and strained. This this encouraging their buildup and development. This is great news if you like to do press ups, developed shoulder muscles will have a big impact on your press up performance.

Advertising

When planking, you are holding yourself up through your arms and biceps and so by holding a planking position, your arm muscles are being toned and developed. Making planking a great alternative exercise to other forms of bicep developing exercises.

Moving down your midsection, successful plank exercises actually develop the muscles in your butt! These muscles tend to be ignored by a lot of exercises, so this is another great benefit of plank exercises.

In much the same way as you develop your biceps and arm muscles, holding the planking position helps develop the muscles in your thighs too.

What is even better is that planking exercises don’t take much time at all. In fact you should probably only spend about ten minutes max per day in the planking exercise.

What will happen when you start doing planks every day

    1. You’ll improve core definition and performance: 

    Planks are an ideal exercise for the abdominal muscles exactly because they engage all major core muscle groups including the transverse abdominus, the rectus abdominusthe external oblique muscle, and the glutes. The importance of strengthening each muscle group cannot be underestimated either, for all of these groups serve their own purpose. If you strengthen these muscle groups you will notice:

    • Transverse abdominis: increased ability to lift heavier weights.
    • Rectus adbominis: improved sports performance, particularly with jumping. This muscle group is also responsible for giving you the renowned six pack look.
    • Oblique muscles: improved capacity for stable side-bending and waist-twisting
    • Glutes: a supported back and a strong, shapely booty.

    2. You’ll decrease your risk of injury in the back and spinal column

    Advertising

      Doing planks is a type of exercise that allow you to build muscle while also making sure that you are not putting too much pressure on your spine or hips. According to the American Council on Exercise, doing planks regularly not only significantly reduces back pain but it also strengthens your muscles and ensures a strong support for your entire back, especially in the areas around your upper back.

      Check out this article if you would like to find out about how doing planks on different surfaces can impact the effectiveness of this exercise in strengthening your core.

      3. You’ll experience an increased boost to your overall metabolism

        Planking is an excellent way of challenging your entire body because doing them every day will burn more calories than other traditional abdominal exercises, such as crunches or sit-ups. The muscles you strengthen by doing this exercise on a day-to-day basis will ensure that you burn more energy even when sedentary. This is especially important if you are spending the majority of your day sitting in front of a computer. Also, making it a daily 10- to 1 minute home exercise before or after work will not only provide an enhanced metabolic rate but it will also ensure that that metabolic rate remains high all day long, (yes, even while you are asleep).

        4. You’ll significantly improve your posture

          Planking exercises have a great impact and improvement on your posture. This is great news as a strong posture brings with it a huge number of fantastic benefits .

          A good posture keeps your bones and joins in the correct alignment which means both your bones and joints will be better maintained and more healthy, but also means the overall effectiveness of your muscles will be improved.

          Advertising

          A good posture will ensure your back or spine is in the correct position and so you will suffer less back pain.

          On top of everything, someone with good posture looks better, healthier, and more confident.

          5. You’ll improve overall balance

            Have you ever felt that when you tried standing on one leg, you couldn’t stand up straight for more than a couple of seconds? It’s not because you were drunk- unless you happened to be at the time!-  but rather, it’s because your abdominal muscles weren’t strong enough to give you the balance you needed. Through improving your balance by doing side planks and planks with extensions you will boost your performance in every kind of sporting activity.

            6. You’ll become more flexible than ever before

              Flexibility is a key benefit of doing planks regularly, for this form of exercise expands and stretches all your posterior muscle groups – shouldersshoulder blades, and collarbone – while also stretching your hamstrings, arches of your feet, and toes. With a side plank added in to the mix, you can also work on your oblique muscles. This will provide you with further benefits when it comes to hyper-extending your toes, a movement that is crucial for supporting your body’s weight.

              7. You’ll witness mental benefits

              Advertising

                Plank exercises have a particular effect on our nerves, making them an excellent means of improving overall mood. How? Well, they stretch out muscle groups that contribute to stress and tension in the body. Just think about it: you are sitting in your chair, at home or at work, all day long; your thigh muscles get tight, your legs get heavy due to being bent for several hours; and tension develops in your shoulders due to being forced to slump forward all day. These are all circumstances that put too stress on the muscles and nerves. The good news is that planks not only calm your brain, but they can also treat anxiety and symptoms of depression– but only if you make it part of your daily routine.

                How to hold a plank position

                1. Get into pushup position on the floor.
                2. Now bend your elbows 90 degrees and rest your weight on your forearms.
                3. Keep your torso straight and rigid and your body in a straight line from ears to toes with no sagging or bending.
                4. Your head is relaxed and you should be looking at the floor.
                5. Hold the position for as long as you can.
                6. Remember to breathe. Inhale and exhale slowly and steadily.
                7. When your form begins to suffer, pull the plug. You’re only benefiting from the plank by actually doing the plank.

                Watch the video if you have any doubt!

                Here is a great infographic that shows the best plank variation exercises to evenly target all abdominal muscle groups:

                  How to improve your plank time gradually

                  1. Start with the easier variation if needed. You can start with a bent-knee plank if you can’t perform a regular plank yet. If you can hold a plank for more than two minutes with ease, you can move on to these tougher variations.
                  2. Practise every day. Space your planking exercise throughout the day and do 3-4 times every day. Try to hold the position 10 seconds longer each time.
                  3. Perform other body-weight exercises at the same time. Push-up and squat will improve your core strength too.

                  Are you ready to devote 5-10 minutes of your day, every day, to stay fit, healthy and, most importantly, strong as a bull? Then jump in and make doing plank exercises a part of your life.

                  Who Should Be Cautious Doing The Plank?

                  You need to be cautious doing Planking exercises if any of these risks apply to you:

                  • Prolapse
                  • After prolapse surgery
                  • Pelvic pain conditions
                  • Weak or poorly functioning pelvic floor muscles
                  • Previous childbirth
                  • Overweight

                  Choose an alternative pelvic floor abdominal exercise or consult your doctor before performing plank regularly.

                  Read Next