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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:

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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.

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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.

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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:

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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

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Published on November 21, 2019

7 Ways to Motivate Yourself to Workout

7 Ways to Motivate Yourself to Workout

Maybe you like going on walks in your neighborhood or hiking in the park, taking in the sights and sounds of nature. Or, perhaps you like to push yourself with spin classes and work up a real sweat. It could be that basketball at a local recreation league is your thing. And even though you enjoy these activities and you like the way you feel when you are doing them, somehow lately, you haven’t been able to muster up the energy to participate.

There’s a “catch-22” that often happens when you’re wanting to work out, but you are not in the mood. Working out will boost your mood[1] and make you feel better, but because of your current mood, you don’t want to work out. Does this conundrum sound familiar?

Anyone can get stuck in this rut from time to time. It could be that work has been taking too much out of you, or your family and personal commitments are eating up a lot of your time and energy. You’ve got to find a way to break out of this cycle. Getting your groove back requires finding a way to getting back to working out; you need a way to get started again.

How can you get started? Use one of the following hacks to get you back on track. Find one or two of the ideas on this list that speak to you and that you think you can easily implement. Once you get your workout mojo back, you’ll be surprised at not only how much better you can feel in a short amount of time, but how much better everything will seem.

Here are 7 ways to motivate yourself to work out:

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1. Don’t Get Sucked into the Black Hole of the Couch

As soon as you come in the door from work, get your workout clothes on and hit the door. If you sit down on the comfy sofa, it will take more fortitude to get yourself going. Think of your sofa as quicksand and don’t get pulled into the trap.

It’s a simple law of physics — Newton’s first law:[2] an object at rest tends to stay at rest; an object in motion tends to stay in motion. You can come nestle into the comfy couch after your workout. But first, while you’re in motion from your day, stay in motion and your get your workout in.

2. Find an Accountability Partner

Studies show that having an accountability partner greatly increases your exercise frequency and success.[3] Talk to some of your friends and find someone who is interested in your same schedule. Maybe you have a friend who would love to hike early morning before work, or maybe you know someone that would like to hit a dance class right after work ends. Knowing that you have to meet someone else will make you think twice about blowing off your workout.

You don’t have to have all your workouts include your partner, but even if you meet this person once a week, that will give you a boost to want to keep your workout going on other days. If you really feel that you need an accountability partner all the time, then find 2-3 people and meet them 2-3 times a week.

One caveat: if your accountability partner cancels on you, be prepared for that and keep to your schedule. Everyone has things come up every now and then, but if you find your partner is frequently trying to cancel or reschedule, you probably need to find a new partner.

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3. Or, Make Yourself an Accountability Partner

Commit to 30 days of an exercise plan. Look at your calendar and plan out which days and times you are going to work out, including what that workout will be. Allow yourself two “do-overs” for random life events or illness, but only two.

For example, let’s say you have on your calendar that you are going to go to a spin class after work on a Tuesday, but a family member calls whose car broke down and you have to go assist. You will rearrange that date of your spin class and find a different date to put it on the calendar, but you only want to do that for necessary external life events. Hitting the snooze button because you woke up too tired isn’t a good excuse.

If you can stick to 30 days of this plan, it should feel more like a habit and be simpler going forward as you reap the benefits of feeling better, mood boost, and more energy.

4. Integrate Some Mini-Movement into Your Day

If you go into work and sit at a desk most of the day, it will feel good to get out and move your muscles afterwards. But sometimes it seems difficult to get out of that sedentary rut. One solution is staying in touch with your body all throughout the day.

Set a few timers on your phone during the day, and when they go off, take a few minutes to do different physical movements. Stretching, doing forward bends or side bends are some ideas. You can stand against the wall and “peel” off of it, feeling each vertebra and releasing your lower back.Take off your shoes and wiggle your toes around. Do calf raises, standing up and lifting your heels up and down.

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These small movements done 2-3 times throughout your workday may seem insignificant, but they will keep your attuned to your physical self a bit more, so that you will be more motivated to have some bigger, longer, “real” workout sessions. Think of them as appetizers and your workout is the big meal.

5. Eat Something Fresh

Speaking of big meal, what we eat and drink is related to how we feel. So if you’re not eating particularly well these days, commit to at least eating one fresh item daily. Maybe you have an apple as an afternoon snack. Perhaps you fix a nice salad to go along with your dinner.

Sometimes, we’re so busy on the run that we don’t realize we’ve not been eating as fresh as we’d like. By making the conscious choice to seek out some fresh food, you’re taking care of yourself which in turn will make you think about those same kinds of choices when it comes to exercise. Another benefit is that if you’re eating well, you may feel “lighter” and have more energy to work out.

6. Create an Alter Ego

It may sound kind of crazy at first, but employing the use of an alter ego can be a great way to break out of a habit or create some life changes you desire. In his book The Alter Ego Effect, Todd Herman illustrates how an Alter Ego is a mental trick to improve your life. Many famous entertainers have used alter egos to overcome stage fright.

How could this work for you? You may be too tired to work out at the end of the day, but your alter ego isn’t. Let’s say you create a character named “Ironman.” Sure, when you come in from a long day at work, you can talk yourself into wanting to relax on the couch. But Ironman doesn’t feel that way — he’s ready to throw on his sneakers and go for a run!

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7. Water, Water Everywhere

Sometimes the simplest rules are the most important. We all know we are supposed to be hydrated throughout the day. But if you’re busy all day at work, and you’ve nursed a big tumbler of coffee all morning, suddenly it might be early afternoon and you realize you haven’t had any water today.

Drinking water boosts mood and decreases fatigue.[4] These two factors will help you in your quest to find the motivation for your workout.

Make sure you’re getting your water intake all throughout the day, and if you’ve had coffee, drink some extra water to counteract the dehydrating effect of it.

Final Thoughts

So, how are you planning to get going this week? Go pour yourself a big glass of water, get out your calendar, and think about what types of workouts you want to do.

Whether you call a friend and ask him/her to be an accountability partner, or whether you sketch out an alter ego for yourself so you can harness your power, you can use a hack to get you back on the track of being motivated to work out.

You know how good you feel when you do, so give yourself that gift. You don’t have to wait until tomorrow — go get your sneakers on!

Featured photo credit: Jonathan Borba via unsplash.com

Reference

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