Most people know the benefits of swimming. It’s low impact; it’s a whole body workout allowing you to simultaneously engage multiple muscle groups and get stronger; it’s a great way to cross-train or work out when rehabbing an injury; and it’s relaxing – unless you have coaches telling you to keep going when you ‘re tired like mine do. [Just kidding – I love my coaches and they are great motivators].
I know many women who would like to swim more, but don’t because swimsuits are basically unflattering to anyone who isn’t a runway model or younger than 8 years old. A lot of women either don’t know of a resource to buy modest swimwear, or they don’t want to wear swimwear that reminds them of the turn of the 20th century. However, thanks to changing industry trends, we now have cute, modest swimwear. However, while many of these modest swimsuits are perfect for women to stand in the baby pool with their kids or at the shoreline on the beach, they aren’t really practical for moving around in the water or for more athletic workouts (swimming, stand-up paddling, kayaking, etc.). [NOTE: When I say modest, I don’t mean in a religious way. I mean that the clothing isn’t as revealing as it may be in mainstream swimwear].
Obviously I’m an active swimmer, given that I’m a triathlete. My training workouts consist of lap swimming usually lasting 30 minutes to 1.5 hours. I have a hard enough time trying to swim properly and get in the distance without having to fuss with my swim apparel throughout my workout. To be direct, swimming in a skirt creates drag and there really is no way around it. Rather than whining about it, I figure I’ll be a stronger swimmer because of it. However, it’s really hard to swim when the skirt is getting tangled up in your legs, your swim shirt is riding up, and your elbow-length shirt sleeves are wrapped around your shoulders (yes, this has happened on more than one occasion ).
So the purpose of this post is two-fold: to encourage women to swim for fun and for exercise, and to review some new products that make my training so much easier.
HydroChic, Sun-Protective Active Wear for Swim & Sport, is a woman’s dream. They released their new line, which is both fun and practical. I got the Surfer’s Silhouette swim top. It comes in fun colors and fits well. But it’s the little things that really set this swim shirt apart from others on the market. It doesn’t ride up, for one; and there is a small sleeve on the arm, but the hidden zippered pocket is the best feature. In the past, I pinned a waterproof case holding my key, ID and money to my swim skirt. I always worried that it would detach, especially while I was swimming in the river. Now I don’t have to worry. The fabric is chlorine-resistant, which I can definitely attest to. I swam in two different pools in the past week, and the shirt smelled like new after washing it in regular detergent. I paired it with the Waters Edge Hip-Hiding Drop Waist Long Swim Skirt (27″ long), and now have a functional swimsuit that can handle long and intense swim workouts and training sessions.
The upside is I don’t get stared at by other swimmers because it’s a cute outfit, and it’s attractive enough to wear to walk or drive to the pool. The downside is the last time I wore it to the pool I forgot to bring street clothes and had to wear a wetsuit home. 🙂
These swimsuits are so comfortable that for one of my last training swims I ended up swimming 1800 yards instead of the planned 1450 yards. Usually, I have to stop to make adjustments throughout the entire swim and end up having to cut my workout short because I ran out of time. It’s amazing what you can do when your equipment works!
Extra bonus is these items are great for multiple events. I’m doing a Peddle and Paddle event where you bike to a local pool, swim a lap, and then bike to the next pool. This is repeated until we visit all of the Howard County pools. I have another Hydrochic swim shirt that matches one of my Hydrochic swim skirts without leggings. I’ll wear this skirt with my tri capris so I can swim and bike without having to change clothes in between event legs. That’s a huge time saver. Plus the clothing offers sun protection, which is great since we’ll be outside for a really long time.
So if you want to start swimming for exercise or to train for an event, find a local pool and then go have some fun. If lack of swimsuit options have been holding you back, then check out Hydrochic’s website. Even if you aren’t a swimmer, their swimwear will allow you to be more active poolside while staying modest.
Disclosure: I was given the Hydrochic swim shirt to test, but I bought the swim skirts myself.