Elmer Tan

How to Buy Wetsuit for Children

Your child’s attention span will become shorter if he/she is feeling cold in class, and if this occurs frequently, your child may become reluctant to go for class. As a parent, you can play your part by getting your child the right swimwear.

Types of Wetsuits

There are 2 types of wetsuits that are commonly seen here in Singapore – the Full Suit, and the Shortie.

The Full Suit will cover the entire arms and legs of the wearer, and can offer more protection against the cold as compared to a Shortie, which ends above the elbows and knees. However, for the purposes of swimming lessons, a Full Suit is not recommended as it can restrict the movement of your child. The Shortie can keep your child warm, as long as the next 2 sections are taken into consideration.

Thickness of Wetsuits

Wetsuits come in a range of thickness, commonly between 1.5mm to 6mm. There are 2 things to note about the thickness of the wetsuit:

  1. The thicker it is, the better it is at keeping your child warm
  2. The thicker the wetsuit, the less flexible it becomes

The thickness to get for your child would depend on your child’s ability to withstand the cold. Generally, you would not want to get anything more than 3mm for a child as it can restrict the range of movements of your child.

Fit

A wetsuit is completely useless against the cold if the fit is not right. That is because the water will get into the suit from the various openings. As such, when selecting a wetsuit, get one that is a snug fit for your child.

Of course, children tend to outgrow the wetsuit fairly quickly. There are 2 things you can choose to do here – buy a cheap wetsuit that fits snugly, and change it frequently OR get a wetsuit that is slightly loose. Do note that wetsuits tend to stretch with use, so do not get one that is too loose initially.

Keep the points above in mind when getting your child the right wetsuit, and he/she will stay nice and warm while learning to swim!

Singapore Swimming Complex Closed

Why Is The Pool Closed On A Sunny Day?

Have you ever been to the nearest swimming complex on a bright and sunny morning, only to find that it is closed? In this blog post, you will find 3 possible reasons for the swimming complex being closed.

Operating Hours

The first possible reason for the swimming complex being closed would be that you arrived at the complex outside of its operating hours. Some swimming pools are closed on certain weekday mornings for pool cleaning, and will only open from 2.30pm onwards on that day. Featured pools such as Jurong East Swimming Complex and Pasir Ris Swimming Complex are closed for the whole day for pool cleaning.

Renovations

Swimming complexes may also be closed for an extended period for renovations. For example, Clementi Swimming Complex is closed from 1 Feb 2016 to 14 May 2016 for the replacement of metal roofing.

For the above 2 reasons, SwimInSG is here to help! Simply refer to our website here to check the operating hours of the swimming complex.

Lightning

The public swimming complexes in Singapore will not allow the public to enter its premises when the pool is closed temporarily due to lightning activity in the area. While it may look bright and sunny at the swimming complex, ActiveSG’s protocol is to close the swimming complex when there is lightning activity within a few kilometres. This radius has been increased in the past few months for the safety of the public, resulting in increased occurrences of pool closures.

Now that you know what are the possible reasons for a swimming complex to be closed, be sure to check the pool operating hours as well as the lightning activity before heading down!

sun protective clothing

Sun Protective Clothing

This is the last part of our 3-part series on sun protection.

After a long day at the beach with inadequate sun protection, you will find very obvious tan lines on your arms and legs. This is due to the fact that your clothing is able to provide you with some UV protection. However, is that enough?

Ultraviolet Protection Factor (UPF)

Instead of SPF (Sun Protection Factor), you will find that sun protective clothing will carry UPF ratings. A clothing’s UPF rating gives an indication of its ability to block both UVA and UVB rays.

UPF 1524 blocks 93.3%95.9% UV rays
UPF 2539 blocks 96.0%97.4% UV rays
UPF 4050+ blocks 97.5%98+% UV rays

Normal Clothing vs. Sun Protective Clothing

Back to the question of whether your normal clothing is offering enough UV protection, the answer is NO.

The UPF rating of normal clothing is estimated to be about UPF 6, which still allows about 17% of the UV rays through. Even a bottle of SPF 15 sunblock offers more protection than that! Therefore, if you are going to be staying under the sun for prolonged periods (e.g. kayaking), do put on clothing with higher UPF ratings. It is easy to find clothing with UPF rating of 50/50+. Billabong, Quiksilver and Uniqlo (women’s only) are some brands that carry sun protective clothing.

Is Sunblock Redundant Then?

NO! Definitely not!

Firstly, your sun protective clothing cannot possibly cover every inch of your body. Secondly, the UV protection of the sun protective clothing may be reduced when it gets wet, over-stretched, or worn out.

As such, in order to keep your skin protected from UV rays and to remain fair, you should still apply sunblock, even under your sun protective clothing. If you have a friend who refuses to put on sunblock just because he is wearing a rash guard, don’t forget to share this post with him 😉

sunglasses sun protection

Sunglasses – What You Must Know

This post is the second of SwimInSG’s 3-part series on sun protection.

Do you know that UV rays can cause cataracts, cancer of the eye, and even blindness? If you do not want to increase your risk of getting the abovementioned medical problems, you should definitely read on!

Sunglasses – How They Work

When you are under the sun on a bright and sunny day, the iris in your eye will constrict to reduce the amount of light reaching your cornea. When you put on a pair of sunglasses, the iris will dilate (open up) to allow more light to enter. The darker the tint of your lenses, the more your iris will dilate to allow light in (up to a comfortable level).

A label that you will commonly see when purchasing sunglasses is “UV 400”. This means that the lenses on the sunglasses can protect your eyes from both UVA and UVB rays.

Cheap vs. Imitation

There is nothing wrong with wearing a pair of cheap sunglasses. Brands such as Oakley and Ray-Ban are expensive as they spend a lot on marketing and branding, and these costs are being passed on to consumers. A pair of cheap sunglasses from a lesser-known brand may offer as much protection as a pair of Ray-Ban.

However, the problem lies with wearing a pair of imitation sunglasses. While they may be cheap and look as good as the real thing, it is actually very bad for your eyes. Most of the time, imitations will have the same “UV 400” label, but it actually does not provide UV protection. What you are paying for would probably be just for lenses that are tinted, and nothing more.

When you put on that pair of imitation sunglasses, it still protects your eyes from intense sunlight, and causes your iris to dilate. What this means is that by putting on that pair of imitation sunglasses, you are subjecting your eyes to greater risk than when you do not put on any sunglasses at all!

But I Wear Contact Lenses With UV Protection!

There are contact lenses that offer UV protection for the eye. However, as the manufacturer clearly states:

contact lens uv protection
Retrieved from http://www.acuvue.com/technologies-home on 3 Oct. 15

Now that you know about the risk of wearing sunglasses without UV protection, be sure to only buy sunglasses from reputable sellers, and throw out any pair of sunglasses without UV protection you may have. Don’t forget to share this piece of information with your loved ones as well 🙂

Sun Protection Factor – The Higher The Better?

Do you know the meaning of the SPF number on your bottle of sunblock? Is it true that a bottle of SPF 100 sunblock provides greater protection than a bottle of SPF 30 sunblock? Is the SPF all that you look for when you purchase a bottle of sunblock? This post seeks to help you make better decisions when you purchase your next bottle of sunblock.

SPF

The sun protection factor (SPF) measures the amount of protection provided by the sunblock to block UVB rays. UVB rays are the main cause of getting sunburns. So what exactly do the numbers mean?

SPF 15 blocks about 93% of UVB rays
SPF 30 blocks about 97% of UVB rays
SPF 50 blocks about 98% of UVB rays
SPF 100 blocks about 99% of UVB rays

From the above, you can see that an SPF 30 sunblock isn’t twice as effective as an SPF 15 sunblock. There is only a marginal increase in effectiveness in blocking UVB rays as the SPF increases. In fact, no sunblock offers 100% UVB protection. Most importantly, using a sunblock with a higher SPF value does not mean that you can apply the sunblock less frequently! Regardless of SPF value, the sunblock would probably be gone after a few hours. The National Skin Centre (Singapore) recommends a water-resistant sunblock to be reapplied every 2 hours (1 hour if you have been swimming). This means that sunblock that is not water-resistant should be applied much more frequently as your perspiration would have caused the sunblock to wear off faster.

Protection Grade of UVA (PA)

Having mentioned so much about UVB, you may be wondering if there is a UVA, and whether it is important at all. If you are concerned about your looks, UVA is VERY important! UVA accelerates the aging of your skin! On top of that, UVA has been found to result in long-term skin damage and just like UVB, can cause skin cancer.

Most sunblock now offers both UVA and UVB protection. UVA protection may be indicated by phrases such as “broad spectrum” and “multi spectrum”. Many also use PA to indicate UVA protection, with PA+++ offering more UVA protection than PA++.

Now that you know more about UVA and UVB protection, be sure to get the bottle of sunblock that provides you with the level of protection that you are comfortable with, and reapply it frequently!

workout to burn fats

Burn Fats With This One Hour Workout

Looking for a way to lose a few extra kilos without damaging your joints? Here is a swimming workout that lasts about an hour each time.

Workout

Warm Up
100m Freestyle swim at 60-70% of your maximum speed
100m Freestyle kick at 60-70% of your maximum speed
100m Freestyle pull at 60-70% of your maximum speed, breathe once every 2 pulls

Main Set
4 X 100m head down kicking (target to finish each set within 3 minutes, moving on to the next set once 3 minutes and 30 seconds is up)
4 X 100m Freestyle pull (Breathe once every 4 pulls, and complete each set within 2 minutes and 30 seconds. Start the next set once 3 minutes is up)
4 X 100m Freestyle sprint (Finish each set within 3 minutes and 20 seconds, start next set at 3 minutes and 50 seconds)
4 X 50m Freestyle sprint (Finish each set within 1 minute and 30 seconds, moving on at 2 minutes)

Cool Down
100m Freestyle swim at 50% of your maximum speed, making sure to glide and stretch your arms

The Simple Science Behind This Workout

This anaerobic exercise is designed to achieve afterburn, also known as excess post-exercise oxygen consumption. Afterburn will increase your body’s metabolism rate up to days after your workout, helping you to burn more calories. This workout will work if you do it consistently, without significantly increasing your food consumption.

This work out requires you to have a kick board, a pull buoy, and a water resistant watch to take timings. If you have any queries, feel free to leave a comment or drop us an email.

Workout (Summarised Version)

Warm Up
100m Freestyle swim
100m Freestyle kick
100m Freestyle pull

Main Set
4 X 100m head down kicking (3mins, next set @ 3min 30s)
4 X 100m Freestyle pull (4 pulls 1 breath, 2mins 30s, next set @ 3mins)
4 X 100m Freestyle sprint (3mins 20s, next set @ 3mins 50s)
4 X 50m Freestyle sprint (1min 30s, next set @ 2mins)

Cool Down
100m Freestyle swim

exercise for toned arms

The One Swimming Exercise That Will Give You Toned Arms

Wished you could get rid of those flabby arms, but dare not use weights for fear of getting bigger biceps instead? Fear not, we have a workout that will only last approximately 30 minutes that will help you get rid of those flabby arms!

Workout

Warm Up
100m Freestyle swim at 60-70% of your maximum speed to warm up and stretch your muscles

Main Set
4 X 50m Freestyle Pull (Breathe once every 4 pulls, and rest 30 seconds between each set of 50m)
4 X 50m Freestyle Pull (Breathe once every 6 pulls, and rest 30 seconds between each set of 50m)
6 X 50m Freestyle Pull (Sprint at max speed for the first 25m, breathe whenever you need to. Next 25m do a slow swim, breathing once every 2 pulls. 20 seconds of rest between each set of 50m)

Cool Down
100m Freestyle swim at about 50% of your maximum speed. Stretch your arms and feel the glide.

Why this workout works

If you haven’t read our previous blog post (toned legs link), check it out and read up on the afterburn effect. Basically, by depriving your body of oxygen when you breathe less during the set, your body will quickly build up ‘oxygen debt’ and increase the afterburn effect.

For this workout, you will need a pull buoy and a water resistant watch to keep time. While this workout may be tiring, give it your best and do it diligently. The end results will definitely be worth it. If possible, do this workout 2 to 3 times a week, with at least a day’s rest in between. If you require our assistance to modify this workout for you, leave a comment below and we will do our best to recommend a workout catered just for you.

Workout (Summarised Version)

Warm Up
100m Freestyle swim

Main Set
4 X 50m Freestyle Pull (4 pulls 1 breath, 30 seconds rest)
4 X 50m Freestyle Pull (6 pulls 1 breath, 30 seconds rest)
6 X 50m Freestyle Pull (25m sprint, 25m slow 2 pulls 1 breath, 20 seconds rest)

Cool Down
100m Freestyle swim

flutter kicks for toned legs

The One Swimming Exercise That Will Give You Toned Legs

Yearning for those long, sexy legs but hating the gym that is overflowing with testosterone? Here is a 30 minutes swimming workout that will help you to burn those fats in the thighs and tone your legs!

Workout

Warm Up
100m Freestyle swim at 60-70% of your maximum speed. This is to help stretch and warm up your body for the main set.

Main Set
4 X 50m head up kicking (You have 2 minutes between each set of 50m. If you finish before 2 minutes, you get to rest until the 2 minutes is up before you start the next set. If you go beyond 2 minutes, you do not get to rest.)
4 X 50m head down kicking (Same set of timing as per the head up kicking)
6 sets of head down kicking (100% effort for 30 seconds, slow kicking for 30 seconds)

Cool Down
100m Freestyle swim at about 50% of your maximum speed. Try to stretch your arms and glide as much as possible to stretch and cool down your muscles.

Why this workout works

Excess post-exercise oxygen consumption, also known as afterburn, will help to increase your body’s metabolism rate for up to days after the workout. Afterburn is best achieved through anaerobic exercises, which are usually high intensity with short rest intervals. Anaerobic exercises ‘starve’ your body of oxygen, building up ‘oxygen debt’, which leads to the afterburn effect.

This workout will require you to have a water resistant watch to take time and a kickboard. As with all exercises, if you want to see results, you will have to do the workout diligently. Strive to make time and do this workout 3 times a week. If you require our advice to modify this workout for you (e.g. 2 minutes is too long/short), leave a comment with your timings for 50m and we will recommend a modified workout for you!

Workout (Summarised Version)

Warm Up
100m Freestyle swim

Main Set
4 X 50m head up kicking (Go @ 2 minutes)
4 X 50m head down kicking (Go @ 2 minutes)
6 sets of head down kicking (100% effort for 30 seconds, slow kicking for 30 seconds)

Cool Down
100m Freestyle swim

ad-hoc swimming

Too busy to exercise?

Did you resolve to increase the amount of exercise you do every week this New Year? How many times in a row have you resolved to do this but failed?

Many of you may find that your hectic schedules are getting in the way of your regular exercise. On days that you manage to get off work early, you may be just too tired to exercise. After all, an evening spent relaxing in your couch would probably be more enticing than dragging your exhausted bodies out for a jog.

For something more refreshing and easy on your body, how about going for a swim after work? According to Harvard Health Publications, swimming can burn as much calories as going for a jog. More over, we know from our previous post that swimming can help to alleviate stress, thereby making you feel better at the end of the day.

For those of you who would like to learn swimming, but are too busy to have regular lessons, we have come up with a new service! SwimInSG will be offering ad-hoc swimming lessons for busy individuals. For more information on these lessons that will fit well into your busy schedule, check it out here.

Have an awesome 2015!

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