Go Swimming has everything you need to know about swimming. If you are a parent, a non swimmer or just want to improve your technique this is the section for you.

In British Swimming you will find information about the world of high performance sport, including the disciplines of Swimming, Diving, Synchronised Swimming, Water Polo and Para-Swimming.

The ASA is the governing body for the sport in England. In this section you will find all you need to know about joining a club or competing in England and becoming a swimming teacher or coach.

The IoS delivers the ASA’s courses and is a member organisation. Whether you are a teacher, coach, employer or club you will find everything you need to know about qualifications or educating your workforce.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

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Before clicking send on our Ask the Expert service, take a look at our Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs). Read on to learn more.

Simply select your question from a drop-down menu under the GeneralTechnique, or How To Use Swimfit and your answer will appear below.

If you cannot find an answer to your question here try leaving a question for our Swimfit community on our Facebook Fan Page or by using our Ask an Expert service.

General Questions

When is the best time to swim in the day?

"When is the best time to swim in the day?"

Research shows that maximal fat losses come from swimming on an empty stomach, so an early morning 30mins - 1hr pre-breakfast  swim session will ask your body to burn predominantly fats as a fuel,  as you will have depleted your carbohydrate stores following the meal you had the previous evening, and the fasted state you are in following your night's sleep.

Also an early morning swim raises your body's metabolism for the rest of the day, research has also shown that swimming is an excellent activity for raising the body's metabolism and keeps it raised for long periods afterwards too. This means that early morning swim might see you burn 300 calories but you will also ‘after burn’ possibly another 200 calories following your swim workout.

How can I lose weight with swimming?

"I would like to lose weight with swimming, what is the best way?"

Swimming is excellent for weight loss due to a number of factors including, the resistive qualities of water and it being 8-900 times denser than air, you also burn more calories in a shorter period of time due to these qualities too.In order to lose weight you need to balance your calories in relative to your calories burned in the pool. There are many ways of doing this, so here are a few tips.

  • Break up your swimming session to include some interval efforts that raise exercise intensity. (Check out SwimFit's swimming sessions)
  • Reduce your intake of starchy carbohydrates (pasta, rice, potatoes, breads) and replace them with more fibrous forms such as fresh vegetables and salad greens
  • Increase your lean protein intake with foods such as chicken, turkey, fish and lean meats - Your body has to raise its internal thermic temperature in order to break down protein therefore increasing your energy expenditure.
  • Drink water regularly throughout the day. Try to consume 1.5 litres drinking little and often. Water also has fat burning properties such as again raising your internal thermic temperature and transporting fatty acids in the blood stream quicker.
  • Try exercising on an empty stomach (or with just drinking cool water) as this will also burn more available body fat.

Is swimming suitable for pregnancy?

"Is Swimfit suitable for pregnancy?"

Click here for more information.

Where can I buy a good swimming costume/swimming aids?

"Where can I buy a good swimming costume/swimming aids?"

Speedo sell swimwear for all shapes and sizes along with a range of fine swim accessories. Remember Swimfit members are entitled to 20% discount – see session cards for more.

Why are aquatic activities good for you?

"Why are aquatic activities good for you?"

  • The water provides support for those with joint problems (reduces weight bearing)
  • You don’t have to be able to swim to enjoy pool based sessions
  • The resistance provided by the water improves muscular strength and power
  • Muscular strength improves joint stability
  • Joint mobility and range of motion (flexibility) are improved
  • Hydrotherapy (in warm water) will warm the joints to increase fluidity of movement
  • Joint pain IS reduced
  • Light/moderate intensity aquatic exercise produces significant benefits and WILL motivate you to stay mobile
  • You will gain vitality for the rest of the day
  • Aquatic fitness improves muscle tone and controls/maintains body weight
  • Regular pool based activity also aids sleep patterns and relaxation 

Where can I get a waterproof watch?

"I would like a waterproof watch but where can I get one?"

Try the following links:

  • Speedo - remember Swimfit members get 20% discount at Speedo.
  • Amazon

*Bear in mind for swimming you will require a watch water resistant to 50m or more.

How To Use Swimfit

How long is a length?

"How long is a length?"

One length is 25 meters.

How do I change my Password/Details?

"How do I change my swimfit password or email address?"

Login in to your myswimfit account. Click on My Profile and then on Personal Details, next enter your new password or email address and click Update.

How do I log in to my swimfit account?

"How do I log in to my swimfit account?"

Go to myswimfit and click login/register. Enter your Username and Password you created when setting up your account and click Login.

I don’t understand the session card

"I don’t understand what the session card is asking."

We have a range of frequently used swimming terms in our Swimfitters Dictionary, click here to take a look.

I need more swimfit cards

"My pool doesn’t have all the swimfit cards I need, where can I get some more?"

Your pool will need to provide these, they will need to contact their regional aquatic officers. You can also download cards yourself, click here.

My activation email doesn’t work

"I’ve been sent my activation email but it doesn’t work?"

Have you tried going to myswimfit and entering your user name and password you created when registering?

I find swimfit too hard

"I am finding the swimfit session really hard, to the point I want to give up. What can I do?"

First you have to ask yourself if you are on the right program, maybe moving down a level will help build your fitness and increase your confidence. Don’t worry if you are taking longer than the recommended time, this is only a guide and everyone’s ability varies.

What do intensity/effort/skill levels mean?

"I cannot find any information on the intensity/effort/skill levels"

Intensity level is linked with the skills you will be gaining during your swim. Intensity is rated 1-5, 5 being the highest and hardest intensity you will endure. You will be gaining new skills during your sessions and at the end of each programme will have a total of 100 skills meaning you have completed the programme 100%.Effort level is how based on hard the task is to complete.

How do I find the Speedo discount?

"Where do I look for the discount?"

Go to MyDashboard > select a session card and scroll down. You will find more information here on how to get your 20% Speedo discount.

Technique

How can I avoid cramps when swimming?

"Cramps are stopping me swimming. How can I avoid them?"

Here are some tips:

  • Sip water during your swim to keep yourself well hydrated.
  • Leave at least an hour if not two between eating a meal and swimming
  • Low potassium can be a cause of cramps so on the day of your swim be sure to add in a banana as a snack before hand (not straight before your swim though)
  • Ensure you do a warm up/stretch before your swim: Click here for an example warm up routine
  • If you are unfortunate and get cramp during your swim stretch it and massage it until it relaxes.

I find swimfit too hard

"I am finding the swimfit session really hard, to the point I want to give up. What can I do?"

First you have to ask yourself if you are on the right program, maybe moving down a level will help build your fitness and increase your confidence. Don’t worry if you are taking longer than the recommended time, this is only a guide and everyone’s ability varies.

How often should I be swimming?

"How many times a week should I swim to get fit and healthy?"

This very much depends on your level of fitness when you start swimfit but, the governments recommendations are the adults should be doing 30minutes exercise five times a week.  Don’t worry though, you can slowly build up to this!

How do I put my face in the water?

"I struggle putting my face in the water. I end up getting my breathing all wrong and feel like I swallow half the pool! Are there some exercises I can do?"

If you are struggling with putting your face in the water then this is purely a technical problem that needs to be addressed by a qualified teacher or coach. They will be able to recommend practices and drills that will help with this area of your swimming. But don't expect a quick fix. This is an area that needs to be worked on over a reasonable period of time.

Can I get one to one swimming lessons?

"I have muddled my way through life only ever using the breaststroke. I would really like to learn the front crawl but have no patience to attend weekly classes. Is it possible to have one-to-one lessons? If so, how do I find a teacher?"

Most leisure centres with swimming pools will operate swimming lessons, groups and individual one-one. The teacher should be a qualified teacher ASA Level 1 or Level 2. These teachers are qualified to deliver a quality learn-to-swim lesson, whatever the level. You should also find the strokes videos in Health and Shape Up and Tone sections very helpful.

How can I keep count of my lengths?

"I lose count of the lengths I have swum very easily. Is there a technique or a piece of equipment that people use to keep track of their swim session?"

I would suggest that in order to keep track of your lengths you use the clock to time yourself over say four lengths. You can use this as a guide. For example, if it takes you approximately three min’s to swim four lengths then in 30 min’s you will have swum 40 lengths. Alternatively you could purchase a lap counter from Speedo.  Remember Swimfit members are entitled to a 20% Speedo discount.

How do I swim with my head in the water?

"I swim with my head out of the water.  Could you please give me some tips on how to swim with my head in the water as people say that way is better?"

If you are not used to putting your head in the water try kicking with one arm extended and one arm by your side, and kick with your face in water. Then move your head to the side to breathe as a technique exercise. Have a look at the stroke videos on the website for some tips.

What stroke is good for a bad back?

"I have a bad back but would like to swim"

Swimming is an excellent form of exercise for those suffering from low back pain due to its low impact environment.

Certain strokes are better than others though with Backstroke being a great way to enjoy back pain-free swimming, that allows you to take on more oxygen for the aerobic benefit but also keeps your metabolism high by using a large number of muscle (this then burns more body fat and develops muscle, mobility, flexibility, joint strength and takes the stress off of the lower back.

Feel free to try a range of different strokes though and see what suits you.

Is swimming good for arthritis?

"I have arthritis but would like to swim"

Any form of aquatic activity will be beneficial to those afflicted with Arthritis.You will find that general swimming activities such as Front Crawl, Backstroke and Breaststroke, or specific Aquatic Fitness sessions such as Aquatic Circuits, Aqua Jogging/Walking, Aqua Aerobics or Aqua Fit are ideal exercises for improved mobility, flexibility cardiovascular fitness, muscular strength and an overall sense of wellbeing for a more energised approach to life.

Land based exercises can place too much stress on the body. Research studies have shown that those people with arthritis generally benefit more from some form of water based fitness activity.

The most significant factor is that ranges of joint motion improve dramatically, also the capability of carrying out specific movements are greatly enhanced when in the water.

How can I lose weight with swimming

"How can I lose weight with swimming?"

Swimming is excellent for weight loss due to a number of factors including, the resistive qualities of water and it being 8-900 times denser than air, you also burn more calories in a shorter period of time due to these qualities too.In order to lose weight you need to balance your calories in relative to your calories burned in the pool. There are many ways of doing this, so here are a few tips:

  • Break up your swimming session to include some interval efforts that raise exercise intensity. (Check out SwimFit's swimming sessions)
  • Reduce your intake of starchy carbohydrates (pasta, rice, potatoes, breads) and replace them with more fibrous forms such as fresh vegetables and salad greens
  • Increase your lean protein intake with foods such as chicken, turkey, fish and lean meats
  • Your body has to raise its internal thermic temperature in order to break down protein therefore increasing your energy expenditure.
  • Drink water regularly throughout the day. Try to consume 1.5 litres drinking little and often. Water also has fat burning properties such as again raising your internal thermic temperature and transporting fatty acids in the blood stream quicker.
  • Try exercising on an empty stomach (or with just drinking cool water) as this will also burn more available body fat.

How many calories would I burn with 30mins of swimming?

"How many calories will I burn with 30mins of swimming?"

You will burn roughly 200-300 calories from a 30min swim (dependent on swimming intensity).

Just 30 minutes of swimming can be the equivalent of 45 minutes - 1 hour of a land based cardiovascular workout (depending on the individual, fitness level and intensity of swim).

How do I include land based training?

"Alongside swimming what else can I do to improve my fitness?"

There are a range of exercises you can, have you checked out our Gym and Core exercise programs? Find out more about them here.

Do you have technical swimming videos?

"I need competitive stroke advice for Front Crawl, Breaststroke, Backstroke and Butterfly. Have you got any videos?"

We have advanced technique videos that you would find very useful. See them here.

Am I too old to compete?

"I am 25 years old and would really like to compete in swimming events, am I too old?"

You are never too old to start competing! In the UK we have a Masters swimming program with swimmers aged from 18 to 100+. See here for details.

When I swim I have trouble with my sinuses.

"After swimming I get pain with my sinuses, including headaches. What can I do?"

Chlorine-induced sinusitis is very common and can be combated by anti-histamines and nasal sprays, like Vicks and Olbas Oil. If you suffer from allergies it may make you susceptible to a reaction with chlorine. It is also important to keep well hydrated as this will help break down mucus build up. You may also want to look for local fresh water pools.

How do I tumble turn?

"How can I learn to tumble turn?"

You will find details of tumble turns under the following links:

Which stroke is best to tone my stomach?

"I would love a toned stomach but how do I get it with swimming?"

All swimming strokes will flatten you stomach, they all work your abs but they are relatively small muscles that don’t lead to a flat stomach through excessive training e.g. you don’t need to do hundreds of sit ups every day to get flat abs!

It’s all about all over body training and swimming is famous for working all the major muscle groups in one workout. Flat abs come from burning body fat and again this comes from raising your body’s metabolism from all over body resistance workouts e.g. swimming.

In short keep swimming and you will see a toned tummy!

You may also like to try some of our land based exercise to accompany your routine click here for more.

Go Swimming has everything you need to know about swimming. If you are a parent, a non swimmer or just want to improve your technique this is the section for you.

In British Swimming you will find information about the world of high performance sport, including the disciplines of Swimming, Diving, Synchronised Swimming, Water Polo and Para-Swimming.

The ASA is the governing body for the sport in England. In this section you will find all you need to know about joining a club or competing in England and becoming a swimming teacher or coach.

The IoS delivers the ASA’s courses and is a member organisation. Whether you are a teacher, coach, employer or club you will find everything you need to know about qualifications or educating your workforce.

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