Swimming: its not just good for escaping Raptors anymore!

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Swimming: its not just good for escaping Raptors anymore!

Postby parkaboy » Sun Jun 07, 2009 5:52 pm UTC

So I'm about to join the YMCA just to use their pool for swimming laps. I was on a swim team YEARS ago and really miss the feeling of back and forth until I ache all over. Its a great summer exercise, and if you have an indoor pool can go year round as well. I'm by no means a "swimmer" anymore, but I'd like to be again.

Any swimmers out there have tips for getting back into it, or should I just jump right in? ((HAHAHAAaaaa; PUNS!)) I was also thinking about other water activities. I was very young when I was on the swim team so we never used weights or anything that created drag and resistance. Are these things any good? I'm going for speed as well as health (weightloss and stamina), though I'm not looking to regain competition level.
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Re: Swimming: its not just good for escaping Raptors anymore!

Postby Zohar » Sun Jun 07, 2009 7:06 pm UTC

I started swimming a few months ago, I'm really enjoying it. My goal isn't so much swimming X laps, rather I'm looking for swimming for 50 consecutive minutes at a satisfactory pace, then I might start counting laps. I took a few lessons which really helped me improve, but considering you were on the swim team I don't think you need much help there. I think you should jump in and gradually build up the exercises' intensity.
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Re: Swimming: its not just good for escaping Raptors anymore!

Postby cathrl » Sun Jun 07, 2009 9:10 pm UTC

I recently found myself sitting outside my son's karate lesson at the local leisure centre for 45 minutes every Friday looking at an almost completely empty swimming pool, and thought: well, this is silly. By the time I've changed before and after, that gives me fractionally over 30 minutes. I'm trying to do 2 more lengths each week in the same time and I'm up to 900m having started at 750m. I find I need numbers to spur me on. I've never been a swimmer of any standard, though, so you're going to be starting out at a way higher level than me.

It suits me, though. I can get tired without humiliating myself in public.

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Re: Swimming: its not just good for escaping Raptors anymore!

Postby dubsola » Mon Jun 08, 2009 11:39 am UTC

Swimming's fantastic. I used to swim *a lot*, growing up in Australia it's quite a common thing. If I recall correctly, my fastest lap tip was to swim 50m in about 26 seconds. I started up again a couple of years ago, and the way I got back into it was to swim ten laps of a 50m pool, then go swimming once a week, increasing the number of laps by two if I felt up for it. I really enjoy it anyway, it's a pretty fun exercise. It's really good for you in a number of ways, for example, it's low impact, good for your back, good for your cardiovascular system, and strengthens many muscles at an even rate.

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Re: Swimming: its not just good for escaping Raptors anymore!

Postby Delass » Tue Jun 09, 2009 2:09 am UTC

I haven't swam in over a year (I would just swim for fun, not on a team or anything), and im in decent shape. I need to be able to do 500 yards in under 13 minutes, in either the breast stroke or side stroke. I don't really know either well, I previously would just do freestyle, but I guess this means I don't have any bad habits? After that I get to rest for ten minutes, then have to do push ups, sit ups, etc. Those I'm OK on. So, which stroke would you recommend, and does anyone have any better resources than wikipedia or youtube? heh. Thanks for the help.

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Re: Swimming: its not just good for escaping Raptors anymore!

Postby dubsola » Wed Jun 10, 2009 10:22 am UTC

Meteorswarm wrote:As a comment on the thread title, I think it's important to note that swimming is actually just not good for escaping raptors, anymore. Raptors have learned how to swim, and quickly.

"Swimming: It's no good for escaping raptors any more. Try a boat."

Delass wrote:I need to be able to do 500 yards in under 13 minutes, in either the breast stroke or side stroke.

Hmm, this is a tough one. I actually prefer sidestroke, I think it has more propulsion, and the advantage of keeping your head out of the water. But, I'm a comfortable swimmer - amd I'm not sure how useful any internet resources would be. You really need to be actually swimming with someone looking at you who knows what they're doing.

So, sorry for the lacklustre advice, all I can offer is 'Practice, practice, practice!'.

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Re: Swimming: its not just good for escaping Raptors anymore!

Postby Synergy » Wed Jun 10, 2009 7:42 pm UTC

I swum on and off for years. At one point I was on a swim team. The first 2 weeks suck. They always suck. You are reworking all your streamlining, strengthening, and building up your conditioning. I'm not an advocate of just swimming distance until you stop. You get a much better work out using timed intervals and breaks.
Things to do (you may know some of these)
1) get a skin tight swimwear. Swim trunks act like giant drag sail.
2) get a book and learn about streamlining your stroke (it makes swimming feel 10 times better once you learn streamlining). There are plenty of books at Barnes and Noble for this. I used "Total Immersion."
3) talk to other swimmers who have efficient strokes. if they're not in the middle of their work out they'll usually give you a tip two.

have fun swimming

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Re: Swimming: its not just good for escaping Raptors anymore!

Postby Hobgoblin » Thu Jun 11, 2009 6:53 am UTC

I'm your man. I'm a Sophmore in High School, currently on the team.


Wear drag shorts. These are basically a pair of man-booty-shorts you can wear in the water. They'll slow you down, but this is an awesome way to get faster.

What kills me the most during swim practice is swimming 10 sets of 50 yard freestyle swims. In a standard pool, 50 yards is down and back. We sprint it, but the time that the slowest person needs to be done for JV is about :45 and the slowest person on varsity needs to make it back in :30.

I just jumped back in the pool the other day from not swimming in a long time. It sucked. Awful. I feel SO OUT OF SHAPE. My advice for swimming is that if you have to stop swimming every day, run a few miles every day instead. Just never stop your daily cardio, or else you get owned in the pool the next time you swim.

So yeah, swim lots of fast little distances, some medium to slow long distances, wear drag shorts (google them maybe to see what I'm talking about), and don't forget to NEVER STOP SWIMMING/RUNNING/SOME KIND OF CARDIO EVERY DAY.


Edit: I forgot! Wear goggles, and some kind of skin tight suit. A speedo is recommended, though it looks pretty fruity. You can buy all sorts of "jammers" which the majority of my swim team wears. Check it out:http://www.swimoutlet.com/product_p/986.htm

And here are some drag shorts:
http://www.allensswimwear.co.uk/product ... 4%20(Small)
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Re: Swimming: its not just good for escaping Raptors anymore!

Postby Hobgoblin » Thu Jun 11, 2009 6:57 am UTC

Delass wrote:I haven't swam in over a year (I would just swim for fun, not on a team or anything), and im in decent shape. I need to be able to do 500 yards in under 13 minutes, in either the breast stroke or side stroke. I don't really know either well, I previously would just do freestyle, but I guess this means I don't have any bad habits? After that I get to rest for ten minutes, then have to do push ups, sit ups, etc. Those I'm OK on. So, which stroke would you recommend, and does anyone have any better resources than wikipedia or youtube? heh. Thanks for the help.


Well between side stroke and breast stroke, it's your personal preference. Hint: pick the one you're faster at.

Personally, I'd pick anything but breast stroke, because I'm awful at it. I just.. don't know what I'm doing wrong.. :( It's also a very choppy stroke; half of the stroke is actually bringing yourself to some form of a stop. Maybe side stroke is better, considering that you are in a more hydrodynamic shape, and that you are swimming in a more constant-motion way.
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Re: Swimming: its not just good for escaping Raptors anymore!

Postby Delass » Mon Jun 15, 2009 2:57 am UTC

Thanks everyone. Unfortunately, I suck at both of them. Haha.

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Re: Swimming: its not just good for escaping Raptors anymore!

Postby Zohar » Tue Jun 23, 2009 9:19 am UTC

Does anyone have any tips on how to avoid water vapor accumulating in the goggles?
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Re: Swimming: its not just good for escaping Raptors anymore!

Postby dubsola » Tue Jun 23, 2009 11:59 am UTC

I do the ol' spit and rub beforehand. On the inside of the goggles, I mean. Works fine.

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Re: Swimming: its not just good for escaping Raptors anymore!

Postby Speedo » Fri Jun 26, 2009 7:37 am UTC

@ op Parkaboy: If your YMCA runs a Master's program, I'd highly recommend joining it. These are groups of adult swimmers which compromise broad ranges of ages, abilities, and goals, so you'll get coaches who understand who you are and what you want to do, and you'll find other's who share your same circumstances. Otherwise, listen to your body, don't overdo anything at first, and consult other swimmers/a personal trainer about cross training...Weights and other forms of cardio can be greatly beneficial but you really don't want to make any mistakes with your body.

@ Delass: Is this the Navy PT Qualification Test? Sure sounds like it at least. Competitive breaststroke is a relatively tiring stroke, especially for 500 yards, if you can learn the standard Navy sidestroke it will help you more than you can imagine. YouTube and the internet in general will be good resources.

@ Meteorswarm: Just like sharks, swimming is a very effective means of escaping raptors, granted that you have other people with you. You don't have to outswim the raptors, you just have to outswim everyone else.

@ Hobgoblin: Few self-respecting swimmers wear jammers. If you're uncomfortable in a "fruity speedo", try getting a little more comfortable with your (hopefully hetero)sexuality and realize that briefs are just a different type of swimsuit. And if it's others that you're worried about, get over it, swimmers expect briefs and nonswimmers who think it's fruity anyways won't change their mind just because your swim suit is longer. All the other advice is legitimate though.

@ Zohar: Most quality (read: $15+ name brand) pairs of goggles come brand new with a fog-resistant coating on the inside of the goggle. Every time they are exposed to chlorine, salt, or contact with fingers, the coating is degraded. If you have used goggles, yes, spit&rub will temporarily prevent fog, but it will also cause the coating to degrade faster, making it fog up quicker every time. Once you get brand new goggles, don't touch the insides with your fingers, try to rinse the goggles off with cold clean water and soap after every swim, and store them separate from wet towels/suits/anything humid.

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Re: Swimming: its not just good for escaping Raptors anymore!

Postby Hobgoblin » Tue Jun 30, 2009 3:49 pm UTC

Speedo wrote:@ Hobgoblin: Few self-respecting swimmers wear jammers. If you're uncomfortable in a "fruity speedo", try getting a little more comfortable with your (hopefully hetero)sexuality and realize that briefs are just a different type of swimsuit. And if it's others that you're worried about, get over it, swimmers expect briefs and nonswimmers who think it's fruity anyways won't change their mind just because your swim suit is longer. All the other advice is legitimate though.


Don't worry bud, I'm a huge fan of the banana hammock, I just tell people that if they're intimidated by it, they should go ahead and get jammers if it's a big problem.
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Re: Swimming: its not just good for escaping Raptors anymore!

Postby Hobgoblin » Tue Jun 30, 2009 3:53 pm UTC

Zohar wrote:Does anyone have any tips on how to avoid water vapor accumulating in the goggles?


I wouldn't spit and rub in my goggles. What I found works best for me is to wash the inside out before and after swim practice with some tap water (not pool water!). Make sure your goggles are well on your face, as well. Some of the foam eyepieces on goggles don't hold on your face as well; I use some of these:

http://www.amazon.com/Speedo-Speed-Sock ... B00074USK6

and my sister and a friend of mine both agree that the Vanquishers are excellent goggles (by the way, there are a children's variety or a women's variety if you so prefer :lol:):

http://www.srsport.com/product_info.php ... ts_id/2140

The rubber eyepieces on the speed socket are a little uncomfortable in the beginning, and have never failed to carve gnarly goggle lines into my face, but never once in a swim meet have they fallen away from my eyes, and they never fog up. I've never worn the vanquishers, but they were the goggles of choice when my sister swam, and my buddy Alex insists that they are 100% grade A badass.
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Re: Swimming: its not just good for escaping Raptors anymore!

Postby Yakk » Tue Jun 30, 2009 4:04 pm UTC

I'd jump right in. Don't push it the first time -- just swim for 30 minutes, and stop when tired.

Do it at least twice a week. Don't accept excuses.

And then push to get rid of the breaks, until you can swim at a 'decent' pace (whatever that is for you) for 1 hour solid, 5-7 days a week.

Play some while doing the above, but don't worry about it -- your goal is to get in the water and move against resistance for an extended period.

Then again, maybe you are already at that point. :)

After that, worry about getting fancy. Go faster, use drag, etc.
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Re: Swimming: its not just good for escaping Raptors anymore!

Postby dubsola » Thu Jul 02, 2009 10:40 am UTC

Speedo wrote:If you have used goggles, yes, spit&rub will temporarily prevent fog, but it will also cause the coating to degrade faster, making it fog up quicker every time.

Whoops! I won't be doing that anymore. Good to know, thanks.

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Re: Swimming: its not just good for escaping Raptors anymore!

Postby Vincent91 » Tue Aug 11, 2009 6:29 pm UTC

I've been swimming for about 3 or 4 years and I was on a competitive swimming team for a year about a year and a half ago. Since then, I've been swimming solo for fun and to stay in shape.

I've been doing the following for the last 2-3 months, about 4 times a week:
1000m crawl
1000m crawl with a pull-buoy
1000m crawl with a pull-buoy and training paddles

Takes me about 50 minutes, with short breaks between each kilometer.

I'm working mostly on endurance and not really on speed, mostly because it's pretty hard to swim fast at the pool where I train. The pool is divided in 5 sections:
-2 lanes merged for people just messing around
-1 slow lane
-2 medium lanes
-1 fast lane
The thing is, people who qualify for the last lane by being faster than everyone in the other lanes haven't necessarily done any competitive swimming in the past, and they aren't that fast. Even with my endurance-pace swimming, I always end up stuck behind someone who's too slow. I usually manage to pass them pretty quickly, sometimes having to squeeze myself in the middle of the lane between 2 swimmers (They probably don't like me for that), but it's usually a matter of swimming about 100m before I end up stuck behind the same person.

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Re: Swimming: its not just good for escaping Raptors anymore!

Postby Hobgoblin » Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:10 pm UTC

Vincent91 wrote:I've been swimming for about 3 or 4 years and I was on a competitive swimming team for a year about a year and a half ago. Since then, I've been swimming solo for fun and to stay in shape.

I've been doing the following for the last 2-3 months, about 4 times a week:
1000m crawl
1000m crawl with a pull-buoy
1000m crawl with a pull-buoy and training paddles

Takes me about 50 minutes, with short breaks between each kilometer.

I'm working mostly on endurance and not really on speed, mostly because it's pretty hard to swim fast at the pool where I train. The pool is divided in 5 sections:
-2 lanes merged for people just messing around
-1 slow lane
-2 medium lanes
-1 fast lane
The thing is, people who qualify for the last lane by being faster than everyone in the other lanes haven't necessarily done any competitive swimming in the past, and they aren't that fast. Even with my endurance-pace swimming, I always end up stuck behind someone who's too slow. I usually manage to pass them pretty quickly, sometimes having to squeeze myself in the middle of the lane between 2 swimmers (They probably don't like me for that), but it's usually a matter of swimming about 100m before I end up stuck behind the same person.


Well if I know anything about swimming, and I do (being a swimmer), I'd tell you to keep in the fast lane no matter what. It's frustrating to be passed, which means that the swimmers you do pass will subconsciously speed up, meaning they'll get better. That means once they get better, you'll get passed, meaning you'll go faster I'm sure, and then you'll get better. I noticed in swim practice last year that a few kids all the same speed got put into different lanes. We did lanes 1-6, 1 being fastest and 6 being slowest. I was the one of the few in lane one. My friends were in 3 and 6. The kid in 3 got faster than the kid in 6, but I beat them both, by a lot, when we raced.

The fastest lane is the obvious choice especially if they're too slow even at your 1000m pace. They'll speed up eventually, and if you're in lanes any slower, they'll just move down a lane.
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Re: Swimming: its not just good for escaping Raptors anymore!

Postby Vincent91 » Thu Aug 13, 2009 1:29 pm UTC

Oh I'm definitely sticking to the fast lane, otherwise I think I'd go insane, but the part about them speeding up does not apply in this case.

People there don't want to speed up, they just want to get some exercise. It's been over 1 year and none of the regulars in the fast lane have really sped up. Some of them are actually slowing down with time.

When I said
Since then, I've been swimming solo for fun and to stay in shape.
I meant to imply that it's at a public pool, during what they call adult swim.

And they don't seem to mind getting passed. Some of them even stop at the end of the lane to let me pass because they know they're in the way.

Most of them have never done the flip turn and so they don't understand that you need some space to push on the wall. They will all be standing at one end of the lane, some of them chatting, while I try to get my feet on the few inches of the wall that are available and push.

Meh, frustration.

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Re: Swimming: its not just good for escaping Raptors anymore!

Postby cj-maranup » Fri Oct 23, 2009 7:01 am UTC

Just gotta say - Yay! Summer is nearly here! I can swim again!

So, anyway, I'm in Oz, & I just thoughI'd say I share the frustration about people who go slow & have no manners - slow maybe you can't help (but if you're doing granny breaststroke in the fast lane expect a filthy look), but pay attention & let people past if they're going faster... I don't do tumble turns, but I do get sick of the people who stand around & chat at the end & pay no attention. Can be a good way of 'accidentally' kicking water all over em tho! A lane all to myself is just bliss :)

Out of curiosity, does anyone else have a strong preference for 50m pools? Maybe that's just what I'm used to, but 25m just doesn't feel like long enough to get into a rhythm, and it's easy to get lazy - "woohoo I've done 64 laps! Oh, no, hang on, that's still only a mile..."

Another thing I do that may or may not be weird is breathe every 4th stroke when I do freestyle (overarm, whatever) - I swim quite slowly, so I find my breathing is more steady & endurance is heaps better...

Abt the breaststroke/sidestroke thing - sidestroke all the way - my breastroke is lousy & I always get a sore neck. With sidestroke you can switch sides each lap, and at least crick your neck in alternate directions ;)

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Re: Swimming: its not just good for escaping Raptors anymore!

Postby u38cg » Sat Oct 24, 2009 11:45 am UTC

When I was swim-fit back in my youth I did 100m sprints with no breath on the first length and one on the way back, and for steady swimming I was five strokes/breath. And yes, <50m is tedious.

"Accidentally" kicking people who are crowding lane ends tends to get the message across fairly swiftly, I find <g>
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Re: Swimming: its not just good for escaping Raptors anymore!

Postby cj-maranup » Mon Oct 26, 2009 2:18 am UTC

Ah, you're in edinburgh! I lived there for a while & loved it :) One thing that killed me tho - I couldn't believe how often the commonwealth pool was set up for 'cross pool' swimming! Made the pool unusable for anything longer! Surely people who couldn't manage a longer lap that 20m could have just pottered up & down by the edge in the shallow end?!

</rant>

Had another stray thought - having never been in a swimming team or anything, I didn't discover the S-pull part of 'crawl' technique til I was about 19, & it's made such a difference... I don't do it that well, but it's still way more efficient :)

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Re: Swimming: its not just good for escaping Raptors anymore

Postby Mighty Jalapeno » Thu Sep 09, 2010 2:11 pm UTC

Bumping now that I have a pool!

Does anyone have any advice to counteract the fact that, after 2 hours in the pool with my kids, I emerge RAVENOUSLY hungry, and NEED to eat? I would like low-prep, low-calorie and above all FILLING snacks, please. It's the only roadblock I've got here.

Also, my pool is very small (9'x18', I think). Can someone recommend good exercises where I don't go very far?

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Re: Swimming: its not just good for escaping Raptors anymore

Postby Nath » Thu Sep 09, 2010 10:23 pm UTC

Oatmeal cooked in milk. IIRC, part of the reason swimming makes people hungry is the cool water. A warm, filling bowl of oatmeal seems like a good solution.

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Re: Swimming: its not just good for escaping Raptors anymore

Postby TheNorm05 » Thu Sep 09, 2010 11:27 pm UTC

I hate that I get mad swimmer's ear when I let water go in my ears... as such, I don't feel comfortable swimming as an exercise; and when I do, it usually ends up just being a splash around in the water, though I do sometimes use the water resistance to flail my arms around until I get tired.

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Re: Swimming: its not just good for escaping Raptors anymore

Postby Dave_Wise » Sun Sep 12, 2010 2:34 pm UTC

I do a lot of cold-water skinny dipping in the local river. It's great!
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Re: Swimming: its not just good for escaping Raptors anymore

Postby TheKrikkitWars » Sun Sep 12, 2010 6:55 pm UTC

Dave_Wise wrote:I do a lot of cold-water skinny dipping in the local river. It's great!


I'm with you here, I've not swum in a swimming pool for years, (though I have used swimming pools to teach others eskimo rolling).

Swimming in moving water (be that the sea, a slow river, or even in deep [reasonably gentle] whitewater) is just the bomb!
I remember living by the nile and every afternoon I'd grab lunch, let it settle and head down to the river with some beers, stick those in the shade and swim across the flow (using the eddys for breaks, as it was more than a km wide in places) then swim back and spend some time jumping off the rocky islands into the rapids and bodysurfing the features, then finally swim back to my side, and used the strong currents to get some downtime (so dark you can't see light downtime :D) before going and sitting on the semisubmerged rocks and drinking some tasty beers... Sure as hell beats sitting in the midday sun.

TheNorm05 wrote:I hate that I get mad swimmer's ear when I let water go in my ears... as such, I don't feel comfortable swimming as an exercise; and when I do, it usually ends up just being a splash around in the water, though I do sometimes use the water resistance to flail my arms around until I get tired.


Go to your doctor, explain the problem, have an ear exam (as frequent swimmers ear usually indicates either damage, underlying conditions or exostoses [Surfers Ear]) and ask for him to give you a refferal to an audiologist to have earplugs moulded... It takes a couple of sessions to get used to them, but properly moulded they're completely waterproof, and won't fall out.
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Re: Swimming: its not just good for escaping Raptors anymore

Postby TheNorm05 » Sat Sep 18, 2010 5:26 pm UTC

TheKrikkitWars wrote:
TheNorm05 wrote:I hate that I get mad swimmer's ear when I let water go in my ears... as such, I don't feel comfortable swimming as an exercise; and when I do, it usually ends up just being a splash around in the water, though I do sometimes use the water resistance to flail my arms around until I get tired.

Go to your doctor, explain the problem, have an ear exam (as frequent swimmers ear usually indicates either damage, underlying conditions or exostoses [Surfers Ear]) and ask for him to give you a refferal to an audiologist to have earplugs moulded... It takes a couple of sessions to get used to them, but properly moulded they're completely waterproof, and won't fall out.

Yeah One of my ear drums was popped several times as a kid, so I wouldn't be surprised if there is some damage(as I often can't hear people... though this may be selective hearing.) I'm also very good at getting sinus infections, and I feel these issues are related.
Another issue however is that I haven't had any kind of health insurance for nearly 7 years, making any kind of doctors visit costly.

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Re: Swimming: its not just good for escaping Raptors anymore

Postby shanghaitexan » Sun Sep 19, 2010 9:30 am UTC

TheNorm05 wrote:Yeah One of my ear drums was popped several times as a kid, so I wouldn't be surprised if there is some damage(as I often can't hear people... though this may be selective hearing.) I'm also very good at getting sinus infections, and I feel these issues are related.
Another issue however is that I haven't had any kind of health insurance for nearly 7 years, making any kind of doctors visit costly.


i'm no doctor, so i don't know if this is just curing they symptoms or what, but back when i swam whenever i got swimmer's ear my mom would get a gelcap of garlic oil (you can find them at gnc or wherever they have a bunch of natural supplements), prick it with a pin, and then squeeze the oil into the bad ear. i would just lay on my side for like, 10 minutes and then clean out my ear with some cotton. you smell like garlic, but it got rid of the pain associated with swimmer's ear wayyyy faster than even the medicated eardrops i got from my doctor. i have no clue why, but it works.

also, i have terrible sinus problems, but i got a neti pot about a month ago and it instantly changed my life. so if you haven't tried that i highly recommend it. it's way cheaper than allergy medication and way more effective.

PaulNefets
Posts: 8
Joined: Fri Nov 12, 2010 6:29 pm UTC

Re: Swimming: its not just good for escaping Raptors anymore

Postby PaulNefets » Fri Nov 12, 2010 7:11 pm UTC

shanghaitexan wrote:also, i have terrible sinus problems, but i got a neti pot about a month ago and it instantly changed my life. so if you haven't tried that i highly recommend it. it's way cheaper than allergy medication and way more effective.


Even better than a neti pot are those "Ocean Saline" Canisters. They are pressurized cans of saline water streams. You stick it in your nostril and blast it for a few seconds. It IS AWESOME for allergies and keeping sinus infections at bay! I think a lot of people stay away from this route because they dont want to have to deal with the upkeep of a neti pot. I was thrilled when I found these canisters, because I finally didn't have to deal with the upkeep of an actual neti pot!


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