After spending the last few months indoors, Spring is beckoning, and outdoor activities are imminent. With more daylight hours and warmer temperatures, it's the perfect time to reacquaint yourself with your neighborhood pool. And not to mention, triathlon season is right around the corner! Swimming provides a fantastic total-body workout but can be a bit daunting if it's been awhile since you were hanging out with the lifeguards working on your tan. Get the right gear, and you'll feel like Michael Phelps around your neighborhood pool — minus the Olympic hardware of course!
1. Sporty Bathing Suit
Leave your skimpy bikinis in your dresser and get something a bit sturdier that won't leave you wondering if you inadvertently flashed the old man in the lane next to you. A solid one-piece will work as will a sporty two-piece that has secure straps on the top and decent coverage on the bottoms.
Most pools are treated with chemicals to maintain their cleanliness and those chemicals can seriously irritate your eyes. Besides a bathing suit, goggles are your most important piece of gear. You'll want to make sure you select a pair that are comfortable and are water-tight. Many stores allow you to try them on before purchasing, which will ensure they fit properly.
3. Swim Cap
You may look cute while you're running with a long ponytail trailing behind you, but that will be a nuisance in the pool. Pick up a swim cap to help keep your hair contained. But don't be fooled. A swim cap won't protect your hair from the pool's chemicals or keep it dry.
Pools are known to be breeding grounds for all sorts of icky bacteria, so make sure you protect your tootsies when you're walking around the deck. One word of caution — rubber flip-flops can be slippery when wet, so you may want to look for a pair that has fabric straps and some traction on the bottom.
5. Skin Protection
Chlorine will dry out your skin like nobody's business. And it may make your skin smell a bit funny even after you've showered and cleaned up. A high-quality moisturizing lotion will help combat the dryness, and if you're using an outdoor pool, be sure to use sunscreen.