Swimming is a very popular activity, practised both for recreation and as a sport. It is one of the most popular sports in the world. It was officially recognized as a competitive sport about 150 years ago.
However, swimming is one of the basic activities of human life and probably dates back to the beginning of human life on Earth. Over the years, swimming has gradually evolved through the introduction of various equipment and accessories which make the activity much more enjoyable and relaxing.
Below are 5 popular swimming equipment which have been tested for years and have been found to improve the quality of the activity.
Basic Swimming Equipment
- Swimming Goggles
- Ear plugs
- Swimming trunks
- Life jacket
- Swimming Nose Clips
5 Basic Swimming Equipment to have
Dating back to the early 15th century, swimming Goggles are said to have first been developed by the Persians using tortoise shells thoroughly polished to give a transparent quality.
Following that, improvements and upgrades were made using a variety of materials including wood and glass before the current Goggles were brought into use in the early 2000s.
Swimming Goggles are one of the most important equipment for swimmers. It has a very crucial function in preventing water from getting into the eyes.
Most swimming pools contain chemicals such as chlorine which can cause irritation and redness of the eye.
Swimming in open bodies of water without swimming goggles can be quite risky as such open bodies of water may contain bacteria that may get into the body through the eye causing diseases. Swimming Goggles help to prevent incidents such as these.
Another vital use of swimming goggles is the improvement they provide to the quality of swimming.
When using swimming Goggles to partake in the activity, the user is granted a clear view of the water unlike the blurred view typically obtained when swimming with the naked eye.
Swimming with the naked eye also requires the swimmer to close their eyes to avoid water intrusion. For people wearing contact lens during swimming, the Goggles prevent damage and removal of the contact lens and thereby prevents eye injury.
Compared to swimming Goggles, earplugs are a relatively new invention discovered in the 1900s. The first known tale of ear plugs was in the Greek tale of Odysseus where his crew was warned against the sound of the sirens whose songs drove men to oblivion. Unlike swimming Goggles, earplugs are a general invention made for both recreational and non-recreational purposes.
Made out of silicone, their main purpose is to block materials from infecting the ear. During swimming, the body is at risk of being infected by harmful microorganisms which invade through orifices such as the ear. These harmful microorganisms are prevented from getting into the ear by ear plugs.
Ear plugs also prevent water from getting into the ear and clogging it up. A large quantity of water inside the ear during swimming may lead to pain in the ear, especially among children. Outside swimming, ear plugs reduce the volume of sound getting into the ears thereby preventing hearing loss in the long run.
Despite all these advantages, earplugs also have some disadvantages. These include the pushing of debris and ear wax deeper into the ear. Ear plugs may also injure the tympanic membrane if they are over-inserted into the ears.
Since the beginning of swimming, what apparel to wear has also been an important aspect of the program. Initially, swimmers tended to swim naked or strip to their undergarments. When swimming was officially recognized as a sport, the problem of the best material to use when swimming was seriously taken up, and more complex materials were brought up to be used in creating suitable swimming apparel.
The major reason for the deep research into swimming trunks was to find a good material that will remain comfortable even when wet so that swimmers will not be uncomfortable during their activities.
Another importance of swimming trunks was the privacy it provided to swimmers. In the past, people had to strip naked or use their underwear to swim because clothes would have gotten wet and heavy impeding the swimmer’s speed also after swimming, the swimmer would have to wait for the clothes and underwear to dry before they can return to their homes.
But with the invention of swimming trunks, the problem was solved as the trunks hugged the shape of the wearer making it no different than swimming naked thereby reduction in swimming speed due to clothes shape and size was greatly reduced yet at the same time the trunk covered the hip region.
Life Jackets were invented in the mid-1800s. Comprising of two types: single chamber and twin chamber life jackets. Life jackets are invented in such a way that when worn the person is turned upward such that the nose and mouth are facing the sky to prevent water from further entering the body. Life jackets automatically inflate when the wearer gets into a large body of water.
The jacket was not invented for only swimming purposes but can be used for any event that involves a large body of water such as a sea voyage, navy expeditions, and the like. Some jackets come with lights so that in case the area where the swimmer gets in danger is enshrouded by darkness or low lighting, the light from the life jacket can attract other people to come and render help.
Although it may seem like life jackets are for only beginner swimmers, in truth it is to be worn by anyone engaging in activities involving large bodies of water as accidents can happen anytime. In a pool though, life jackets are not necessarily worn by swimmers except for the lifeguard who uses them to save drowning people.
Swimming Nose Clips
Nose Clips were invented in the early 19s. Just like the eye Goggles and the earplugs, swimming nose clips were invented to prevent water from getting into the nose.
The water may contain chemicals and microorganisms which may be harmful to the body upon intrusion. Nose Clips also help in improving breathing techniques when using styles like the front crawl or backstroke to move in the water. Beginners learning this swimming method tend to push water into their noses unintentionally. Nose Clips help to make sure this water doesn’t enter the nose.
Swimming equipment is a vital part of swimming. They ensure safety and comfortability and also improve the swimming experience. You can list other uses of the above-mentioned swimming equipment or you can list other swimming equipment that you know in the comment section.
Also check out, the Importance Of Swimming And The Best Swimming Instructors.