Top 5 Items to Have In Your Swim Bag – Steve Wallen Swim School in Roseville and El Dorado Hills, CA
Swimming is one of those activities that require a designated bag; be fully prepared for your swim sessions by choosing the right items.
If you have ever arrived at the pool only to discover that you have forgotten your bathing suit, you know exactly what I mean. Unlike other sports, swimming requires you to fully change and shower at the facility once you have completed your activity. Sports, like soccer or baseball, allow you to return home in your gear or go out with the team for a beverage.
After swimming, several essential items must be included in your bag. Let’s break down your must-have list based on those items needed for children and those items required for adults. Keep in mind, you must also remember that bathing suit!
Top 5 Items to Have in Your Child’s Swim Bag
After your child spends 30 minutes or longer in the water, it may be surprising to learn that they need to be rehydrated. Swimming is thirsty work, and staying well hydrated is critical for your child’s overall wellness. There is no need for sugary juices or sodas; plain, freshwater is best. Pack a reusable water bottle in your child’s swim bag so that they can have a refreshing drink post swim. Ensure that the bottle is cleaned and dried upon returning home so that its ready to go for the next swim session.
Swimming takes an incredible amount of energy, even for tiny bodies. Always include a snack in your child’s swim bag. Not only will a healthy snack to ensure their daily nutrient intake, but it will also keep them happy during the changing routine. Children are typically wiped out after a swim session, so keeping them happy with a yummy snack will go a long way in avoiding those changeroom meltdowns. Try to avoid having a large selection of items as this can be time consuming and messy. Opt for hand-held, nutrient-dense, and delicious items like energy or protein balls, thick smoothies, or a fruit and grain bar. These items will fill those hungry tummies quickly and nutritiously.
#3. Small Toy
You have a number of tasks to do when changing your child after a swim, and keeping them content while you gather all their swim things makes your work easier. Have them choose a small, favorite toy to include in the swim bag. Along with an easy handheld snack, a toy will keep them occupied while you complete your tasks.
#4. 2 Towels
Change rooms and benches are wet, slippery places. It’s easy for pants, t-shirts and other items to get wet during changing. Another hazard is your child setting their dry socks on the wet floor before you have a chance to get their shoes on. While it does create a bit more laundry, include an extra towel in their swim bag. This towel serves as a dry changing surface to lay on the bench, and can then be used as dry, non-slippery floor space for those final minutes of changing. Keeping dry clothes dry is the goal here, as well as keeping the changing space less slippery.
#5. Reusable Vinyl or Plastic Bags
Travel bags work great for shampoos, soaps, and lotions. Keep these items contained in a waterproof bag that seals. It is easy to carry this bag right into the shower; once the items have been used, use a towel to quickly dry it off, seal it up, and toss it back into the swim bag for next time. Keeping these items together saves the time of searching for them when you are ready to shower your child, and keeping them in a sealing, waterproof pouch avoids gooey messes should a lid pop open. Small reusable travel liquid containers work great; transfer your shower products into these smaller containers to save space in your child’s swim bag. Include a reusable waterproof bag for wet bathing suits and towels so that other items in the bag stay dry.
Top 5 Items to Have in Your Own Swim Bag
Include a reusable water bottle in your swim bag. If you are swimming for longer than thirty minutes, or plan to swim at a high intensity, take your water bottle out to the swim deck with you. It’s important to stay hydrated while swimming. Consider how often you might take a sip of water during a run or a football game; the rules of hydration and your body’s constant need for water apply to swimming as well.
If you have done a vigorous swim workout, replenish your energy stores with a healthy snack. Protein-rich energy bites or power balls are a great option and are a cinch to make in bulk at home. Throw a couple into a reusable container and place it in your swim bag. My favorites include those recipes that are no-bake and include coconut, chia seeds, dried fruits, and peanut butter. An alternative is bringing a protein-rich smoothie. Smoothies can be nutrient-dense and are super easy to enjoy while you are getting changed or traveling away from the pool. Try a dairy alternative like almond, oat, or soy milk. Throw in some bananas, pineapple, or your favorite fruit. The number of energy balls and smoothie recipes available on the internet is endless; you are sure to find a favorite!
Take a moment to consider your swim workout. Have you been swimming for the same amount of time, using the same strokes, at the same intensity for a while? Have you noticed that you are not making any fitness gains? Our bodies adapt to the physical challenges we present them with, and they become very efficient. If you want to make gains in your endurance and strength, you need to change up your workout. Consider joining a master swim club, a swim clinic, or taking some lessons. Plan your next swim workout, and take that written workout with you to the pool. Laminate your workout, or use dry erase pens and surfaces, then prop your workout plan at the end of the swim lane for easy reference. Or, consider investing in a swim workout binder. I have had one for years that never fails me. Written by Nick and Eric Hansen, their “Workouts in a Binder” is terrific. Made of waterproof material, each page has a single workout. When folded on the metal ring binder, the book tents so that each workout can be displayed on the pool deck for easy reference. (Published by Velo Press).
Your swim workouts should require the use of at least some swim equipment part or all of the time. Avoid the time-wasting process of wandering the pool deck and equipment room for a kickboard, flippers that fit, and paddles that meet your needs. Invest in yourself and your workout by purchasing your own gear. Label your equipment with your name and phone number using waterproof ink. Liquid paper works well. Consider investing in your own kickboard, pull buoy, fins, paddles and resistance gloves. These items don’t take up significant space in your bag, and investing in your own gear allows you to choose your preferred size and style. A mesh bag works great to contain these items and can be attached to your main swim bag.
#5. Reusable Vinyl or Plastic Bags
You will need a few reusable bags to organize your gear, save time, and minimize the mess. Use a sealing, waterproof bag, such as those used for travel, for all your shower items. These are easily taken to the shower and will save you time in searching for all the items you will need in the shower and then juggling them en route. The bag is then easily dried, sealed and placed back in your bag. Another bag will be used for your wet swimsuit and towels. A third and final bag is for your swim workout gear. Keeping wet items contained keeps your main swim bag and other items like wallets, keys, and other clothes dry.