Category Archives: Swimming

Be your own Guinea Pig

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“LIsten to everyone, follow no one”
– Dean Karnazes

Image of guinea pigThere is no one size fits all in diet or exercise.

In fact, you can listen to anyone’s “rule” about exercise or diet and I’ll guarantee you can find some one else who says the complete opposite to that “rule” – and they will both swear they’re right. In some sense they are. Some things work for some, other things work for others. Sometimes we know why and sometimes we have no clue. In the area of diet this is especially true.

This is why it’s so important to be aware of how you are responding to a new input (be it food or training). Something that worked beautifully for one can be kryptonite for another. A perfect example is with diet and gut health. Fermented foods are one of the big keys to wellness for many and introducing them into the diet can have many beneficial effects. However, if you are histamine intolerant they can cause more damage than good. More on histamine intolerance here.

Swimming is notorious for having contrary recommendations.

Breathe out continuously/don’t breathe out continuously, look straight down/look more ahead, kick/don’t kick – the list is endless. But somewhere in all the information about perfect swim form and what you need to do, is the recipe for you. However, you may have to try a lot of combinations. One of my big swim fixes came talking to an older master swimmer. He shared his story about the chronic pain he had had in his shoulders and how he fixed them from chronic pain and injury. He talked about “swimming from the back”, specifically using one’s lat muscles. It made sense and when I applied his discovery to my swimming, it turned out my weren’t “turned on” and I wasn’t recruiting them. With some exercises and awareness I fixed that and am swimming faster with less effort.

You need to be your own guinea pig.

Don’t go blindly into something just because it claims to be the next big thing or to be the answer to all your problems. But do experiment. I have learned so much about my health and fitness by trying various exercises and foods based on recommendations from others. Some worked miracles, others not so much.

Also, think about why someone is so excited about whatever it is.

My mom was told by a friend that she should try a new supplement that was somehow going to fix all health problems. It was supposed to contain the 12 best super food/minerals/plants on the planet. She asked me to do some research before she bought some. It turned out to be a multi-level marketing product.  Though some of the ingredients were great ones, there were also fillers and other not-so-great ingredients. She would be better off to buy the good ingredients on their own and make sure they were well sourced and potent. If money is the motivator be wary! But if someone found great results with something that isn’t a marketing ploy – try it if it sounds good.

As I try to help people, I remind them to do their research, examine the information out there, ask questions and try things.

See how you feel – better? worse? and keep looking and learning.

In the middle of writing this post I took a break and  listened to a favorite podcast. The guest and topic were apropos for my post. The podcast is the Bulletproof Radio with Dave Asprey and his guest was Holli Thompson, creator of Nutritional Style. You can listen to the podcast here and learn more about Holli here. She shares her story about the importance of nutrition and how individual it is.

So , though I want you to enjoy listening and learning from the information, recommendations and advice I will share from my and others’ personal experiences, it is not dogma. There is no one answer for everyone!