Y-Fi: High-tech swimming

27 Nov 2014
POSTED BY Y Magazine

Swimming is a great way to keep fit and with some 1,700km of coastline in Oman, there’s no shortage of water to practice in. Matt Blackwell brings you the gadgets to help you improve safely along the way

Feel the Pulse
Bone conduction is big news in the world of underwater personal electronics and Finis are the leaders in the field. The Aquapulse is inserted under goggles and once clipped to your earlobe, will monitor your heart rate via your inner ear and cheekbone. When exercising, you need to work at different percentages of your maximum heart rate depending on what you want to achieve from your workout, but with the Aquapulse chattering away in your ear, you’ll always know when you’re working too hard or not hard enough. Available at www.finisinc.com for RO50.04

Breathe Freely
It may look like a strange contraption, but the Freestyle Breather Kit from Arena is actually an invaluable aid in swim training and can greatly improve breathing technique. The kit helps to prevent water inhalation by protecting the nose and mouth from splashes, creates a larger air pocket from which you can take in oxygen and guides you to better head alignment, preventing excessive rotation in the process. Endorsed by Olympic swimming champion Massimiliano Rosolino, the Freestyle Breather Kit can be used by competition swimmers who are looking to perfect their technique or novices who want to build their confidence in the water. Available at www.simplyswim.com for RO13.26


Just Keep Swimming
Not everyone has the luxury of an Olympic-size swimming pool in their back garden and this is where the HomeSwimmer Stationary Swimming System comes in handy. No matter what size pool is available to you, you’ll still be able to get the lengths in thanks to the belt that attaches to your waist, providing gentle resistance as you stroke. Just fix it to any strong anchor point and you’re good to go! The HomeSwimmer is lightweight and fits in a handy carry bag, meaning you can set it up at any indoor or outdoor pool at hotels, apartment complexes, schools or fitness centres. Available from www.amazon.com for RO32.05 


Editor’s Pick: Submergible Songs 

If you’re the kind of person who can’t be without your music no matter where you are, you’re going to want to get your hands on a Speedo Aquabeat 2.0 Underwater MP3 Player. Not only can you load up 1,000 tracks thanks to the 4GB of storage, the Aquabeat also has a built in pedometer, stopwatch and calorie counter for serious swimmers. Water resistant up to three metres, the MP3 player is also a suitable accompaniment for recreational snorkelling. The mono OLED-display means you can easily surf between tracks and the player is available in a number of eye-catching vibrant colours. Available at www.amazon.com for RO60.27


Light Up
The waters around Oman teem with marine life, much of which can be experienced by simply grabbing a mask and snorkel. The ocean comes alive at night, though, as different creatures come out to play and this alien world will be unfamiliar to many. Enter the Aqua Light Mask. It’s effectively a swimming mask with waterproof headlights and will give you a clear view below the waves, whether you’re partaking in a night dive or just fancy exploring the nooks and crannies in the reefs. Waterproof up to 10 metres and available at www.sears.com for RO26.18


NEW: Garmin Swim


When it comes to technology for serious athletes, Garmin is the brand you want. The new Garmin Swim has the ability to detect strokes, track lengths and distance as well as logging drills, leaving you entirely free to focus on your technique while you train. The fully comprehensive Garmin Connect acts as your interactive online logbook, wirelessly downloading data from the watch, which then allows you to easily evaluate your performance and analyse strengths, weaknesses and efficiency. The Garmin Swim has a sleek profile to reduce drag and the design is rugged, despite being slim, lightweight and stylish. Available from www.garmin.com/swim for RO57.74


App of the week: Speedo Fit  

If the Garmin Swim is slightly out of your price range, this app is a great substitute. With a stylish design and easy-to-use interface, you can log swims, set goals and check your progress at a glance. The pool locator and tips and techniques sections are two things that set Speedo Fit apart from your everyday fitness tracker. Download for free from the App Store.  


Kid’s choice: iSwimband Aquatic Safety Device

When it comes to children and water, safety is always the best policy, whether they are accomplished swimmers or not. The iSwimband Aquatic Safety Device is lightweight and can be worn as a headband or bracelet and, if submerged beyond a pre-set time, will trigger an alert on a Bluetooth-enabled iOS device. Effective at a range of up to 30m, one iOS device is capable of monitoring up to eight iSwimbands, making it great for family trips to the beach. While there is no substitute for keen parental supervision, the iSwimband definitely adds an extra layer of protection. Available at www.amazon.com for RO38.5

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