What I find encouraging about walking and swimming, is seeing people, of all different body shapes and fitness levels, participating. For example, Dorene, a beautiful lady of advanced years, arrives at the SwimPlex with her walker. She then uses her cane to get to the deep end swim ladder. Dorene then proceeds to lap me several times. She puts my swimming technique to shame and I love watching her go! Then there's mom (hi mom!). Mom suffered a stroke last year. After a bit of convincing, she agreed to get a "Euro Nitro" roller/walker (we call it her 'little red Ferrari'). Mom now walks/zooms around the indoor track at the local rec center, which has greatly improved her quality of life.
Whatever your fitness level, almost anyone can walk and swim.* Now, I no-where near have the health challenges that many people do, but I... with all my aches, pains, anxiety, all or nothing thinking, and bathrooms issues, can almost always walk or swim, and at whatever pace I want.
Walking outdoors can be very uplifting - see my post on outdoor winter walking. But, when the weather turns treacherous (or for whatever reason), walking on an indoor track is pretty awesome. The climate is always perfect! The track is soft and even (I'm a tripper), and most importantly... there's bathrooms everywhere!!! If you have a bladder with a sense of humor like mine, you'll understand why this is so important. The best part, is that walking at my local rec center is FREE!
Alternatively, swimming at my local SwimPlex is about $6. I get a pass which gives me a bit of a discount. Along with many classes, there's all day lane swimming. That's what I like....lane swimming in the deep end. At first though, I did find it a bit boring. I also found the pool noises annoying... sloshing, annoying aqua-aerobics music, people trying to make small talk when I'm trying to get in my swim zone, etc. Perhaps I'm a little anti-social and easily annoyed :) This is where my Underwater Audio waterproof iPod shuffle comes in. I love swimming to my music playlist. I love blocking out the rest of the world and getting lost in my songs.
About Waterproof iPods
Here's some things to note about waterproof iPods:
- Apple DOES NOT make any waterproof iPods. Waterproof iPods are all third-party modified.
- A Waterproofed iPod is different than a regular iPod that come in a waterproof case.
- Waterproof iPods are injected internally with a silicone solution that coats/waterproofs all parts.
- The iPod clips to your goggles, swim cap, ponytail, bun, or bathing suit strap.
- Some waterproof iPods come bundled with waterproof headphones.
- Think about what kind of headphones you want.
- Waterproof headphones generally come with a shorter cable so you don't get all tangled up.
- Waterproof headphones should come with a variety of tips to give you a custom fit.
After shopping around and reading reviews, I ended up buying an Underwater Audio waterproof iPod shuffle. Other well reviewed waterproof iPods include the Waterfi waterproof iPod Shuffle, and the Waterproof iPod Shuffle by Audio Flood. They basically all use the same waterproofing technology. I chose mine based on price, and the fact that I wanted it paired with specific headphones.
Waterproof headphones come in a few styles:
- There are plain waterproof ear buds. I have no clue how people keep those in. I can barely keep mine in just walking :)
- Behind the ear buds.
- Finis also makes a waterproof MP3 with Bone Conduction Waterproof earphones. Weird...and don't ask me to explain how they work.
- And there's a one piece, back of the head design.
Underwater Audio Waterproof iPod review
I purchased my Underwater Audio Waterproof iPod 6 months ago (April 12, 2015). When I received it in the mail, my son and I apprehensively dunked it in a glass a water, not believing it would work. But it did, and it continues to do so beautifully. I've used it 4 to 6 times a month with no issues.
The shuffle operates and loads playlists exactly like a non-waterproofed iPod shuffle... because that's what it is. I turn on my waterproof iPod, pick my playlist, clip the waterproof iPod on the elastic in my hair bun, and swim away. The only difference is the following: Because of the internal silicone, the buttons are harder to push. This makes it difficult, especially if you have it tucked outside of your eyesight. I also eventually got used to the buttons and where they are in relation to where the headphone plugs in.
Like a regular shuffle, the on switch has two settings: shuffle or play in order. Another button allows you to switch between playlists. The front of the shuffle has the basic play, pause, lock, volume, and skip forwards and back buttons.
You charge and make changes to your iPod with the supplied USB cable which fits into the headphone jack.
This waterproof iPod has been a great motivation for me to keep swimming and it is one of my favourite healthy purchases ever! If you know someone who loves lane swimming, a waterproof iPod could be the perfect gift!
You might also be interested in my favorite swim hair care products:
Aubrey Organics, pH Neutralizer Swimmer's shampoo
Aubrey Organics, pH Neutralizer Swimmer's conditioner
*Of course, consult your doc before beginning an exercise program.