From Snowshoes to Swim Lessons, Shop Locally this Year
Halloween is behind us and Thanksgiving will be here before we know it ... which means we're getting a lot closer to the holiday season. We all know this has been an extremely difficult year for our local businesses, and what better way to make sure they stay than to shop this season? From experience […]

Halloween is behind us and Thanksgiving will be here before we know it ... which means we're getting a lot closer to the holiday season. We all know this has been an extremely difficult year for our local businesses, and what better way to make sure they stay than to shop this season? From experience gifts to puzzles on a snowy night, here are some great ways to treat someone you love while supporting our local community.

  1. Offer an experience - Everyone loves an experience gift - especially parents with a storage room full of toys and overflowing drawers! While it's harder this year to find experience gifts (no Madison Children's Museum membership or trips when it opens so early), we still have a ton of fun local options. Swimming lessons at SwimWest would be a great gift, as would a Swim & Gym Camp session. Experience gifts are a great option for any activity that interests your child. Gymnastic? Check-out Badger gymnastics lessons or day camps, or have a private play date at the small gymnasium with your Quaranteam. Other great options include: Keva, Infinity Martial Arts, Go Ninja, Creative Soul Camp, or Monroe Street Arts. All of them offer safe and Covid-friendly options for children.
  2. ALLLLL Outdoor equipment - Bikes, snowshoes, skis, ice skates… You name it, it will probably sell out this winter. We're all desperate to find ways to stay active and busy in a very tough year, and one of the best ways to do that in Wisconsin is to take advantage of the windy weather and find something you love to do in the elements. We have lots of outdoor oriented stores (Dick's, REI) but don't forget to check out our local businesses who would love your support this year (Fontana Sports, Just swim, etc). Grab your new gear and hike the local trails (Governor Nelson or Elver both have cross-country skiing and there are plenty of local ponds for ice skating!)
  3. Puzzle set - Find a way to stay warm and toasty during those extremely cold days this winter - enjoy a fun new game or puzzle! It's a simple way to bond with fun family while “teaching” kids math, logic, rules, taking turns and more. Locally, check I am counsel or Noble Knight Games for a great choice and excellent service!
  4. Get your Craft on - Being creative is fun for kids AND adults, and we have several local businesses that offer in-home craft kits. Has there ever been a better year to dive into crafts than 2020? To delight, Board and brush and Signs by Caitlin are some of the local shops that offer do-it-yourself crafts. They will send you all the materials you need with instructions on how to complete the project. The gift is the process AND the finished product!

Have a wonderful time shopping for your family and friends, and let me know if you have any other suggestions in the comments below! For more information on SwimWest lessons or gift cards, please call us at 608.831.6829.


The following information was found on the Enjoy Swimming website. Tips like this and a whole lot more will be covered at the Nike Swim Camp at Trinity College this summer !

Having a good freestyle swimming technique is essential for an effective stroke. Being effective means either being relaxed while swimming at slow to moderate speed or swimming fast without being exhausted too quickly. The swimming tips in this article will help you become a more effective freestyle swimmer.

Keep your head in line with your trunk and look straight down toward the bottom of the pool. Don’t look forward because otherwise you will have the tendency to lift your head, which will in turn cause your hips and legs to drop and you will have to kick harder to keep them up.

Learn how to press your buoy, which has the benefit of keeping your hips and legs up without much effort. This freestyle swimming technique requires you to apply downward pressure on your head and chest. As your lungs are filled with air and very buoyant, pressing down your upper body causes the lower body to rise up through a lever effect. You then don’t need to kick that anymore.

Don’t lift your head just before breathing. This common error also causes your hips and legs to drop. Rather roll on your side and let your head roll a little bit further until your mouth clears the water. It should feel like your head was resting sideways on a pillow made of water.

Try to swim more on your sides rather than flat on your stomach and chest. Roll from side to side with each arm stroke. This allows you to engage the larger back groupes de muscles in addition to the shoulder zones musculaires and improves your propulsion.

tera obtain an effective freestyle swimming technique you need to exhale continuously in the water while your face is submerged. There simply isn’t enough time to both inhale and exhale on the side during a breathing arm recovery. This also lets you relax more in the water.

Learn how to swim with a so-called high elbow. This freestyle swimming technique consists in flexing your arm and keeping your elbow high in the water during the under water arm pull so that your forearm is facing backward rather than downward for as long as possible, which improves propulsion.

While recovering your arm forward don’t extend it completely above water before letting it drop in the water because it increases drag and can also lead to swimmer’s shoulder over time. It is better to enter the water with your hand shortly after it has passed your head and then to extend the arm forward under water.

Save energy by using a relaxed two-beat kick for middle and long distance swimming. This means that you kick at the same pace as you stroke with your arms.

Make sure your palm is parallel to the water surface while it extends forward under water during the arm recovery. A common mistake freestyle swimmers make is to angle their palm upward at the end of the recovery. In that case they are in fact pushing water forward and slowing themselves down.

In the beginning, a nose clip can be useful because it keeps water out of your nose and so this is one less thing to worry about and you can relax more. Once your technique and coordination has improved later on you will be able to get rid of the nose clip without too much effort. Personally I used a nose clip for a year while learning the freestyle stroke before getting rid of it.

The 10 swimming tips presented in this article should help you improve your freestyle swimming technique. Some of these tips can be applied immediately, others will need some time to be mastered. So have a good time while trying them out and be patient if it takes some time to master them.

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