For many girls, just the thought of gym class produces high levels of anxiety. When you add in wearing a swimsuit and the body issues that come with that, anxiety can rise even higher. With a few simple tricks to take care of your appearance, deal with body issues and manage anxiety, swimming in gym class can be fun.
Skin, Hair and Nails
Being in chlorinated water on a regular basis will dry out your skin and hair. A few simple tips can help you take care of and prevent the drying effects of chlorine. After swimming, apply a tinted moisturizer to your skin -- it will counteract the dull look your skin gets from the chlorine. Put on a leave-in conditioner in your hair before putting on your swim cap; this will keep your hair from drying out as much. Use a lemon wedge to polish the yellow tint from your nails.
Face, Eyes and Teeth
Just as your skin, hair and nails are affected by submersion in chlorinated water regularly, so is your face. Tinted moisturizers are available and designed specifically for facial use. Apply moisturizer after each time you swim. Look for a special overnight moisturizing cream to use before bed. Apply an anti-aging under-eye cream to help with goggle marks around your eyes. Your teeth can yellow from swimming so make sure to use a toothpaste with baking soda to help counteract the effects of chorine. Don’t forget about your eyebrows. Chlorine can burn that delicate hair so apply petroleum jelly before swimming and use a brow pencil to darken them as needed.
Swimming During Your Menstrual Cycle
Swimming while on your period can seem very scary -- but with some proper planning, it doesn’t have to be. First, keep a calendar. If you know when to expect your period, it is easier to plan for. Second, talk to your coach or a trusted adult. They may have suggestions and advice. Talk to a health professional about the proper use of tampons. When used effectively, tampons can solve many of your problems with swimming on your period. Swimming while on your period will not affect your athletic performance. It is generally the symptoms that will cause changes in performance.
Managing Your Anxiety
Gym class, no matter how prepared you are, produces anxiety for a lot of girls. Talk to your gym coach. Most teachers are sensitive to issues of anxiety and have helped other students cope with different activities. Talk to your parents. Letting them know you feel anxious will allow them to help you. Remember, they were young once too. Talk to other girls in your class. Chances are, many feel the same way you do. You can support and encourage each other during class. Having friends to participate in activities with always eases anxiety and makes the activity more fun.
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