Category Archives: Hints & Tips

Time Management: A Juggling Act

Gypsy Tribe

Photo Credit @mindbodysoultransformation


The many hats an AMANZI girls wear:

  • Swimmer
  • Student
  • Athlete
  • Sister
  • Friend
  • Teammate
  • Leader
  • Daughter
  • Girlfriend/wife
  • Nutritionist
  • Mother
  • Cook
  • Professional

… And the list goes on and on.

How do we wear so many hats? It really looks ridiculous as we walk down the street trying to balance everything on our head without running into any obstacles life seems to throw our way. What is an AMANZI girl to do?

We’re sure many of you out there, as AMANZI girls, already know a whole lot about juggling a lot of responsibilities all at once. We may be preaching to the choir here, but we hope there is at least one golden nugget of knowledge in here to help you pull off all those training sessions and the rest of life!

Tips on Time Management for Swimmers

1. Keep Track of Your Energy
With training, your energy can fluctuate dramatically throughout the day. Try to fit in tasks that don’t require much thought or energy into periods when you are experiencing low energy. For example, if you are feeling tired and sluggish do your chores or other brainless tasks that must get done. Your room is a mess! We can see it from here girls…

2. Eat, Sleep and Live Healthy

Want more energy? A big part of that is all about the lifestyle you lead. Avoid unhealthy foods, sleeping patterns and habits to help sustain high levels of energy. Let’s face it – you have to get up way too early tomorrow morning to be staying up watching Netflix all night! Not just one more episode for you!

3. Keep Track of Time Wasting Habits

We all have our own special unique ways of wasting time. Do you love Facebook? Daydreaming? Procrastinating? All of these habits add up rather quickly. Keep track of the time you spend wasting time for one week, then reassess how you can cut back on these habits to free up some much needed time for that math homework you never seem to get around to every night.

4. Prioritise

Take the time to list things that are most important to you. Consider everything that does not lend itself to those priorities. Sometimes we have to let go of people, places, activities and other things that do not help us shine in life. This is a natural process.

5. Cook Simpler Meals

This isn’t to say you should pop a frozen pizza in the oven and call it a day. But you can still eat healthy with simple recipes. Research snacks and meals you can make without a huge investment of time in the kitchen. Save the gourmet cooking for when you have more time to spend on it!

6. Give Yourself Some Much Needed Self Love

You rock! All of the things you already get done are amazing. Learn how to give yourself some much needed rest and self-love. This way when it comes time to get back to work you’ll feel invigorated with a refreshed kick butt attitude to take on the world!


Haircare for Swimmers: Small Steps to Keep your Locks Luscious

Photo credit - Calypso Sheridan

Photo credit – Calypso Sheridan

Who hasn’t seen the little blonde girl out there whose hair turning green from chlorine?! It happens all the time! Chlorine and hair just don’t mix well! As swimmers we are forced to jump right in and hope for the best for our hair. Luckily we are tough swimming ladies. Although, we must admit, most of us would like to not completely fry our hair.

What is a girl to do? Giving up swimming is NOT an option, but there are other small steps one can take with specific haircare tips for swimmers. These are fast and easy tips that will help you maintain the health of your hair even during swim season when it feels like you spend more time in the pool than anywhere else.

  1. You Must Wear a Swim Cap
    This is a no brainer for most swimmers, but just as a little reminder, it is imperative to wear a swim cap. Not only does this help keep your hair out of the way and reduce drag, but it also helps to protect the hair from the harsh elements of the pool. Take a look at our amazing selection of AMANZI swim caps to find one that’ll protect your hair and boost your style.
  2. Shower Before and After Every Single Swim Session
    Showering before helps to wet the hair, so it doesn’t soak up all of the chemicals. Showering after helps to cleanse the hair of all the chemicals. This is a great way to prevent chlorine damage to your hair and skin, so it is a good idea to get in the habit of having a shower routine as part of your swimming routine.
  3. Treat Your Hair with Coconut Oil
    Deep condition treatments are a great way to treat hair that is damaged and dried out from a lot of the time in the water and/or sun. A lot of deep conditioners actually contain a lot of harmful chemicals. Coconut oil is an all-natural way to treat your hair. Just apply a tablespoon or more to cover your hair from root to end. Let the conditioner sit in for about one hour before thoroughly rinsing it out in the shower. You’ll be amazed by the results!
  4. Seek Out Swim Facilities with Low Chlorine Content
    There are lots of pool out there that offer lower chlorine or alternatives to chlorine, like salt treated. If you have choices try to find a pool with lower chlorine or at least with good ventilation. Unfortunately, we know a lot of swimmers out there don’t have a choice.
  5. Cover Hair from the Sun
    Your hair is already frazzled enough without adding sun damage to the mix. Make sure if you are a swimmer who spends a lot of time outdoors to cover your hair with a hat, scarf, etc. to help prevent further damage.

The Plateau: How to Power through a Rut

Power on

Photo credit – Courtney Home


Anyone who has ever trained has experienced the frustration of hitting a plateau. No matter how hard you work, what you eat, how long you sleep, what God you pray to, your time remains stagnant, mocking all of your efforts. The first thing to know is that you are not alone in this experience, and it is in fact, a completely normal thing to run (or swim) into.

Once you’ve gotten past the point of feeling sorry for yourself, it is time to try different methods to get past the plateau. Maybe the first, second or third approach won’t work, but if you continue to try, your efforts are bound to pay off.  Here are a couple of different ways you can work towards improving your time when regular training just doesn’t seem to be cutting it anymore.

1.  Address your Technique

Running, swimming and any sport all have an infinite amount of ways to improve technique. It is a constant process to try to analyse and improve the stroke, stride or whatever else that may be involved. Take the time to really analyse how your body is working when you are training for the sport. It can be invaluable to get an outside opinion on exactly what you may be doing wrong. Or you can have someone record you while you are training, so that you can actually see what you’re doing. Once you have identified what may be the problem, consistently work towards eliminating that bad habit. It is difficult to train our bodies to do something that we are familiar with differently, but the payoff for improving technique can be enormous.

2. Take a Break

For some athletes, the idea of taking a break seems unimaginable. Training day in and day out becomes so ingrained into daily life, that it would seem really odd to have a day of complete rest. Sometimes it can be good to take a day, a week or even a month off of training to let the body and mind take a rest. When you return you may just have the enthusiasm needed to finally get out of that rut you’ve been stuck in for so long.

3.  Embrace the Elements 

The temperature and weather outside have an enormous impact on the way we perform. Not only does the weather impact the muscles, joints and mind, but for outdoor sports, we obviously dress completely differently. Allow for the differences in weather to influence your time in whatever way that they will. When spring rolls around most athletes experience a boost in performance and energy as the warm weather finally graces us with its presence.

4. Remember your Love for the Sport

Remember that it wasn’t a finishing time that got you inspired to start your activity of choice. Try to get back to the root of whatever it is that makes you passionate about you do. When you are feeling frustrated with lack of improvement, just return to the sheer joy that the sport gives you. Ultimately enjoyment is what the name of the game is supposed to be all about –  the competition, teams and training are all just icing on the cake.

Skincare Tips for Swimmers

AMANZI Girl Brooke in Nefertari

Keep your skin glowing like our gorgeous AMANZI Girl, Brooke


You may feel like you are half fish when it comes to loving the water, but your skin is telling a different story. It is very important to take care of your skin in and out of the water not only for superficial reasons, but because damaged skin really can prove detrimental to your health. The following skincare tips are for all our swimmers out there who want to make sure they can maintain their fishy lifestyle without damaging their skin.

  1. Sunscreen

If you are swimming outdoors it is imperative that you apply sunscreen to protect your skin from the sun. You know all those sunscreens that promise you they won’t come off with sweat or water- they are lying. Make sure to reapply regularly to ensure the effectiveness of the sunscreen. Also, use a sunscreen that doesn’t have dangerous chemicals in it that can cause cancer rather than prevent it.

  1. Stay Hydrated

Dry skin is much more susceptible to damage from chlorine and other elements than hydrated skin. Make sure that you drink plenty of fluids to keep your skin hydrated. Not to mention, swimmers should be drinking lots of waters anyway!

  1. Chlorine-resistant Swimwear

Swimwear that uses chlorine-resistant fabric will ensure your swimwear doesn’t absorb chlorine then continually rub it against your skin. As a bonus, swimwear built with chlorine-resistant fabric lasts longer. You need look no further than the AMANZI website for chlorine-resistant swimwear, because all of our swimwear is made with chlorine-resistant fabric.

  1. Rinse Swimwear

Rinse your swimwear immediately after every swim session. This will help eliminate any chlorine it may have absorbed during your training session. Besides you also want to get off any dirt or sweat that may have gotten on the swimwear while you were working hard in the pool!

  1. Shower after every Swim Session

Thoroughly wash your skin after every training session. When you use soap and water in a shower it helps ensure that chlorine doesn’t become bound to the skin.

  1. Treat Sensitive Areas

If your skin gets irritation, chaffing or a rash from swimming, make sure to treat the affected area. Putting Vaseline or Paw Paw cream on irritated areas before you swim can help prevent further irritation. Hydrocortisone is great for treating your skin after swim practice to relieve irritation, itching or burning.

  1. Consider Special Lotions

There are many lotions on the market to help treat skin that gets irritated from chlorine. You apply these lotions before you go into the pool to help neutralise the chlorine that comes in contact with your skin.

  1. Moisturise

Constant contact with water takes away our skin’s natural oils. Us swimmers shower, swim, shower, swim, shower, swim, and our skin would beg us to stop it if it had a voice. To help your skin stay hydrated, regularly moisturise after every shower, before bed and throughout the day

Learn to Love the Winter Season

Dive in.. in your uggs

Photo credit  – Laura Dennis

As winter settles in for Australia and the rest of the Southern hemisphere, a lot of ladies who prefer to be outdoors for recreation and their sport may be dreading the months ahead. Yet there is no real way of getting around winter unless perhaps you have the capacity to escape to the Northern hemisphere this time of year, like our AMANZI Girls Penny Hayes and Laura Dennis are doing. But for most of us, that is not an option, or at least not an immediate one. In the meantime, it behooves a lady to learn to embrace the chilly season.

So how does one learn to love the winter? Well, we can’t say with a 100% certainty we at AMANZI have mastered this skill of loving all the seasons equally, but we do have some useful tools that may help you loathe winter a wee bit less.

1. Dress Warmly

If you are one of those people who just hates the cold, then it is time to step up your layering game. When you wear an excessive amount of layers it can make it feel a lot warmer outside, so that you can comfortably go around without shivering too much. Invest in clothes that’ll help you feel warm and comfy during the winter season.

2. Spend Lots Of Time At The Pool

Indoor pools are around the same temperature year round. It is always a lovely feeling to walk into a warm pool area when it is miserable out. This is especially true if you can find a pool in the area that is heated to a nice and warm temperature. This whole winter thing seems like the perfect excuse to spend more time with your AMANZI swimwear in the pool to train if you ask us!

3. … But Dry Off Thoroughly After Each Swim Session

Make sure you have a showering and drying off routine after every session at the pool. A steaming, hot shower and a hair dryer will do wonders to reduce the amount of misery you experience when you go to face the elements outdoors after a hard training session at the pool.

4. Don’t Let It Stop You From Going Outside

When you don’t spend any time outdoors during the winter, it can be difficult to acclimate to the chillier weather. Unless the temperatures are extremely low or there is severe weather warnings, there is no reason to always stay inside. So suck it up and venture outdoors! You may be surprised how quickly your body gets used to the chilly weather when you give it some time to do so.

5. Adjust Your Training Appropriately

Our bodies function differently during the winter. Joints and muscles become stiffer, and the body needs to work harder to stay warm. Adjust your training routine and expectation to the match the season to avoid injury and optimize results. If at all possible work with a coach or trainer to see exactly what you should be doing to adjust your training regimen to the winter season.

Acai Bowl Bliss

Acai bowl

Acai is a delicious tropical fruit which is all the buzz lately in the health and nutritional world. The sweet tasting and healthy nature of this purple and delicious fruit makes it a great option for those looking to enhance their diets with nutritional foods. Acai fruit is known to promote healthy skin, aid weight loss, improve cardiovascular health, reduce cancer risk and increase cell health. All in all it packs a strong punch of vitamins, antioxidants and minerals making it well-worth incorporating into your diet.

So you may be wondering, what is an “acai bowl” anyways?. When I first heard about it I imagined myself building a bowl out of tiny berries, but it actually isn’t a berry mosaic. An acai bowl is simply a blend of acai served in a bowl. You add into it your favorite toppings. The result is a thick and creamy ice cream like experience, but it is actually really great for you. If you are looking for a chilly treat this is a great way to satiate the sweet tooth without breaking your diet.

Acai bowls do require some clean up and prep, so this is more of a recipe to make when you have time to cook up a treat in the kitchen. But we can promise the work is worth it! Without further ado, let’s get onto those acai bowl instructions as promised.

How To Make an Acai Bowl

1. Start with an Acai smoothie

Whatever method you prefer to make an acai smoothie, go ahead and do so. You can buy smoothie packs or use the actual acai root to make a smoothie. For the purpose of speed, we recommend just using the smoothie packs to hurry up the process. For the smoothie you can add in your favorite ingredients to smoothies like bananas, coconut milk, yogurt, chia seeds, or whatever you want to enhance the flavour.

2. Get the perfect frosty texture
Either add more liquid or more substances to thicken or thin the smoothie’s texture. You want it to be thick enough to eat with a spoon! To thicken it you can add bananas or yogurt, and make sure not to overdo it with any of the liquids that you add to the smoothie. Make sure to add in ice or frozen berries to make it an extra refreshing treat!

3. Put It In A Bowl

Once the acai is thick enough, you’ll want to spoon it out into a bowl. You can put it into a cold bowl to help slow the melting process of the acai smoothing and add cold ingredients at the bottom to reduce the amount of surface area of the smoothie that is exposed to warmer temperatures. Pro Tip: You want to have you toppings ready before this process, so that your acai bowl doesn’t melt while you’re getting your topping ready.

4. Add your toppings

Finally you can add on all the toppings you want to personalize your acai bowl. Add on nuts, coconut flakes, chocolate, fruit, peanut butter or whatever may strike your fancy. Get creative! Try to add on something crunchy to add some nice texture into your acai bowl. It is like an ice-cream sundae without any of the guilt!



8 Tips for Preparing for your First Race and Every Race

Race Day

Photo credit - Portia Doragas 

No matter what your sport, preparing for race day is key to preforming at your best. Even if you do not set out to win the race, obviously you are also racing against yourself and aiming for those PBs! If you follow these tips closely, you’ll be able to do your very best come race day.

  1. Fuel your Body
    During the whole process of training, you should be feeding your body the most nutritious food possible suited to your training. It is important to maintain this up to race day- especially in the last 24 hours before a race. Try to eat light and normal foods to avoid having digestive issues during the race, but make sure you eat enough to maintain energy to get through the race.
  2. Fuel your Mind
    Racing isn’t just about getting your body prepared, it is also about having the right mental attitude. Get your mind amped and confident for the race, so that you don’t encounter any mental barriers along the way.
  3. Have all your Gear Ready
    The day before the race make sure you triple check that all of your gear is packed up and ready to go. You don’t want to end up forgetting any key components on race day, because that may mean not being able to compete at all!
  4. Have a Dress Rehearsal Before Race Day
    You should have a couple of dress rehearsals before race day to ensure that your mind and body know what to expect. This will help you get a feel for exactly what the race will be like before the day of the race, so there won’t be any unpleasant surprises.
  5. Let Your Friends and Family Know About The Race
    A little bit of moral support can go a long way in the race. Even if your friends and family can’t make it to the actual race day, they can offer support and love throughout the training process. Plus, it gives you another chance to complain to someone about the crazy amount of training you’ve been doing!
  6. Train Consistently
    You probably already know this, but you should be training consistently up until race day. This means that you are going to witness the whole gamut of good, bad and ugly workouts. Some days training will be fun, sometimes it’s the last thing you want to do. This is normal, and you’ve just got to push on through.
  7. Consider Including A Friend
    Running a race? Doing a triathlon? Why not coax a friend or two into joining you? Multiple studies have shown that runners go faster when they are paired together. Plus, it gives you an outside motivator to keep you working hard throughout the process of training for race day.
  8. Keep Calm
    Race day jitters are really common, and they commonly throw off people’s performance. Try breathing exercises, meditation and yoga to train your mind how to relax in stressful situations. P.S. Racing is supposed to be fun, so don’t get yourself worked up over nothing!

9 Tips to Improve Your Freestyle Technique

Laura Dennis Freestyle

Photo credit - Laura Dennis

Here are some tips to improve your freestyle technique for beginner to intermediate swimmers. Unlike other more complicated strokes, since we are so familiar with freestyle visually and mentally, it can be difficult to make minor corrections. Remember to be patient with yourself as you work to refine this stroke to help reach your athletic and/or fitness goals.

  1. Most new swimmers naturally want to keep their torso turned towards the bottom of the pool. For the freestyle stroke you really need to focus on swimming on your sides by rolling from side to side with each stroke. Not only will this technique improve your speed, it also helps you engage the muscles on your back to avoid shoulder injuries.
  2. A nose-clip for beginner swimmers who are working on their technique is a great way to help the swimmer focus. The nose clip keeps the water out of a swimmer’s nose when they are working on fine-tuning their strokes. It isn’t for everyone, but if you are easily distracted it may be worth a shot.
  3. When you are training make sure to have swimwear that allows for comfortable range of motion in the shoulders and back. AMANZI Swimwear is designed with thin straps and open back that give swimmers the freedom they need to work on their freestyle stroke.
  4. To keep good momentum as your hand enters the water, make sure that you are driving it in aggressively. Imagine the speed that a pelican hits the water, and that your hand is the beak of the pelican.
  5. Consider using power paddles when you train to help refine the position of your hand. Using hand paddles help ingrain the correct position of the hands into your muscle memory.
  6. Kick from the hip, not from the knee. This means your leg will be relatively straight when you are kicking through your freestyle laps.
  7. As you work through your laps remember to point your toes constantly to avoid extra drag. For runners, you may need to do ankle stretches to help open up the ankle to hold it in the pointed position.
  8. Work with a coach, trainer or even another swimmer, so you can receive feedback on your freestyle stroke from another set of eyes. Often our technique may feel right, but another person can see things you can’t.
  9. Keep focused with every stroke. It can be easy to drift back into bad habits when swimming. To form new and better techniques one has to constantly concentrate on their stroke until it becomes natural.





Yoga Poses for Swimmers

Yoga Poses for Swimmers

Photo creditCourtney Home

You may have heard it through the grape vine that yoga is awesome for swimmers! Yet, perhaps due to time, money or will power, you just never seem to be able to make it to an actual yoga class. Whatever your reason, you can still get some of the physical benefits of a yoga without ever stepping foot into an official yoga class. By doing these following poses you’ll stretch out muscles that get especially tight in a swimmer’s body.

Passive Chest Opener

This relaxing pose requires minimal effort from you, but it provides a huge opening to the chest and shoulders. Roll a blanket into a cylinder shape that is the width of your shoulders and about five inches in height. Lay on the ground, so that the long side of the blanket is horizontal to your shoulders. Sit down about five inches in front of the blanket with your feet flat on the floor and knees bent. Slowly lay back with the goal of getting your shoulder blade tips on top of the roll. Lie back on to the roll and allow the arms to go out into a t-shape or ninety degrees for a deeper stretch. Stay in this position anywhere from two to five minutes.  


The Eagle is a challenging balancing pose that opens up the shoulders and hips. Take your left elbow under the right, so that your forearms form an x-shape. Next, try to connect close the hands in towards one another. Ideally you want to try to cross the wrists, so that the fingertips of the bottom hand touch the palm of the top hand. Next take your hips back as if you’re going to take a seat. Lift up the right leg then cross it over the left thigh. If you can, try to hook the foot behind the calf. Stay in this pose for six breaths then when you are ready, squeeze everything in, then unfurl and release.

Downward Facing Dog

This is the one stop pose for all of your ailments, because it accesses just about every part of the body including your ankles, hips, thighs, shoulders, chest, spine, triceps, chest, neck and more. Come to your hands and knees with your wrists below your shoulders and your knees slightly back from your hips. Tuck your toes under, then push up with your hands and feet to raise your hips towards the ceiling. Try to hollow out your armpits to bring the shoulders on the back. Push down between the space of your index finger and thumb. To really get a leg stretch, try to sink the heels to the floor. Stay in the pose for as long as feels comfortable to you, remember to take deep and cleansing breaths.

Also, Try A Video!

There are tons of *free* online resources that take you through the basics of a yoga class. We recommend as a good site with tons of videos with experienced instructors taking you through a yoga class in the comfort of your own home.

Do I have to warm down after a swim?

Laura Dennis

AMANZI Triathlete Laura Dennis warms down after a hard set

Do you ever get sick and tired of doing your warm down after a race or hard training session?

SwimSci, a blog dedicated to the science of swimming, recently featured an article entitled “Are Warm Downs Necessary in Swimming?.” In this article they discuss various studies that examine the effectiveness of warm downs across various sports, but they especially wanted to find out if warm downs are still necessary after swimming.

If you are interested in the details of studies, you can read the full article here. For those of you in a rush or for those who have little interest in the science side of things, we’re just going to go ahead and skip to the conclusion!

It turns out that warm downs do enhance performance in between events at swim meets according to a recent study. The conclusion to their scientific inquiry is that while cool downs may not be as relevant to dry land sports as once thought, it is still definitely important in swimming. The scientific experts at SwimSci will be following the latest research on this topic to make sure that if there is any change in point of view of the scientific community about cool downs, they will let us know!

Most of you may not be all that surprised that warm downs are a necessary part of the swimming routine. After all most swimmers regularly include a warm-down into their swimming routine, because that is just what we do! Stay tuned to our blog in the future for the perfect warm downs to add to your swims.