Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Best swimsuit for older female fitness buffs

My opinion:  I've tried a wide variety and I prefer the Speedo Conservative, but there's a big, big caveat.  (There's always a catch, isn't there??  Life can never be simple or straightforward, even on the simplest issue). 
The catch is that, in my opinion, you should not order from any on-line source, because you might not receive the same cut that is most commonly pictured. 

Screengrabbed from Google. 
You might not get the correct cut if you order online, because Speedo reportedly changed the cut while maintaining the same product name.
"...have updated this model.  It is not an improvement! Why mess with something that's on your website in both "bestsellers" and "top rated" categories? I'm very disappointed to have to start looking for a new suit."

I didn't write that review, but I might as well have, because I feel exactly the same way.

Screengrabbed from
I will expound by telling you exactly why it's not an improvement.  Many Speedo Conservatives are worn by older women and larger women who are using the suit for exercise (laps, water aerobics, etc.).  I think Speedo may have lowered the front as an attempt to appeal to vanity.  Those of us who are older and/or larger need that expansive low-legged coverage for the extra poundage down below, but the relentless passage of time often rewards us with extra poundage up above, too.  And in many circumstances, appropriate display of one's well-matured mams can indeed serve as a little pick-me-up for the aging female ego.
63-year-old Helen Mirren is a wonderful example of the kind of physique to which I refer, and women like her are my exercise inspirations and physical fitness role models.  But Helen won't be doing any serious exercise in that little pink number.  Her girls have filled out nicely with age, but they've also sunk lower as expected, and would need a lot of firm control in a situation involving maximum physical exertion. 

Screengrabbed from this site
 So yeah, displaying a hard-earned rack is all well and fine, but any serious female swimmer knows that the lap pool is not one of the places in which we might aspire to do it:
What happens if the boobs are loose and the top is low is analogous to what happens to a pelican's throat when it dives for fish.  The fabric stretched across the cleavage will quickly fill with water and begin to function as a water brake of sorts, which is the absolute last kind of drag that you want while swimming laps. Visualize a large breast on either side of this pelican's lower jaw, and you get the general idea. 

Pelican screengrabbed from NatGeo, which (coincidentally) has historically never been shy about showing exposed breasts in their appropriate cultural contexts. 
Given that we are Space City, I can also refer to the Shuttle's braking parachute as an analog to what happens when water piles up in the torso fabric gap between the breasts. 
For swimmers who don't suffer from this cleavage conundrum, this may seem like a minor point, but it literally means the difference between can the swimsuit be used for laps, yes or no?  I made the same mistake that the popular reviewer above did - I had owned a Speedo Conservative so I simply ordered a replacement off the internet expecting the identical product.  But when it arrived, it was one of the newer ones that was cut too low, and I could not use it. 

The workaround is to buy your Speedo Conservative in person at a brick-and-mortar, because some of these suits are still being sold with the original higher necklines (don't ask me why it seems to be hit or miss).  For that, I go to Academy Sports and Outdoors because I find that they carry the product consistently, and their prices are usually good.  Right now there is a sale on at our local League City Academy, and I managed to get one of the lighter blue suits for about twenty five bucks, which is the deal of the century!!  Average list price is easily twice that much. 

Happy swimmin', without unnecessary sailin'. 

Dara Torres, who won one of her twelve Olympic medals at the age of 41.  Even with a professional athlete's rock-bottom body fat percentage and correspondingly smaller breasts, she still needs a swimsuit that hugs her neck, lest her cleavage catch the aqueous breeze and slow her down.

Here's an article titled "Dara Torres inspires older women to get fit".  Dang, if she were to come out with her own line of swimwear for older women, she could make an absolute killing.  Hint, hint (here, let me link to her official website just in case there comes a trackback). 

Photo from Wikipedia

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