Swimming is an exercise that can be enjoyed by people of all ages, backgrounds, and experience levels. Regular practice can improve heart health, reduce stress, and increase energy and cognitive ability, among many other benefits.
Learning to swim is fun and easy!
Whether you are looking to start swimming as a recreational activity, or compete in a pool competition, there are many ways to get started. Here are 7 simple tips to help you kick off your journey.
1. Staying safe in the water
The first rule to remember when learning to swim is that safety comes before success. Don’t be afraid to ask questions if you have any concerns about the water. A professional instructor will be able to give you a better idea of the water’s depth and how to avoid injury.
2. Be consistent and have a dedicated pool time
The best way to learn how to swim is to set aside dedicated time for lessons. Having a consistent schedule will speed up your learning process as skills compound on top of each other.
3. Try out different strokes – There are many different styles of swimming, and each one requires a different level of skill to master.
You can start with the backstroke, which is one of the most popular and recognizable types of swimming. This stroke is also the most effective for aerobic fitness, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
4. Don’t forget to breathe
When you begin the backstroke, draw a breath through your mouth without lifting your head. This ensures that you are breathing in and out correctly.
5. Keep your head down and out of the water
Keeping your head in the water will slow you down and make it more difficult to breathe. To avoid this, turn your head only enough to leave the water, but not so much that you lose sight of your hand in the water.
6. Relax the skeletal muscles and deep-breathe
When we exercise, it is common for us to become stressed out. When we are stressed out, our skeletal muscles can be inflamed and stiff, which can negatively affect your workouts. To combat this, Moby Coquillard, a psychotherapist and swimmer, recommends stretching and relaxing the skeletal muscles while deep-breathing during a swim.
7. Take breaks during a workout
If you are a competitive swimmer, you probably know that your body needs rest from the constant pounding. You need to allow your muscles to recover between sets so that you can get a fresh start when you come back into the water. If you don’t have a break, you can’t fully recover and your speed will suffer as a result.
9. Don’t surprise a swimmer
If a person is in your lane, don’t jump into the water until you can tell them what you’re doing. This will give them time to react and avoid a collision.
10. If you don’t have a pool at your home, visit a local gym and look for classes.