Swimming is one of the most effective ways to exercise your body and stay healthy. It’s easy on the joints, burns calories, and can be done year-round. It’s also a fun activity for your entire family.
Before you begin swimming, be sure to check with your doctor to make sure it’s safe for you. If you have a heart or lung condition, for example, your doctor may not recommend swimming as a regular form of exercise.
There are several ways to learn how to swim, but most people start with freestyle swimming, which is a combination of many strokes that work together in a series of coordinated movements. It’s a great way to get comfortable with the water and learn how to breathe underwater, says Slabaugh.
Once you’ve mastered a few basic skills, it’s time to move on to more advanced ones. These will vary depending on your age, experience level, and fitness goals.
Float, Kick and Stroke
First, you’ll need to learn how to float in the water. You’ll probably need a partner to help you learn this. Ideally, you’ll be able to float on your back and stomach at the same time; however, it can be difficult for some people to float this way, so you might need to practice a little bit before you can do it on your own.
Next, you’ll need to learn how to kick in the water. This can be a challenge for some, but it’s important to focus on kicking slowly and evenly as opposed to kicking hard or fast. It can take some time to learn how to kick, but it will come naturally in time.
Try a flutter kick by pointing your toes out like a ballerina and moving your legs in an alternating windmill motion. You’ll need to relax your feet and ankles as you make these kicks, so you’re able to feel the most flexion.
Another option for learning how to kick is the butterfly stroke. This stroke is a lot easier to learn than the front stroke because you’re not kicking your legs. It’s also a good option for beginners because it doesn’t require the same coordination as the front or back stroke.
After you’ve mastered the basics of floating, kicking, and strokes, you can then try more complex swimming techniques. There are a variety of exercises that can be used to improve your swimming, including the front crawl, sidestroke, breaststroke, and backstroke.
Practicing the same stroke over and over again can help you improve your technique and speed. It’s also a good idea to try different types of drills, which can help you build your strength and endurance while also developing muscle tone.
For your safety, never swim without a partner or instructor. You’ll also want to be aware of rip currents and other hazards in the water.
Swimming is a great exercise for many groups of people, from beginner to advanced swimmers, adults and kids, pregnant women, athletes and those who have chronic health conditions or injuries. It’s also a gentle form of exercise that can be done safely even as you age, making it a great choice for people who may have trouble exercising other ways.