Swimming is a full-body exercise that burns upwards of 400 calories per hour and strengthens your entire body without putting too much stress on your joints (or melting into a puddle of sweat). You can swim laps at your local pool, or join a swimming squad or club to learn how to do the different strokes. Swimming can even be used as a form of rehabilitation from injury or to help you lose weight and maintain a healthy lifestyle.
When you’re new to the sport, it is best to stick with the basics and focus on perfecting your technique. The most important thing is to have a solid breathing pattern, so that you can stay in the water for as long as possible and not get exhausted. Also, it’s helpful to have a video of yourself swimming so that you can see your technique and make improvements where necessary.
You can also sign up for a beginner’s class at your local swim club or YMCA/YWCA, which will teach you the fundamentals of swimming. This will be a good time to ask any questions you may have about the sport, as well. You can also join a swim team, which is a great way to socialise while working out. Getting to know the other swimmers in your team will encourage you to keep training and push yourself.
The best way to improve your swimming is by practicing on a regular basis, and keeping track of your progress. This can be done by setting aside a certain day or time of the week to swim, and committing to it. This will help you develop a habit, and remove the decision-making process when it comes to exercising.
If you’re worried about an existing health condition, consult your GP before attempting any intense physical activity. However, swimming can be a safe and effective form of exercise for most people.
One of the most common swimming mistakes is using too much force with your arms during the pull phase of each stroke. This can cause you to become fatigued early, and it’s important to remember that your arms are only a tool for propelling yourself through the water.
In the freestyle stroke, you should aim to reach forward and then move your hand across the bottom of the pool, before pulling down. Your hand should never pass your nose, and should be aligned with your shoulder to increase your speed.
The breaststroke is a more challenging stroke than the freestyle, as you need to perform semicircular movements with your arms and rotate your hips at the same time. You should focus on pushing the water with your feet and rotating your shoulders while you glide through the water. You can also practice the frog kick, which is an excellent exercise for your legs and buttocks. In addition, the breaststroke requires excellent balance, so you should spend some time focusing on this aspect of the stroke.