Swimming can be an intense workout that burns lots of calories. It also helps strengthen your muscles, particularly in your legs and back. It’s an important skill for life, and it can help you in other sports as well.
You can swim for fun, as part of a fitness routine, to lose weight or as a way to rehabilitate injuries. Some people choose to compete in professional swimming events, and some even make it to the Olympics. It’s important to consult your physician before beginning any exercise program, including swimming. Those with certain medical conditions or injuries may need to avoid it altogether.
Beginners should start with water that is shallow, such as waist deep. In addition, it’s a good idea to swim in a pool with a lifeguard on duty. It’s also a good idea to take in-person, private swim lessons from a certified swimming instructor. This way, you can get comfortable in the water and learn proper stroke techniques.
Once you’re comfortable in the water, it’s time to work up to more advanced moves. Using a kickboard and learning faster strokes will challenge your body. It’s important to warm up and cool down before and after every swim workout, too. This will prevent injury, according to the Hospital for Special Surgery (HSS). Some common swimming-related injuries include swimmer’s shoulder, lower back pain, breaststroke knee and foot and ankle tendonitis.
The best way to improve your technique is to practice as much as possible. It’s also helpful to focus on one aspect of your swimming, such as kicking or freestyle strokes. By narrowing your focus, you’ll be able to master a skill more quickly.
Swimming is a very technical sport, and it’s easy to get overwhelmed when you’re starting out. You’ll also want to be patient and keep working at it. There will be days when you’ll feel like quitting, but it’s important to remember why you started in the first place: You love swimming.
If you’re a beginner, it’s a good idea to start with water that is shallow, such as the one meter deep at your local swimming pool. You’ll also want to be careful about swimming in the ocean or a lake, as these can have strong currents that can pull you out of your depth. In addition, lightning strikes can occur in the water and can shock you.
It’s also a good idea to start with the freestyle stroke, then work on other strokes as you become more proficient. It’s not uncommon for beginners to find they’re more interested in diving or other aquatic skills, though.