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How to learn to swim

Most people see swimming as a sport and some even avoid it. However, swimming is a lot more than that. Knowing how to swim can save your life. We live on a planet with large bodies of water. We often experience extreme weather conditions such as flooding. We’re never too far from water. And accidents happen. Whether you like swimming and the water or not, it is important to know how to swim. You’re never too old to learn. It can even help you overcome any fear of the water. Plus it can be great fun and exercise. Here’s some tips on how to learn:

Getting comfortable in the water

The water can be intimidating. And  for those who never learnt to swim it can be downright frightening. But that need not be the case. By teaching yourself to get comfortable with the water at your own pace, you can slowly build up your confidence. Once you’re more confident, everything else will fall into place. If you are afraid of the water have a friend who can swim with you for peace of mind. To start getting comfortable with the water get into the pool at the shallow end. Wade around and get a feel for the water and it’s buoyancy. Once you’re comfortable walk in deeper and deeper as you feel confident. Walk in right up to your shoulders.

Learn to trust that you’ll float

When learning to swim one also needs to learn to trust the fact that they’ll float and not sink. Keeping yourself a float is actually pretty easy. Practice this in the shallow end. Have fun with it. Lie on your back and push off the wall with your feet and propel yourself to the other side. Walk in just deep enough to try some treading but not so deep that your feet can’t touch the bottom. Try bobbing around a bit as well.  Drifting around the shallow end on your back. Once you see how easy it is to stay afloat you’ll see that it isn’t that daunting after all.

Learn to propel yourself

Once you have learned to float and how easy it is to tread, you’ll be ready to start actually swimming. Experiment with kicking your legs and some arm movements. Feel how they move you through the water.  Swim from one side of the shallow end to the other. Try different speeds of kicking. Starting with doggy paddle is usually the easiest for beginners. But you should use movements that you’re comfortable with and come natural to you. So you should also try other leg movements and arm movements with strokes such as breast stroke. Tutorials can be found online if you’re not sure what they look like, or you can ask a friend to teach you some basics. There is also always the option of joining a class.

Do some laps

Once you are comfortable with a stroke and swimming, venture to the deep end. Swim some laps. Practice going back and forth. This way you will get more and more comfortable with the deep end each time. If you still feel unsure about the water and your swimming ability, you can use a floatation device to help. This way you can gain more trust in your swimming. You can use a paddle board or a pool noodle if you like. Some people even lie over the width to support their chests. They then kick and paddle a bit with their arms to get the feel of swimming more. Try wean yourself off the floating devices as soon as you can though so that you don’t become too reliant on them. As that could halt your progress in learning to swim.

Going under…

For some this prospect is terrifying. For others it’s unpleasant. You can easily get water up your nose and chlorine may burn your eyes. If that is the case for you that goggles may help protect your eyes and nose until you are able to go under the water without issue. Start in the shallow end. Go under the water while holding onto the wall. Practice holding your breath. Blowing bubbles out your not and mouth. Maybe swim the width of the shallow end underwater a few time. Go under the water and spring up. Have fun and play around. Remembering to always blow bubbles out your nose but not to breath in. The more you swim underwater the stronger your lungs will get and you will be able to stay under for longer and longer. Swimming underwater can be a lot of fun and can be very peaceful and serene.

 

When learning to swim do your best to embrace the water. Don’t be timid or fearful. Try to enjoy the water as much as you can. You may find that you actually love to swim.


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