Understanding the Basics of Swimming
If you have never swum before, the whole idea of swimming can look very intimidating. Swimming requires submerging a great percentage of your body into water. Even for the best swimmers, water is a foreign environment for us humans and can look like a whole new world for beginner. Swimming is a fun activity anyone can engage in. Most importantly, it is good for everyone to understand the basic swimming practices just in case you find yourself stuck in water. So as a beginner, these are steps to take to get you acquainted with swimming.
Many people dread the idea of swimming because of fear. No necessarily because they are aqua-phobic but because they are afraid of drowning. The truth is that people drown but it is because they do not understand simple swimming safety techniques. For you, start by getting comfortable. To do this, go to a swimming pool with someone close; someone you know you can trust. Since it’s all about comfort, avoid swimming in water that is cold or during rough weather conditions.
Choose an Ideal Water Depth
This is where most people get it all wrong. Do not allow peer pressure push you into a water depth you are not comfortable with. Everything about swimming takes time and practice and should not be rushed. Ideally, start swimming in water whose depth is equivalent to height of your shoulders. In other words, you should be able to stand in the water without being fully submerged. This not only helps fight off fear of drowning; it put you in total control of how long you want to be in the water.
Start By Learning Floating Techniques
The first and foremost swimming technique to learn is floating. Actually it is essential that everyone is able to do the basic floating technique – it could be the only thing saving you from drowning one day. To begin, place your hands on the edge of the swimming pool and slowly allow the water pressure lift your legs upwards through the water column. So basically, your body should align in a “T” shape on the water. Remember to stay in shallow areas so you can stand up if it isn’t working out well for you. When you are done learning how to float on your back repeat same with your stomach.
At some point through it all, you would feel water rushing into your ears and sometimes nose (especiallywhen you are still learning to get your floating stance). Soon you will get used to the water entering into your ears – there’s no need to panic. No one has gone deaf because of it and you definitely won’t be the first.
Wear Goggles, Where Applicable
So by now you should have been comfortable and getting familiar with your water environment. Now it’s time to learn how to get submerged in water. If you are not comfortable opening your eyes in water (it would get sore at first), then wear goggles.
Practice Breathing Underwater
Still in a depth you are comfortable with, try taking a deep breath and submerging your face into the water. When in the water, try to exhale slowly until you are out of breath and then push yourself back up. If you are not comfortable exhaling through your nose, use your hand to hold the nose firmly and exhale through your mouth.
If you have gotten a hang on breathing underwater, the next thing is to learn basic swimming strokes. You would have to start by learning how to kick the water. With your hands still holding on to the edges of the swimming pool, try and see how far you can propel forward by kicking the water. There are several strokes to learn once you get used to the basic swimming strokes. Since we are focusing on you as a beginner, get these beginner strokes perfected before daring to learn advanced swimming strokes.
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