While many people love being in the swimming pool or beach, there are also some who fear to be in the water. If you are one of those people, now is the time to conquer one thing that you are always scared of. You are afraid probably because you don’t know what to do. If that’s the case, keep on reading this short article as we talk about the swimming rules that can save your life! Knowing these rules can spare you from a disaster!
1. Overcoming Fear
It may come as a surprise to most people, but recent figures show that up to 60% of Americans are afraid of water. This fear is one of the reasons why there are people who do not know how to swim and uninterested to learn, regardless of whether swimming is one of the basic survival skills every person needs to know.
To overcome the fear of swimming, just do it. Plan a swimming trip with family and friends. Go to the water with someone you trust. Get into the water slowly. Do not be in a rush to see your progress. Patience is a virtue, even when it comes to swimming. This isn’t a race, so don’t give in to the pressure of learning quickly.
2. Learning to Breathe While Swimming
When it comes to the swimming techniques you need to learn, breathing is one of the most important. Breathing is important to help you conserve energy and perform at your best when in the water. Without proper breathing techniques, you can easily become disoriented.
To breathe properly, one of the best things you can do is to wear goggles. This will protect your eyes. You can open your eyes without fear or irritation. If you can see the water, this makes it easier to breathe and focus on your movements.
You also need to master the basics of rhythmic breathing. This involves exhaling through your nose and mouth as soon as you breathe in. Exhale while your face is in the water as this empties your lungs when you need to breathe.
Holding your breath is another exercise to practice. This comes handy in emergencies when you are under the water.
3. Making Friends with the Water
If you think that water is hostile and dangerous, now is the time to change your perspective. You need to see it as a friend – someone who won’t let you down. See it as a good friend who is funny and approachable instead of someone who intimidates you.
To do this, spend as much time as possible in the water. Start in the shallow part of the water. When you are more confident, lie on the water with your arms spread. This floating position will help improve your confidence.
4. Learning How to Use Your Legs
Your legs will be doing most of the work when you are swimming, so you need to work on its strength. When you have stronger legs, you will find it easier to stay safe and calm on the water.
One of the legs exercises you need to practice is called the crawl. Extend your arms to have a firm grip on the edge of the pool or a swimming board. Facing down and with your body steady, move your legs up and down repeatedly. The upper part of the body should not move during this exercise.
The breaststroke is another exercise that is crucial in improving the strength of your legs. Hold the edge of the pool or a swimming board. Spread your legs outward and back in opposite directions. With your knees bent, push forward. You will end up looking like a frog! This is normal, so no reason to feel embarrassed!
5. Learning to Use Your Arms
Aside from the legs, you also need to make use of your arm as this will propel your movement in the water. The right exercises are important to swim properly and to make sure that you are not wasting your energy. It also minimizes the likelihood that you will end up suffering from excruciating body pain after swimming.
To practice using your arms, you need to do the crawl method. Position your arms alongside the torso. Lift your arms while making half-circle motions in the air. Keep your head stretched back as much as possible. After doing this on your back, turn on your front. Use your arms to paddle in half-circular motions. Make sure to breathe as your arm goes over the head. Make sure that the arms and the legs are moving together. After mastering this technique, practice doing the breaststroke.
6. Treading Water
Treading water is all about staying afloat. If you are moving, then that is swimming and not treading. This is important in survival situations and when you just want to stay in a specific area. This also saves your energy since the only goal is to remain on your position and not to move to another point.
To tread on the water, you need to put your arms and legs into good use. Keep your head above the water and move in such a way that water won’t get in on your mouth. The modified breaststroke and egg-beater kicks will help you to keep your position. Your kicks will be divided into two – power and recovery phases. As you tread water, pay attention as well to proper breathing and don’t panic.
7. Learning to Swim Under the Water
This is one thing that many people are most afraid of. Overcome your fear first and things will be a lot easier. You should also consider wearing goggles or use snorkeling set to practice especially the right breathing techniques. When you are under the water, proper breathing will help you to stay there longer without being panicky.
8. Safety First
Lastly, and most importantly, your safety should be your most important consideration. Do not swim when you are under the influence of alcohol. Pay attention to the warnings in the area, such as if swimming is not allowed. Do not fight the tide. Always swim with someone so that help is immediately available when you need a rescue. When you are dizzy, sick, or feeling physically weak, it is best to avoid swimming.
Be brave enough and try swimming! Take note of the rules mentioned above, and for sure, they will save your life. It might seem intimidating at first. However, all that you need is a little courage and it won’t take long before you can swim like a pro.