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Swimming is a popular activity with worldwide appeal. It is a relaxing and fun sport and all it requires to indulge in this favourite pastime is a pool of water. From indoor and outdoor swimming pools, swamps, rivers and even in the seas and oceans, there are few limitations to where this leisurely pursuit can be practiced.

Although learning how to swim might seem intimidating at first, with a little guidance, just about anyone of any age group can easily learn the basics involved in swimming.

Besides being the ideal total body workout, being able to swim is very important in several other respects. For instance, it could be the difference between life and death because it could potentially save your life if you ever happen to fall into a body of water.

Taking professional classes

Learning how to swim the right way is absolutely crucial and if you cannot learn to swim by yourself, you can opt for a swimming course taught by professionals who will, in a stepwise manner, demonstrate to you the basic rudiments of swimming until you learn to swim any one of the breaststroke, front crawl, backstroke or the butterfly stroke correctly. There are also professional training courses that will teach you more advanced swimming styles and how to swim with great speed.

These professional swimming classes are handled by qualified staff who are experienced in the treatment of knee, shoulder and back injuries. These instructors will often adapt the swimming lessons to suit the possible injuries that students might have and make appropriate amendments to the swimming lessons where necessary.

These swimming coaches will offer you the best swimming tips and advice by means of instructional videos which will help to improve your swimming technique, breathing and movement. Some of the swimming lessons could consist of water gymnastics as well as swimming sessions.

What equipment to wear

To fully engage in swimming as a sport or hobby, you will need some essential equipment to get started. For starters, you will need swimwear that best suit the shape of your body. To do this, you will need to know the body type that is most closely matched to yours.

There are generally four basic body types: hourglass, pear-shaped, inverted triangle and athletic body types and a knowledge of your body type is necessary in finding the best fit for yourself.

The popularity of swimming as a sport infers that there are tonnes of major brands of swimwear to pick from, with each brand trying to outdo the others with the latest innovations in swimsuit engineering. e.g. there are swim wear brands that retail bathing suits manufactured with high elasticity and chlorine-resistant fabrics. These high quality products are as stylish as they are original.

Some other swimming equipment you might need are goggles, swimming caps, wetsuits, fins, towels, flip-flops, latex socks, ear plugs etc.

If you have long hair, a swimming cap will keep your hair out of your eyes, nose and mouth when swimming. It also prevents your hair from absorbing too much chlorine. The glasses would reduce eye irritation caused by the chlorine in the swimming pools and if you intend to swim outdoors, sunglasses with UV protection are highly recommended. Ear plugs help reduce the entry of any infection-causing bacteria into the auditory canals.

Do’s and Don’ts

Eating adequately and appropriately are vital to improving your energy levels and overall swimming performance. Here are a few rules to follow when learning how to swim;

  • Always have a drink to stay hydrated, and do not forget to drink fluids even during the swimming session
  • Always stay within the depth of water that you can handle
  • Always enter the water feet first and slowly immerse yourself
  • It is important to eat at least one hour before swimming
  • Never swim alone. Always swim with at least one skilled person around you in the water
  • Avoid fatty foods. Fatty foods are harder to digest for the stomach and can cause indigestion and discomfort while swimming
  • Never stop practising any swimming techniques you learn so as to keep improving on it
  • Do not rush. It could take lots of practice, even months, to learn to swim correctly. Just be sure pay attention to the advice and learn from your mistakes