Swimming is a skill that should be taught to everyone at a young age regardless of background. We are not talking about competitive swimming here, although you can definitely do it competitively if you have the desire and capability. Rather, we are talking about swimming in general and the associated benefits.
But what about older folks? There certainly is no age limit to learning how to swim, although it is true that older people tend to require more time to learn proper swimming techniques.
You should have no trouble finding numerous affordable swimming classes offered in your area. You just need to take the dive and set aside sufficient time for the lessons (in addition to self-practice – safely, of course).
It is common for swimming lessons to last between 8 and 12 weeks, with frequent self-practice being highly encouraged during the lessons’ interval. This is because most swimming coaches will teach their students a technique or two for one to two lessons before moving on to the next. Having extra time to practice on your own or with a buddy will definitely hasten your adaptability to the water and turn the fear of swimming into joy.
Here are some tools that you will likely need as a beginner:
- A pair of goggles;
- A swimming kick board;
- Proper swim wear;
- Swim cap (optional);
- Swimming fins (optional);
- Sunscreen (optional/situational);
- Soap (situational);
- A water bottle.
You can probably purchase all the above for roughly $150 and still have some spare change.
Most coaches will start out with getting their students feeling comfortable when surrounded by water prior to teaching any techniques. Learning how to hold your breath underwater and breathing in and out between holds will probably come next. Different coaches have different preferences as to what comes after this, so we will not go into further details here.
That said, here are 8 reasons/benefits why you should learn how to swim.
1. You Are Better Prepared in Case of Emergency
There could be times in your life where you need to swim when something unforseen happens. This is true even when there are lifeboats, lifeguards, and other emergency equipment around you.
One instance is drowning, which according to the World Health Organization, stands 3rd in causes of accidental deaths. Water can be perilous as much as it is life-saving. Activities or even exercises under water has a risk of someone drowning, especially for those who cannot swim. Drowning can even happen in swimming pools happen due to the lack of supervision.
This is why it is an important skill to learn as a child or an adult.
Note: Keep in mind that adult supervision is strongly recommended at all times when a young one is in the water.
2. Swimming Improves Your Fitness Level
Want a low impact exercise that you can do with minimal costs? Consider giving swimming a go. Swimming is a low impact activity which makes it a great alternative for people with joint problems. It also exercises your entire body from head to toe. Specifically, swimming can improve your coordination, balance and adaptability.
It also a great activity for improving your cardiovascular health and an excellent alternative to not fall into the couch potato lifestyle.
3. Swimming Builds Confidence and Self-Esteem
In addition to the fact that swimming is wonderful for the body, it is likewise beneficial for your brain. How? It can improve your state of mind and confidence.
Figuring out how to swim irrespective of age will decrease your dread of water, making pools and sea shores from something that you fear into something that you enjoy. The wonderful feeling of being able to float and move around in water is something that is freeing and hard to replicate.
As an added bonus, swimming can also be an incredible opportunity for you to bond with your friends and family.
4. Swimming Is a Lifelong Skill
Swimming, like walking or cycling, is a skill that will be with you for the rest of your life upon acquisition. In other words, you will always have the skill with you for life once you’ve learned it. There are very few things in life that you can say the same about.
The benefits of swimming goes beyond conquering your fear of water. You will also be able to comfortably participate in recreational water exercises like kayaking and surfing.
5. Swimming Is Therapeutic
There is something about swimming that lets the body unwind by delivering physical and mental pleasures. This can happen in the pool or on the beach.
The tranquility that you experience is similar to meditation in the sense that you are able to calm your thoughts.
Tip #1: Try floating on your back with your face facing up to the sky.
Tip #2: Numerous medical experts prescribe using a pool to for those who undergoing rehab from injuries. This is because of the buoy that water provides, helping to lessen the physical impacts on one’s body.
6. Swimming Saves Lives
Swimming is one of those skills that can benefit not only yourself but others as well. And no, you don’t have to be a lifeguard to find this skill useful.
Wherever there is a chance of a person or animal drowning, there exists the possibility that your swimming skill will be of tremendous value. Can you imagine how painful it’d be if someone you know and/or love (or a random stranger) is having trouble in water and you are helpless to do anything about it?
Note: it is important that you know how to help somebody who’s struggling in water. Ask your coach for advice. or at the very least. watch some instructional videos to get a better handle on things.
7. Swimming Is Good for Your Back Muscles
We know that swimming is an excellent low impact exercise, but one often overlooked aspect is how beneficial it is for one’s back muscles. This is because many swimming techniques require the use of your arms in creating momentum, thereby indirectly involving the back muscles.
Chiropractors have also proposed swimming as the best exercise for the back while increasing your physical endurance.
8. Swimming Is Fun!
And most important of all, swimming is an extremely fun activity to engage in.
It is an incredible and versatile activity that can be enjoyed by people of all ages. It is also something that can be done indoor or outdoor, alone or in a group, at the sea shore or in a pool, as a serious game or as a recreational action with loved ones.
So go ahead and take the dive!