Is it just me, or why do I feel there are a lot more people who are yet to learn how to swim or should I say who don’t have an idea about swimming.
Even younger children swim perfectly, so what are you waiting for? There is a lot of relaxation that comes with swimming.
Swimming in India is more of a safety measure rather than a sport. Ravi Zacharias said, “To be born in India is to arrive into the world swimming in religion.” Countries blessed with an abundance of water see swimming as a necessary life skill that everyone should learn for protection around water.
Swimming unlike every other form of sport or exercise helps in burning calories and is easy on the joints. It involves the movement of the entire body through water.
This often takes place in a pool or open water bodies. It is a low impact body recreational activity that has many mental and health benefits.
Summer Sanders, a former Olympic Swimmer, and Champion gave the most important advice, to enjoy what you do when asked about her swimming career.
When to Start Swimming
The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends swimming lessons for children older than the age of 4.
It is believed that the child is well developed at age 4 and there is a greater ability to voluntarily hold their breath for a significant period.
Julie Gilchrist, a medical epidemiologist with the CDC’s National Center for Injury Prevention and Control says, the time to start swimming lessons depends in part on your child and your family.
A pool or pond in your home, proximity to water bodies, and a toddler’s reaction to water could be a determinant or necessity for swimming lessons.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention CDC, drowning is a leading cause of injury death in young children between the ages of 1 to 14, and three die daily as a result of drowning. Knowing the basics of swimming could help in preventing drowning.
Teaching a child how to swim comes with a lot of responsibilities, making sure they get comfortable with the water even before the lesson begins. There are tips to help a child become comfortable in the water, which also includes encouragement and total concentration from the parent or swimming instructor.
It is not a big issue if you don’t know how to swim yet, regardless of your age you can still learn. There are swimming lessons to accommodate everyone.
Eating Before a Swim
Swimming requires the body to be on a horizontal level in the pool. Swimming works the muscle with less strain on the joints, eating the right amount of food before a swim makes the process comfortable and fun.
Whether you are swimming for relaxation or a competition, Swimming is demanding. Energy-rich foods help to provide the nutrient required to swim longer.
Carbohydrates such as bread, pasta, sweet potatoes are great sources of energy for swimmers.
It is better to eat a moderate amount of food before a swim and still take a short break of about 30 minutes to an hour before the swim.
This break enables the digestion to proceed releasing nutrients and sufficient fuel needed by the muscle during swimming. Fatty foods take longer to be digested and should be avoided.
Eating After a Swim
After Swimming, the body needs the nutrients restored for it to recover. Foods that help restore body fuel, repair the muscles and replenish energy are a necessity.
The body also needs to be hydrated after a swim. Proteins such as Lean chicken, eggs, fruits, and yogurt are of a greater advantage.
Swim Wear Essentials
New to swimming or already a pro, there are certain essentials required to make the swimming process fun and relaxing.
Being comfortable while swimming is necessary, asides what you eat before going for a swim, what you wear can also influence the Swimming process. Below are a few essentials for a swim.
- Swimsuit or Swimwear: This could come in a different form depending on one’s comfort. It could be shorts, leggings, bikinis, etc.
- Goggles: It helps in protecting the eyes from chlorinated water and improves visibility underwater.
- Swimming caps: Useful for people with long hair, so it can be kept out of the face. It also protects the head in cold water swimming environments.
- Towel and Robe: This is essential to dry off after a swim
- Flip flops
- Water Bottle: It is necessary to stay hydrated while swimming
- Toiletries: Personal toiletries to wash the chlorinated water off the body
Benefits of Swimming
Swimming is a low impact water-based activity involving all parts of the body. Depending on the situation, there are a lot of benefits that come with swimming. This ranges from mental benefits, health benefits, restorative, and relaxation to serving as a form of therapy.
Who doesn’t want to have fun and nevertheless keep fit? Finding that activity that could give you relaxation and burn calories most effectively is everyone’s desire.
Swimming helps to burn calories, increases body metabolism and muscle tissues. Being a low impact activity, there is less pressure on the muscles, unlike other aerobic activities.
Serves as a form of Recovery or therapy
Swimming can serve as a form of therapy for handicapped patients as it helps to strengthen the connective tissues in the muscles.
A study on osteoarthritis reviewed that regular swimming exercise reduces joint pain and stiffness by improving muscle strength.
Improves Cardiovascular System
Swimming helps reduce inflammation by strengthening the heart muscles, thereby lowering blood pressure and controlling sugar levels.
Reduces risk of Asthma
Swimming increases lung capacity. Khyati Rupani, a Dietitian/Nutritionist says swimming helps in improving breathing levels, reducing the risk of asthma in children exposed to swimming at early stages.
Improves Mental health
Swimming has a positive effect on mental health as it improves the mood, relaxes the body, improves sleep and reduces stress keeping you refreshed.
A good form of exercise for pregnant women
Swimming improves and strengthens muscle tissues in pregnant women. Swimming is beneficial to the mother and unborn child in that it helps in strengthening their heart to pump blood and improves circulation to the body.
It also helps in reducing anxiety. Are you pregnant and haven’t considered swimming as a form of exercise? There is a whole lot of swimming does to the body.
Good for the skin
Swimming in saltwater helps in cleansing and retaining the moisture of the skin. For dry and itchy skin, salt water helps to hydrate and reduce irritation.
It is believed that the anti-inflammatory properties of saltwater help in removing and exfoliating dead skin.
Swimming as a hobby or form of relaxation
While writing this, I thought about the hobbies I loved and the ones I wished I had. Having hobbies that bring about enjoyment and relaxation is necessary as one needs to relieve stress.
The benefits of swimming single-handedly may perhaps convince you into making it a hobby. Engaging in a leisure activity is a great way to increase one’s productivity.