For many of us, water has always been a delight. Some say being in the water can feel like a short escape from reality. Swimming is definitely relaxing, but is there any other reason why we should learn it?
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Why swimming is important
Did you know that humans are one of the few animals that don’t have the natural ability to swim? Yet so many people over the centuries around the world have learned how to do it. There are many reasons why learning to swim is important. First of all, it can help save your life. You never know when you will be in a situation where you have to swim. Countless scenarios could occur where you will have to swim to save yourself. Secondly, it can help save someone else’s life. Approximately 236,000 lives are claimed each year due to drowning deaths. It is one of the leading causes of accidental death worldwide. Learning to swim can be scary at first, maybe for some, but it’s very rewarding once you know how to do it. (Personally, it took me 1 year to learn but it took me so long, mainly because I was afraid of water.)
Benefits of swimming
If you don’t like to sweat and really want to do some cardio, swimming would be your best bet. Believe me, it would be very hard to sweat in the pool. Swimming can also help you build stronger bones, grow taller, and sleep better. Many non-swimmers I know say they feel calmer and more rested in the pool even though they can’t swim. “I love that even though I’m lying in the water doing nothing, I’m still floating,” someone told me. “I love swimming alone, just to get lost in my thoughts,” said another. Swimming therefore has many mental health benefits, in addition to being a form of exercise. In addition, knowing how to swim opens up opportunities for other very cool experiences. If you can swim, you can swim in the ocean or start diving and snorkeling.
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How to start
You don’t need much to swim, but you can purchase the following to get started.
- Bathing cap
- Swimming goggles
- A towel (specifically for swimming)
- A board (I would personally recommend this if you are a beginner)
- Solar cream
If you are new to swimming or consider yourself an amateur, please don’t swim alone. Or at least for the first few times, make sure you have a coach, parent, or friend to watch you or just watch or swim with you. Never go to the deepest end of the pool unless you are very experienced in this area. Here are some additional precautions for swimming in open water.
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For non-swimmers, what I’m about to list may seem confusing, but it’s what I believe is the best thing about learning to swim.
1. Breathing Techniques
2. Walk on water
3. Free swimming
You can watch a more detailed explanation of free swimming here. You can check out other swimming styles here and here.
As someone who likes to swim, I loved it why we swim by Bonnie Tsui. It’s an incredible book that explores the relationship between humans and water and why we are so drawn to it, as well as the fascinating history of swimming.
Why Swimming is Sublime by Damon Young
I hope this was helpful in helping you decide to learn to swim. Remember, keep swimming!
Photo by Haley Phelps on Unsplash