Swimming - A Healthy Sport

Wednesday, May 15th, 2013

Summers have knocked the doors and the biting heat can already be felt. So, instead of shutting your doors and switching on the AC why not make the most of these summers. You can stay active by hopping into your swimming outfits and diving into your swimming pool. Nobody is asking you to become Ian Thorpe or Michael Phelps, but you can at least give it a try or simply swim for the fun and benefits of it.

Swimming Competition
What makes swimming important?

There is no shortcut to staying healthy and feeling young. But swimming is a host of a plethora of health benefits so taking a dive can help you enjoy some good benefits. Swimming does the following:

1. Promotes a healthier heart

2. Bursts calories and keeps weight in check

3. Improves cholesterol and reduces the risk of diabetes

4. Increases muscle strength

In addition to the health benefits, swimming also offers a number of psychological benefits.

Preparing yourself for swimming

Before you leave for your nearest swimming center, do not forget to pack your bag with important swimming accessories and safety gear.

1. Swimsuit: It is quite evident that you cannot wear your pajamas or jeans to the pool. You need to wear something which is neither too tight nor too loose. With a plethora of choices available in terms of brands, you can choose anything which is comfortable and designed with the right fabric.

Kid Swimming
2. Swimming goggles: You definitely would not want to screw your swimming experience. The water you might be swimming in might contain a lot of chemicals which serve as irritants for your eyes. Though chlorine is added for the purpose of killing the harmful chemicals in water but this disinfectant can be harsh on your eyes. Wearing swimming goggles can protect your eyes and give you a comfortable swimming experience.

3. Earplugs: This may not seem important to many but are equally important as swimming goggles. Often swimmers suffer from ear infections and other problems such as Swimmer’s ear which cause a lot of unease and pain. Hence protecting your ears by using earplugs is a sensible idea.

4. Nose plugs: If you are a novice, then you can opt for this swim gear. Generally, people who are beginning to learn swimming feel uncomfortable and might feel nauseated if water enters the nostrils. Using nose plugs can avoid such situations.

5. Swim cap: Your hairs are as important as your eyes, nose and ears. Swimming cap not only keeps your hair dry but serves as a shield from the harmful chemicals.

All these swimming accessories can be easily found in an online store or your nearest brick and mortar swimwear shop. They won’t transform you into an expert overnight but make your swimming experience a better one.

Man SwimmingSwimming techniques

If you are serious about swimming and new to it, you might be envious of anyone gliding effortlessly in the water making smart strokes. Mastering this art isn’t tough if you practice regularly and know different techniques and strokes. Knowing the basic techniques forms a vital part if you want to become a pro.

1. Freestyle stroke: This is one of the most common strokes and also known as front crawl or Australian stroke. Developed by Richard Cavill, this is regarded as the fastest swimming stroke and is also a favorite of many swimmers.

2. Breaststroke:  This is taught to the beginners initially as it allows the head to be above the water surface in the beginning. Thus, this avoids any breathing issues. Moreover, some strict rules have to be followed while practicing it.

3. Backstroke: As evident, this stroke is performed by swimming on the back. This technique is faster than breast stroke and recommended by doctors to people suffering from back pain.

4. Butterfly stroke: This ranks second in the list of fastest swimming strokes. This catches a lot of attention as it is quite different from other strokes. In this technique, the swimmer is supposed to perform arm and leg movements together.

Special tip

When you have gained the required expertise, you can try this special tip by Michael Phelp’s coach, Bob Bowman to perform your best.

Try making long strokes instead of fast strokes. If you have keenly observed Michael Phelps, then you must have noticed that he simply requires 6 to 8 strokes for covering a span of 25 yards. Practice by extending your arms and making longer strokes with your speed and you will get better.

When you feel you aren’t getting any better, just try recalling Michael Phelp’s famous quote – “You can’t put a limit on anything. The more you dream, the farther you get.” This will give you the necessary push to get going.

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