What are the health benefits of swimming?
Swimming is a great, low-impact sport. If you know how to swim correctly, it's generally suitable for all ages and fitness levels. Swimming can help people recover from injuries.
There are four main "strokes" in swimming: freestyle, backstroke, breaststroke and butterfly. If you are a good swimmer, you can swim alone or with a team or squad.
It provides several health benefits.
Fitness: If you're a fast swimmer, swimming can be an intense workout that can help you stay fit. It burns kilojoules, increases your heart rate and improves your ability to exercise for longer.
Muscle Strength: Swimming is a full-body resistance sport. It strengthens nearly every muscle in your body while engaging your core to increase stability.
Low impact: Swimming in the water can reduce stress on weight-bearing joints. This means you can build muscle and stay healthy while reducing the chance of joint injury.
Mental Health: Like all exercise, swimming causes your body to release natural endorphins. This can boost your mood and relieve stress. Some people find that the repetitive motions of swimming are a great way to relax and clear their minds of negative thoughts.
Brain function: By increasing blood flow and oxygen to the brain, swimming can help you feel more alert and improve memory.
Social impact: Swimming can be a social sport - there are many swim clubs or teams where you can exercise and socialize at the same time.
Who is best for swimming?
If you want to get fit or try a new sport, consider swimming. This is a great option for beginners because you can gradually increase the amount of swimming as you get stronger.
Swimming is a sport suitable for all ages. This is a convenient way to exercise for many people who live near a public pool or swimming beach. Meanwhile, indoor heated pools and mild climates across much of Australia mean swimming is a year-round sport for many.
Swimming has many benefits for people suffering from joint and muscle pain. Buoyancy in the water helps relieve stiffness and increases mobility. Swimming strengthens the muscles that support your joints.
How can I have more confidence in the water?
If you're not an expert swimmer, want to improve your swimming skills, or are new to swimming, contact your local aquatics center to learn about adult swimming lessons.
If you're a beginner, start by spending some time in a pool at a depth you're comfortable with. Whether at the beach or a public pool, swimming is only allowed if there is a lifeguard on duty.
Swimming laps with others in your group, working with an instructor, or taking group lessons can all improve your water skills. Water sports classes, such as water aerobics, can also help you gain confidence and skills. Plus, they build strength and fitness, helping you swim.
If you're recovering from an injury or illness through swimming, hydrotherapy may be a good option. Hydrotherapy is a form of hydrotherapy. A physical therapist or exercise physiologist will guide you and tailor exercises to your specific needs. You can have one-on-one or group spa sessions.
How to start swimming in a safe way?
There are courses available if you need them. Many community pools offer swim schools for adults and children—it's never too late or too early to learn.
If you are new to swimming, ask your doctor for a health check before starting training, especially if you are over 55 or have health problems.
Once you're ready to get started, warm up and stretch to help prevent cramping or injury. Never swim if no one else is around. Ideally, you should only swim when there is a lifeguard on duty. Please follow safety signs posted at the pool or beach.
If you have children, consider enrolling them in swimming lessons. Lessons will provide them with the skills to stay safe in the water and help them enjoy swimming for a lifetime. Babies can start learning to swim from the age of 4 months.
If you are unwell, such as with gastroenteritis, diarrhea or vomiting, please do not swim for at least 2 weeks after these symptoms have resolved to avoid spreading the illness to other pool users.
What equipment is needed for swimming?
You will need:
If swimming outdoors, wear sunscreen
How to avoid injuries while swimming?
Whenever you are near water, you are at risk of drowning. Alcohol increases this risk. Do not swim if you have consumed alcohol. Drinking alcohol can also impair your ability to supervise children in or near water.
Never dive into water if you don't know its depth. Diving into water that is too shallow may cause spinal injuries such as paralysis.
"Swimmer's shoulder" is a term used to describe shoulder injuries caused by swimming. You can reduce your chance of injury by learning good stroke form and stretching before each swim.
Take 5 minutes before and after swimming to stretch your muscles and increase your range of motion to prevent injuries, especially to your shoulders and back.
When swimming in the ocean, please follow beach safety rules:
Only swim at beaches patrolled by lifeguards
Swim only between red and yellow flags where lifeguards can see you, and avoid riptides and currents
Learn how to identify offshore tides yourself
If you get into trouble in the water, raise your hand and ask for assistance from a lifeguard
Ensure sun protection, including wearing waterproof sunscreen
How to stay motivated while swimming?
Once you're in the water, you might be surprised at how quickly time flies as you start swimming. Relax into the rhythm of repetitive movements. Try to enjoy the feeling of moving in the water. Whenever you plan a swim, focus on these good feelings and associate swimming with positive thoughts.
Here are some tips to help you stay motivated while swimming.
Join a club or squad, or arrange to swim in a lane next to a friend. It's hard to cancel when someone else is waiting for you.
Change your itinerary. You can do breaststroke on one day, freestyle on another day, and a few laps of backstroke on another day. While the different strokes may keep you interested, you can work some muscle groups and reduce muscle fatigue.
Make swimming part of your weekly routine. Setting aside a regular time each week to swim can eliminate some decision-making.
Set short-term and long-term goals for yourself. Setting goals that are realistic and achievable but a bit "stretch" will help keep you motivated. Goal setting can help you measure your progress from beginner to gaining strength and skill. Whenever you feel your interest waning, reflect on your accomplishments.
Remind yourself of the health benefits of swimming. Even if you're one of those people who doesn't like swimming, you'll likely love the results. Feeling good about yourself can motivate you.