How to start swimming? Well the answer is simple, just do it! Those of you seeking to step your swimming up a notch from the casual or leisure swim should know it’s easy to swim for exercise – and so is starting. This full-body workout improves both your cardiovascular fitness and your muscular strength – all while causing no impact shock to your body. These are great ways to start swimming for exercise. Remember, once you start, stick with it for the best results!
How to start swimming, the various ways to get into swimming for exercise:
1. Hire a Coach or Instructor
Swimming is a specialized skill, one where having good form can make a world of difference. Work with a coach or instructor if your stroke feels rusty, so you can perfect your technique. A coach or instructor will help motivate you to improve your skills, no matter your swimming level. If you’re already a high level swimmer, a coach can help prepare you for competitions. Lessons are essential if you’ve never learned how to swim. Book an instructor with us!
2. Swim Laps
A coach or instructor will probably be doing these with you, if you choose to go into swimming exercise solo then get into a pool and practice! Start with doing the freestyle stroke (also called front crawl) or breaststroke up and down the lane. Swim for as long as you can, then rest for as much time as you need. Repeat for a minimum of 20 minutes. While swimming practice your breathing, learning efficient breathing techniques are key to swimming long and well. If you want to challenge yourself, swim timed laps. Don’t rush progress, if you’re winded for a long time it’s ok. Rest. Repeat and stamina will build up over time!
Also keep in mind there are handy tools to help improve your skills! Swim training gear can help you build endurance and improve your form, learn more about training gear and how it could help. For example, kickboards let your upper body rest while you work your legs. Pull-buoys (a figure-8 shaped foam device that you place between your legs, above your knees) support your lower body so you can concentrate on your stroke.
3. Water Aerobics
Unlike swimming laps, water aerobics isn’t very intense but, it’s still a workout. Performed vertically in shallow water (shallow end of a pool) with a focus on endurance and resistance training. Most water aerobics is in a group fitness class setting with a trained professional teaching for about an hour. Find a class near you and join! Different forms of water aerobics include: aqua Zumba, water yoga, aqua aerobics, and aqua jog.
Although aquatic exercise greatly reduces the risk of injury, it is typically seen that not as many calories are burned as would be in some other activities. Water aerobics is the safest form of exercise for people that are prone to arthritis, osteoporosis, and weak joints.
4. AquaFit Classes
AquaFit classes take water aerobics to the next level. Similarly, it is a class for vertical water training in fairly shallow water. AquaFit is more intensive, pictured above is hydrospinning. Yeah, sounds like your legs are going to feel it, doesn’t it? Cycling out of water is hard enough, imagine the work out your whole body gets with the resistance of water! An hour class is a great high intensity workout that is gentle on your joints. You’ll be left breathless and coming back for more.
5. Synchronized Swimming
Synchronized swimming is a hybrid form of swimming, dance, and gymnastics, consisting of swimmers performing a synchronised routine (either solo, duet, mixed duet, free team, free combination, and highlight) of elaborate moves in the water, accompanied by music. It is both an individual and team sport.
Synchronised swimming demands advanced water skills, requires great strength, endurance, flexibility, grace, artistry and precise timing, as well as exceptional breath control when upside down underwater. During routines swimmers may not touch the bottom of the pool. Synchronized swimming is great for increasing flexibility, lung capacity (most synchro swimmers can hold their breath for an average of 3 minutes), increased stamina, endurance and muscle strength.
6. Join a Swim Team
If you’re confident in your swimming abilities and want to push yourself, why not try competing? Try out for a competitive swim team near you at Masters Swimming Canada or USA Swimming. If you’re at this point, we suppose you wouldn’t be asking “how to start swimming” but if you’ve taken the steps to get to here – maybe by trying out the classes and activities we mentioned above – definitely give competing a go!
Have any more suggestions of how to start swimming? Leave them in the comments below!