To many of us, the water has always been enchanting. Some say that 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?
Why Swimming is Important
Did you know that humans are one of the few animals that do not have the natural ability to swim? Yet so many people over the centuries throughout the world have taught themselves to do so. There are many reasons why learning to swim is important. Firstly, it can help save your life. You never know when you will be in a situation where you need to swim. Countless scenarios could happen where you will need to swim to save yourself. Secondly, it can help save someone else's life. Around 236,000 lives are claimed every year due to death by drowning. It is one of the leading causes of death from accidents worldwide. Learning to swim can be scary at first, perhaps, for some, but it is very rewarding once you know how to do so. (Personally, it took me 1 year to learn but it took me so long, mainly because I was scared of the water.)
Benefits of Swimming
If you don't like sweating and really want to do some cardio, swimming would be your best bet. Trust me, it would be very difficult to sweat in the swimming pool. Swimming can also help you make your bones stronger, make you grow taller, and help you sleep better. Many non-swimmers I know say that they feel calmer and more refreshed in the swimming pool even if they don't know how to swim. "I like that even if I just lie in the water not doing anything, I still float," someone told me. "I love swimming alone, just to get lost in my thoughts, " said another. So there are a lot of mental health benefits from swimming aside from it being a form of exercise. Furthermore, knowing how to swim opens up opportunities for other very cool experiences. If you know how to swim, you can swim in the ocean or start diving and snorkeling.
Image from Favim
How to Get Started
You don't need much to swim but you can buy the following to get started.
- Swimming suit
- Swimming cap
- Swimming goggles
- A towel (specifically for swimming)
- A kickboard (would personally recommend this if you're a beginner)
If you're new to swimming or you consider yourself an amateur, please do not swim alone. Or at least for the first few times, make sure to have a coach, parent, or friend to supervise or just watch you or swim with you. Never go to the deeper end of the pool unless you are very experienced in that area. Here are some more safety precautions for swimming in open water.
To non-swimmers, what I am about to list may seem confusing, but it is what I believe to be the best order of things to learn to swim.
1. Breathing techniques
2. Water Treading
3. Freestyle Swimming
As someone who loves swimming, I loved 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
Hopefully, that has been useful in helping you decide to learn to swim. Remember, just keep swimming!