Swimming is a popular worldwide activity, with many health advantages and stress-relieving properties for those who participate regularly. Despite all the health benefits, statistics on swimming are alarming; drowning is the third leading cause of accidental injury death in the world, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). But is swimming difficult to learn?
Generally, it is not difficult to learn to swim. Fear is the number one challenge that makes learning to swim difficult. However, to overcome fear, you will need to adopt the proper body position and learn to float in water. Once you learn how to float, which is one of the hardest things for most people, the other components of swimming become much easier.
In this article, we will be answering all questions you may have about swimming. You might also enjoy reading: Rowing Vs. Swimming: Which Is Better?
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How Long Does It Take To Learn To Swim?
As a general rule, it takes about 15 to 30 hours of swimming lessons to learn to swim. Swimming is not just a sport; it is an important survival and life-saving skill that everyone should definitely learn. About 236 000 people drown every year worldwide, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).
In addition, learning to swim as an adult can be a challenging, scary, incredible, satisfying, and rewarding experience.
Is Swimming Really Difficult To Learn?
If you haven’t spent much time in the water or engaged in any previous aquatic activities, learning to swim might be tough. However, with the help of a skilled diving trainer or life-saving teacher and continuous training, it is possible to learn to swim successfully.
Can You Teach Yourself To Swim?
Anyone can learn to swim, and the shallow end of a pool is an excellent location to learn to swim by yourself. The front crawl is perhaps the easiest stroke for a beginner. You may practice and learn different strokes after you grasp how to propel yourself across the surface of the water.
You will find plenty of resources available on YouTube and websites to help you get started. However, if you want to learn faster and use the proper swimming techniques, it would be better to ask a friend (known to be a good swimmer) or lifeguard for feedback and advice or take swimming lessons.
In addition, swimming involves:
- Moving with your legs.
- Stroking with your arms, all of which may be practiced one at a time in shallow water.
How to Learn How To Swim
- Find a swimming pool near you, get a swimming suit, and get down in the water up to your chest level.
- You can also visit your local YMCA, where they usually have regular swim classes for people of all ages.
- Get a swimming instructor to help you learn the proper way to swim.
- Have a friend with you who can help in case of an emergency. Never go alone in the beginning.
- Once you are inside the water, hold the side rod of the pool with both your hands and lie on your stomach and stretch your body entirely, keeping your head underwater. Use your legs to splash the water, keeping your knees straight.
- Do this for three-fourths of the sessions, and you will be ready for the next step.
- Next session, stand by the wall of the pool, keep both your hands straight, and push yourself against the wall to get a start by keeping your head underwater and your eyes toward the floor. Your body will be straight; in this posture, use only your legs to propel yourself while your hands will be steady.
7 Challenges You Might Face When Learning How To Swim
Even though swimming offers excellent health, most beginners face many challenges when learning how to swim. Here are the top 7 challenges you might face if you are trying to learn how to swim.
1- Difficulty Releasing Tension In The Body And Relaxing In The Water
Swimming will be extremely tough to learn if you are nervous and uptight. You may be yanking and pushing as hard as you can, but you are hardly advancing because your weight is pulling you down.
You can be less anxious and stressed by performing efficient drills and gliding in the water.
2- Difficulty Breathing While Swimming
Respiration is one of the most challenging things beginners face when learning to swim. Many people who are new to swimming, even those with solid technique, have trouble synchronizing their breaths with their movements.
Tip: Exhale underwater via your nose and practice breathing with precise timing.
3- Lack of Coordination In Movement
As a beginner swimmer, you can perform strokes flawlessly by isolating certain mechanical motions such as pulling and kicking. However, most beginners have difficulty synchronizing the movement and duration of the stroke when they combine all of these technical components to swim the stroke.
Tip: Break down the stroke and practice with shorter distances to help you improve your speed and accuracy.
4- Thinking Of Too Many Problems At Once
Swimming requires smoothness and precision. Although you are pushing and propelling yourself when swimming, a period of glide connects to the timing of your strokes.
Overthinking your technique and body position might lead to an artificial, mechanical beat.
Tip: Focus on a few technical aspects at a time while yet allowing for natural swimming.
Top 7 Tips To Learn Swimming For Adults
If you are afraid of swimming, don’t worry, studies showed that about 46 % of American adults.
Here are the seven best tips to learn swimming for adults:
1- Start In The Shallow Side Of The Pool
If you haven’t spent much time in the water, it is normal to be afraid of it. Starting in the shallow end of the pool is one approach to conquering that phobia. There, you will be able to stand in the pool and drop yourself to your desired depth.
Practice holding your breaths while your body is submerged, knowing that you may surface for air at any time.
2- Use Goggles
Wearing goggles will make it much simpler to see underneath. Furthermore, goggles make swimming more pleasant since they keep water out of your eyes.
Wearing goggles will prevent water from entering your eyes. And most importantly, ensure that you choose goggles that fit you well without being too tight.
And remember, learning to swim will be more fun if you can see well when your head is submerged.
3- Spend a Considerable Amount Of Time In The Water
Spending enough time in the water can help you gain confidence and become a better swimmer. The longer you stay in the water, the easier you will feel and the better swimmer you will become. We all understand how tough it is to make time to swim regularly.
The only way to learn to swim is to spend a considerable amount of time In the water. Remember that you don’t have to practice every day. For a beginner, once a week might be plenty. If you wait for more than a week between sessions, you could find it challenging to make improvements.
4- Train Yourself To Become Comfortable With Being In The Water
Swimming is a journey to exploring an underwater territory, meaning your eyes, nose, ears, and sometimes the entire head will be underwater most of the time.
Most adults learning to swim will find it challenging to keep their faces in the water while swimming. Having your face in water can even cause mild anxiety for some people.
Except for backstroke, every stroke requires your face to be underwater most of the time. And getting used to the feeling is an essential part of learning to swim.
Growing comfortable is a matter of practice. Here are a few ideas:
- Practice bobs in the shallow end
- Practice holding your breath while having your eyes open (wearing goggles will help)
- While keeping your breath, use your arms to move underwater.
And always remember, the more you practice, the more comfortable you will become and feel.
5- Learn The Individual Mechanics Of Swimming
Freestyle swimming is made appear simple by skilled swimmers. The stroke, in reality, is made up of numerous shapes that work together to ensure seamless, effective water movement. Don’t think of freestyle as a single stroke when starting to swim as an adult. Consider it as a sequence of strokes, each of which requires your attention.
- As your palms hit the water, pay attention to the locations of your wrists.
- As your wrists swing from above to your hips, focus on the placements of your elbows and forearms.
- Give heed to how your frame rolls in the water, how you flutter kick, and how you release as your body descends.
6- Enroll In Swimming Lessons
If you want to learn how to swim as an adult, it is best to take lessons from someone who has experienced swimming before.
You will learn appropriate stroke techniques from the start this way. In addition, you will also stay away from unhealthy behaviors that can hinder your growth.
7- Practice Swimming as Often as Possible
The key to learning anything is practice. You need to practice as often as possible once you start learning how to swim.
Once you have mastered all your fundamentals moves, you can now take longer breaks. Aim to spare a few hours each week to practice every new move learned in your swim classes often.
Overall, learning to swim is not a difficult task. Swimming, like everything else, requires time and effort, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t swim or you have passed the age for swimming.
You just need to overcome your fear of water and aim to practice swimming a lot. The best place to learn to swim is in the swimming pool or your local YMCA, where you can learn the proper swimming techniques and get help in an emergency.
And finally, swimming is an activity that all can perform, so even if you are a sixty-year-old person, don’t let anyone talk you down into thinking that you can’t swim.