While being in water is sometimes our second nature, one in five adults cannot swim.
So, do you already like to swim or would you like to learn?
Swimming can be a fun or serious sport to practice. Follow our guide on how to start well, according to your own objectives, and your own qualities.
Discover with us the origins of swimming as a sport, the regulations in the pool and in competition, the health benefits and the equipment you need to get into the water...
1. What Is Swimming
We might as well take the plunge right away: swimming is about moving in water. So to swim, you swim. Once these astonishing revelations have hit you... let's take a look at why and how to practice swimming.
While there are traces of people swimming since ancient times, swimming practised as a sport developed in England in the 1830s. In India, the Swimming Federation of India was established in 1948. Swimming is now a sport practised around the world and even a major sport in North America, Europe, Australia, India and other Asian countries.
Today, if you want to go further than the relaxing or lazing in the water, swimming is divided into 4 strokes: freestyle, breaststroke, backstroke and butterfly.
You can learn to swim in a pool, from the age of 6 or 7. Once you have gone through the different stages from splashing about to breaststroke - thanks to sessions with your local lifeguard or your coach - you can swim at your own pace, in a pool... or in whitewater. Swimming on the sofa has rather obvious limitations.
You want to practice swimming in a more sustained way? You can join a club to train, or take part in competitions.
In a swimming club, swimming is practised in the form of races, some have a major preference for sprinting. Finally, if you prefer endurance, white water swimming has races between 5 and 25 km long. That's right!
2. The Rules of Swimming
Let's start with the basics: before you get into the water, a sign invites you to take a shower and soak your feet in the foot-bath, just to eliminate germs and bacteria.
On the edge of the pool, avoid running, or jostling swimmers who are not in the water: you don't want to make the lifeguards angry (let alone hurt someone). Also for the safety of you and those around you.
In competitions, you swim timed races against 7 or 9 opponents. You go through the series, sometimes the semi-finals and the final to get to the podium.
The races are divided by type of strokes and distances. For each stroke, the gestures are defined by rules, so you will have to curb your desire for improvisation.
Want to know more about the techniques and rules of swimming? Go through the given article.
3. The Benefits of Swimming
If you're looking for a sport that's good for your health, you're in the right place. Along the water lines in pools, you are practising a sport that causes no stress or micro-trauma to the body
Lack of contact and relative weightlessness are good for your muscles and joints.
You can work your muscles and your cardio at your own pace, without straining.
And in addition to relaxing your body, swimming is a very relaxing activity for the mind.
Hence the expression "swimming in happiness".
To find out if you do not have a medical condition, consider consulting your doctor.
It is a sport that has few restrictions. Swimming can even be recommended for asthma, back or joint problems.
And if you do not know how to swim, there are courses for adults too. After all, you don't know how to ski or ride a bike until you've learnt. And like riding a bike, there's no age for getting into the water. It's even easier to memorize and synchronize the gestures of swimming as an adult. In individual or group lessons, count between 10 and 15 sessions of 30 to 45 minutes before knowing the happiness of swimming your first 25 meters alone.
If you already practice other sports, you can use swimming as part of warming down, recovery or physiotherapy.
It's also a sport that's easy to access in terms of timetables or equipment. Winter or summer, you can always find an hour in your week or day for your dose of chlorine.
In competition or leisure, swimming allows you to physically make progress while relaxing.
5. What Equipment do you need to Practice Swimming
You can imagine, to get into the water, you need a swimsuit or a swimming trunk. One-piece, two-piece or even a wetsuit depending on your sport and your goals.
For the sake of hygiene and your comfort, swimming goggles and swimming cap may accompany you to the pool. And to keep your feet dry and clean at the edge of the water, we recommend using flip-flops or sandals. Enjoy: it's also the only place where flip-flops give you credibility.
If you want to train, you can pull out the pads, boards, fins and other accessories.
Finally, if you want to improve your timings, have fun and feel content with yourself, dive into the pool!
How about you? In full wetsuits or swimsuits, how did you start swimming? Share your passion with us and don't hesitate to tell us if you liked this article!