Growing up in the countryside is fun and adventurous because there are so many free resources which you can utilize to keep fit. As a young girl, I loved Saturdays, as it meant we get to perform our chores and play. What I loved most was going to the river to wash our clothes. While we waited for them to dry, we took up swimming with my friends. It was always fun since we did not have to use a specific style of swimming. We could dive into the deepest part of the river from trees. It was through these experiences as a child that I grew up loving swimming. At first, it did not register that I was using swimming as a form of fitness.Â I realized it at University when I joined the swimming club.
My story with swimming
Hello, my name is Lucy, and I am an Administrative assistant, an academic and article writer. When I am not at work or behind my laptop, I am either playing with my daughter, running, at the gym, swimming, or watching a movie. Here is the story of my life of how I use swimming to have fun and get fit. I enjoy swimming so much thatÂ I take it as a hobby. What makes me happy is that my daughter, who is almost two years, cannot seem to get enough of swimming, I always have to bribe her out of the swimming pool or the beach.
After graduating from the university, I moved to the city, where to getting access to a swimming pool, you had to pay a hefty amount as subscription per month. I resumed swimming after I was given a transfer to the coastal regions of Kenya, where the beach is free. Moreover, access to a swimming pool is cheap as you only have to pay $2 per day.Â It was hard resuming swimming at first as I had not done any exercise for a period of close to one year. I had to enroll the services of a swimming instructor for two weeks to get myself acclimated with the styles and breathing techniques.
After the first lesson, my body especially, muscles were sore for days, but I persisted. I maintained consistency, and my body slowly adjusted. By the of the first month, I could do 6 round with breaks in between. Swimming helps me relax when I am stressed and get fit. I also felt and saw significant changes in my body. At the beginning of resuming swimming, I joined a group of ladies from work to keep me motivated. We all acted as accountability partners to each other. We had to devise ways to make swimming fun by competing against each other. Sometimes we ask our partners to join us. Other times, we bring our kids. Through this, we were able to form long-lasting friendships.
How to start swimming
Anyone can swim as long as they have the basics of swimming. For a beginner, you will need a swimming costume, goggles, and a cap. However, for you to realize the benefits of swimming, you will have to adopt the proper form and breathing techniques. As there are several styles of swimming, I would recommend every beginner to start with the free stroke style of swimming.
Follow the following steps, and you will be swimming in no time
- Familiarise yourself with the pool by getting in. Ensure that you are chest-deep in the water. Move about the shallow end of the swimming pool while maintaining your balance
- Submerge your body under the water while holding the side of the swimming pool and emerge. Repeat several times till you get the hang of it.
- While holding at the side of the pool, please take a deep breath, hold it, and submerge your whole body. Emerge from underwater. Do this several times in quick successions.
- While holding at the side of the pool, stretch out your legs and extend them behind you. Submerge your face in the water, and try kicking out your legs behind you.
- Release one arm from the side of the pool and plunge it forward, making a big circle, repeat the process several times while alternating the arms.
- After getting the hang of it, try using a kickboard to propel yourself forward using the forward crawl style.
- The final step, try swimming free stroke style without the support of the poolside nor the kickboard. Relax and kick out your legs and stroke your arms while submerging your face in the water and start swimming.
What to expect from a swimming
In your first swimming lesson, you are expected to have a swimming costume, cap, goggles, sandals, towel, and toiletries. Focus on your safety at all times. Most of all, go with a mindset of having fun while getting fit.
How to find a place or group
It is very easy to find a place or a group of people to join for a swim. For employees like myself, you can always talk to your colleagues on setting aside a day to go swimming. Also, ask your friends to join you for fun-filled day swimming with their partners and children. It ensures that the whole family gets fit. Join swimming competitions in your area. If you go to the gym, try striking up a conversation with fellow gym-goers, and you are sure to find yourself a group of people who would be interested in getting fit while swimming for fun.
Benefits of swimming
Swimming has many benefits both to your physical wellbeing, mental health, and social interactions. Swimming is a Â weightless exercise that does not require you to apply much effort to your heart nor your joints. Thus, people can engage in swimming irrespective of their age.
- It helps exercise your whole body
- Helps burn calories
- Helps in toning muscles
- It is good for the heart
- Helps in relieving stress
- Provides an avenue of social interaction
Drawbacks of swimming
For someone new to swimming, drowning is very easy. Always ensure that there is a lifeguard near or use a buoyant when swimming.
Pools use chemicals in treating their water, especially chlorine. When used in excess, it irritates the nose and eye and possibly allergies. It is essential to use goggles to avoid eye irritation. Chorine is also believed to cause asthma and other respiratory illnesses.
Dangers in the ocean
I love swimming in the ocean as it is free and offers much resistance when you swim against the waves. However, many dangers that lurk in the oceans include crabs, sharks, rocks, and sharp shells.
Swimming is not just a means of exercise to me; it is a hobby. It also acts as a reminder that I can accomplish anything I want. Getting back to swimming is the best gift to myself as I do not need to pay a monthly subscription to the gym. It is refreshing and fun to do something I love and keep fit at the same time. It has helped in improving my body image and confidence.