Anybody who is a frequent reader of our blog articles should now be aware of the broader aspects that swimming offers to people: Improvement of physical condition, mental refreshment and enhancement of self-confidence are just some of them. In all cases, though, we shall not forget that the basic reason for learning how to swim is ensuring safety. Preservation of life and prevention of drowning are top priorities in a country that is surrounded by sea. In this article, we will point out five simple swim techniques that can ensure safety for all.
Keeping your head out of the water
This is the number one priority when speaking about how to stay safe in the water. That's why it is the first vital lesson that all non-competent swimmers must learn before proceeding to more advanced swim lessons. A useful lesson for parents of infants and toddlers is that they can start training them from a very young age. Beginning from as young as the age of six months, your beloved babies can begin learning the essential life-saving skills when being in the water. The lessons can start by parents themselves within the safe environment of the home's bath tube. Of course, infants and toddlers are developing such new traits and skills rather instinctively than consciously. Humans are very adaptive beings and the more stimulus they receive from a young age the better results they will produce as they grow up.
It's very important to understand that for keeping yourselves safe you don't need to keep your whole head outside water. What needs to be above water is your nose so you could breathe. Thus, having your chin within the water when swimming is not a problem. It is better to keep the lower part of your face, just under the nose, as much as possible in the water, because it will make swimming much easier. Swimming with your whole head above water can result in high impact effects for your neck and back. This is one of the first lessons you will take when learning this technique and one that will be essential.
Controlling your breath as a swimming skill
Breathing is among the most significant human functions not only for swimming purposes but also for overall health. Since oxygen is the primary element of our existence, its balanced distribution within our bodies is vital and affects all crucial aspects of life: From efficient food digestion and good sleep to enhancement of immune system and stress management, proper breathing plays such a huge role in human health. As far as the control of breath for swimming is concerned, you should know that it will help you gain more confidence in the water. Exhaling the right way is probably the most important aspect of controlling your breath. It's quite usual for less experienced swimmers to hold their breath when their face is in the water. This is not the right way of breath control and it will affect negatively your performance in water making you suffer from fatigue, not to mention the possibility of a fatal incident.
This is a technique that you should consciously practice because it's a natural inclination for people to hold their breath when their faces are in the water. You should always keep in mind, thus, that you should exhale every time this happens. Controlling your breath properly will increase your endurance when in the sea and allow you to withstand any challenges that might occur. You could practice the right inhale-exhale breathing process yourselves outside water to gain a better understanding of the breathing's function and feel the air in your lungs. In any case, however, you must ask for advice from a certified swim instructor before taking much harder tasks in an aquatic environment.
Treading water for safety
Another swim technique that ensures safety is treading water. This is one of the most basic swimming skills that all swimmers must acquire because it's necessary for floating and moving when you are in deeper water where you can't step on your feet. Learning how to tread water will allow you to keep your heads above water and move your bodies within it. It will also boost your confidence since one of the most common reasons for drowning is the panic that arises when someone falls into the sea without mastering that skill. So, even if you just learn how to use your body for treading water, it will diminish any possibilities of such an unfortunate event. Furthermore, as you will continue to develop more swimming skills, you will be able to strengthen your body and increase stamina. Swimming can indeed be an excellent means of keeping fit and healthy. So, how can you learn to tread water?
First of all, it is crucial to point out that during the learning process you must always be with someone competent in swimming. It would be naive and dangerous to get at risk when you are not yet proficient enough. There are three main steps you should follow, before reaching the level of expertise: Firstly, you must keep water at your chin level, so that your nose is above water. Then, you must move your hands back and forth to keep your body above water. And finally, you should move your feet bringing your knees toward the chest for keeping a steady body. It may sound complex and difficult but trust me: Since you start learning each step the right way, you will find out that your bodies will perform those tasks automatically when you are in the water. It will feel like an automated process, like an instinctive reaction that takes place without even thinking about it. In the beginning, it would be best to move both your arms and feet, so that you will master the technique. After some practice though you would be able to tread water moving either your hands or your feet, thus saving energy.
Floating on back in the water
This is a technique that is correlated to the previous one as it requires the ability to keep the body on the surface of the water. However, it is not a “pure” swim technique but rather one that allows resting while being in the water. Although you could still swim at a slow pace this is an ideal technique for preserving energy while, for example, you wait for help to come at an emergency. But it's also an effective method for getting a rest in and between swim sessions either for training or for personal satisfaction. For all swimmers floating their back in water seems like a “revelation”, increasing their capacity to stay in water for a much longer time. Consequently, it raises confidence and can function as a great safety skill.
Again, you need to start learning how to do it next to a swimming coach or at least a competent swimmer. It may seem difficult for less experienced swimmers but you will be amazed at how natural it will come out of you once you have learned the basic principles. Of course, your first lessons should take place in shallow water. Keeping a relaxed manner throughout the process would help in gaining quicker results, as people's psychological restraint is very often the main reason that holds back their development. The human body consists of water in two thirds, so its density is similar to that of water. This means that floating on water is a relatively easy task to accomplish.
Stay safe in the water
Staying safe in the water is a choice. For sea countries, like Australia, in particular, it's a necessity as it's a life-saving skill. You don't need to be Ian Thorpe to swim safely. Learning new simple swim techniques will increase your confidence and make you realise how each technique is related to the other. As in more things in life, making the first step and taking your safety under consideration is the core prerequisite. Don't be afraid and take that step!
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