Who can swim?
Swimming is an activity that people of all ages and levels of fitness can take up, and is accessible to virtually everyone. From the unit person taking his or her first few strokes in the shallows, to the competitive swimmer training for a race, swimming is a physical activity that any one can perform at their own level.

Your body shape will, however, determine how fast you can swim for a given level of effort. So, while being able to swim fasteris a marker of improving fitness try not to worry about the speed of the other swimmers around you. What is important is improving your own speed and swimming for a reasonable length of time.

What muscles are used in swimming?
The particular groups of muscles used in swimming vary according to the stroke you use. But using a variety of backstroke, front crawl (freestyle) and breaststroke will use all major muscle groups: abdominals, biceps and triceps, gluteals, hamstrings and quadriceps

How do I gain benefit from swimming?
Of course many people like to just splash around in the pool and enjoy themselves. The popularity of 'leisure' pools with wave machines, waterfalls and slides pays tribute to the appeal of swimming as a playful activity.

But those who want to gain the maximum health benefit from their time at the pool should decide on a more energetic program, beginning with a warm up. This could be simply walking the route to the swimming pool. Or it could be a few minutes on an exercise bike or just beginning tour swim with easy and gentle strokes. The gentle warm up, warms the muscles to reduce the risk of damage and increases the heart rate.

If you are beginning a swimming-for-fitness program and are not very fit, start by swimming a length, followed by a rest for 30 seconds to a minute. Do not exhaust yourself by powering up and down the pool. Take it gently

Over a few weeks you can increase the time you spend swimming. When you have developed a certain level of fitness you can adopt a program of warming up with slow strokes for 5-10 minutes, followed by 20-40 minutes of continuous swimming with different strokes, ending up with a five minute cool-down period with slower, gentler swimming.

Swimming for the long 3-5 times a week should give you a good amount of aerobic exercise to promote the health of the hurt and lungs. However this exercise will have no effect on the strength of your bones. That is why it is a good idea to walk or jog or other weight-bearing exercise because of the stress it places on bones, helping the bones to maintain or increase their mass.

Of course you can incorporate other forms of exercise in the water apart from swimming, either on your own or in classes. There is water walking, water aerobics (sometimes called aqua aerobics), water yoga and stretching in water just for starters.

What equipments do I need?
You do not need a lot of go for swimming. A comfortable swimsuit is all you really need, although a pair of goggles is worth while if you are swimming in a chlorinated pool. A foam board can allow you to do exercises that pay particular attention to legs or arms, but most pools can provide this for you

What are the safety measures one should take while swimming?

  • Don't drive in shallow water.
  • Don't get careless in or near the water.
  • Don't run around a swimming pool.
  • Don't swim under a diving board.
  • Don't swim under a pier.
  • Don't swim unsupervised.
  • Learn how to rescue you or another person from drowning. Then, learn how to take care of them after you rescue them.
  • Watch for sharp objects.
  • When you swim get out of the water before you make yourself so tired you feel like you can't get out of the water.
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