Swimming is a great recreational activity for people of all ages. As well as being fun, swimming is a great way to keep fit, stay healthy, and make friends. Swimming has been my favorite sport since I was very small. I learned to swim when I was just 8 years old and my parents tell me that I took to swimming as a fish takes to water. There are several reasons why I prefer swimming over all other sports. However the topmost remains, my love of water. Besides, swimming does not require expensive gear. A swimsuit and a pair of waterproof goggles and you are now set to swim.
There are various strokes we can use to add variety to our swimming workout, including:
Each focuses on different muscle groups, and the water provides a gentle resistance. No matter what stroke we swim, we are using most of our muscle groups to move our bodies through the water. Freestyle races in major championships are over 50m, 100m, 200m, 400m and 1500m for men, with the 800m instead of the 1500m for women.
In the other strokes, both men and women race over 100m and 200m. There are medley races for both men and women, over 200m and 400m, in which each stroke has swum for 50m and 100m respectively, the order being a butterfly, backstroke, breaststroke, and freestyle. Relay races include 4x100m and 4x200m, as well as a medley 4x 100m relay in which the order of the strokes is backstroke, breaststroke, butterfly, and freestyle. The standard long-course swimming events take place in Olympic-size pools, which measure 50m approximately and which have eight lanes, 2.3m wide.
There are some reasons why swimming is popular. Firstly, swimming is a sport for all age groups; besides, it is a lifetime activity. People can learn to swim as young as 4 or 5 years old or as old as 60 or 70. All it takes is the right instruction and desire to get in the pool. Secondly, swimming is cheap. Actually you don’t have to spend much money on it. All you need is just a swimsuit that makes you feel comfortable and a goggle that keeps water from your eyes. Even though you have to buy an admission ticket, it is not so expensive. Anyone can afford to go swimming. Finally, swimming is one of the most popular sports in the world. Besides its popularity, swimming is a good activity that provides individuals with several physical benefits. First of all, swimming is a movement through water using one’s legs and arms that provides an all-body workout. As all of our muscles are used during swimming, it is an excellent form of exercise.
Some people who enjoy swimming want to take it to a competitive level. This can provide the health benefits of a vigorous workout as well as the fun and thrill of competition. The main strokes used in competitive swimming are breaststroke, freestyle, backstroke, and butterfly. The distances swum in competition swimming can vary from 50 meters in a pool to many further distances in open water.
Swimming for fitness is an activity that offers health benefits for a lifetime and is well worth the effort it takes to get into the pool. It increases lung capacity and makes the heart pump better. It gives us the chance to hang around with friends frolicking in the water. It gives us respite from the heat. Regular swimming builds endurance, muscle strength, and cardiovascular fitness. It can serve as a cross-training element to our regular workouts.
Besides, people of all ages can swim. As swimming is a non-weight bearing exercise it is easy on the joints and even people with arthritis can swim without worrying that the exercise might ruin their bones further. Swimming burns calories a mile per pound of bodyweight so it’s a good exercise for weight loss as well.
There are many psychological benefits to swimming. If we relax and swim with very little effort and let our mind wander focusing on nothing but the rhythm of our stroke before long a feeling of well-being settles similar to the feeling one gets from meditation. For me, swimming is a mixture of exercise and fun. Spending time floating on my back listening to the water lap my feet is so soothing and relaxing that it makes me wish I didn’t ever have to step out of the water.