How To Swim
Feel comfortable in the water
1: Put your fears aside .
Many people despair of learning to swim because they are afraid of drowning. While drownings are a reality, most could be prevented with simple safety measures. Follow the following recommendations every time you swim, and the risk of drowning will decrease dramatically with lifeguard training.
Never swim alone. Go with at least one experienced swimmer, if not several people.
Do not start in white water. If you are learning to swim in the ocean or in a river, you will need to be even more attentive to the movements of the water. If you must learn to swim this way, make sure you’re with someone who knows what they’re doing, and read the steps on how to get out of a rip current or rough river ( see below).
Stay where you are. When you’re just starting to learn to swim, don’t venture into places where you don’t touch bottom. That way, if something goes wrong, you just have to stand up to breathe.
Never swim in bad weather. Swimming in a light rain can be pleasant, but if you see or hear a thunderstorm approaching, get out of the water immediately. This rule must be observed without exception, even by the best swimmers.
Do not swim in too cold water. Moving your limbs to swim can suddenly become difficult in cold water.
2: Get used to doing the plank .
When in the water, stand at the edge of the pool or dock, and let your legs float behind you – they should come up easily if you let them. Practice doing this on your stomach and back, until you’re comfortable floating half of your body.
Try doing a back or stomach plank as soon as you’re ready. Stay in shallow water so you can just stand up if that doesn’t work. Getting water in your ears while your nose and mouth are dry can be a strange feeling, but you will get used to it. For better stability, place your arms at a right angle to make a “T” with your body with lifeguard training.
3: Don’t panic
. Always remember that you have a recourse if you find yourself in deep water or simply if you are unable to move your limbs to swim: do the plank (on your back). Don’t start thrashing or breathing quickly if you can’t swim, just lie on your back, and let the water carry you until you’ve calmed down.
4: Practice exhaling underwater .
Still in shallow water, take a deep breath and put your face in the water. Exhale slowly through your nose until you are out of breath, then straighten up.
If you are not comfortable exhaling through your nose, you can pinch it with your fingers or wear a nose clip, and exhale through your mouth.
5: Wear swimming goggles (optional)
. Wearing goggles will help you feel comfortable opening your eyes underwater, and will allow you to see more clearly. Find a pair that has foam around the eyes and dunk it in water so it fits your face perfectly. Tighten the elastic behind your head to adjust it as comfortably as possible.