• Isabel Beariault

Swimming for Beginners

I am currently in Switzerland (not Sweden), but I still cannot miss out on my blog. Yesterday, after swimming in the hotel pool, I decided on my blog topic: swimming.

For all of you out there who do not know how to swim, do not worry! I am about to teach you how. Consider this blog post a free scientific tutorial for everyone to learn the useful and fun skill swimming (you’re welcome). Swimming is a sport/hobby/recreational activity that usually occurs in water (H2O). The properties of water allow humans (homo sapiens) to half-“float”, and if humans move in just the correct ways, this “floating” is called swimming and can be used to move through water. Caution: please do not just jump into water and hope to float because I promise you that you will sink and drown.

Before talking about the most popular ways of swimming, I must walk you through the ways in which to enter water. When swimming in a pool, it is generally recommended that you slowly enter using the ladder or stairs. Please do not run near a pool because you may easily slip and fall. When swimming in an ocean or lake, slowly walk into the water until it is at a preferred height to start swimming. Diving, the act of entering the water using a headfirst jump (ooh, sounds dangerous), is also a water entering option, but it is definitely not advised for beginners.

Once in the water, keep your head above the water so that you can breath (hard to forget). Most swimming techniques require your body to be “lying down” with your face in the front, either submerged in water or almost submerged in water. Your legs should be straight out behind you, farther under the surface of the water than the rest of your body. You can also lie in a star-shape on your back for a more “relaxing” position. Once in this position, you can start swimming!

The most common form of swimming is called doggy paddle. This consists of flailing your arms and legs underwater incessantly. The goal of the doggy paddle is to move your limbs just enough to be able to keep your head above water but not too much to waste your limited energy.

Another very popular swimming style is called freestyle. To freestyle, lie on your stomach with your body parallel to the floor of the pool. Your arms and legs must do two different movements; as you can tell, this stroke is a bit more difficult. Your legs should move in a kicking motion (up and down) to propel your body forward while your arms should rotate around your shoulders, all while your hands push the water behind you. To breathe, simply turn your head to the side (so your cheek is gently touching the surface of the water), take a deep breath and submerge your face once more. This swim stroke is useful when you want to swim quickly.

In order to give all the readers a chance to try out these cool swimming techniques, I will release instruction on other swim strokes including breaststroke, backstroke, butterfly and eggbeater at a later date. Enjoy swimming!