Teach yourself How To Swim

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Gradually get used to moving and breathing in the water, learn some basic strokes, and consider taking adult swim lessons to perfect your technique. Whether you’ve never set foot in a pool before or just need a refresher, you can become a competent swimmer with a little effort and a positive attitude. Swimming is a great way to stay fit and have fun in the water, and it can be learned at any age.

Spend some time moving around in water that is shallow enough that you can stand on the bottom of the pool with your head still above the water. If you don’t have much experience in the water, it can be helpful to get comfortable just being in the pool before you tackle swimming.

Chlorine can also irritate your eyes and ears over time, so it’s a good idea to be prepared with goggles and ear plugs. Having water in your eyes and ears isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but it can feel strange and distracting when you first begin swimming. Try goggles on before buying them, and make sure they fit tightly without causing uncomfortable pressure on the bridge of your nose.

If you’re worried about water entering your nose, you can pinch your nostrils shut with your fingers. Once that feels comfortable, you can try submerging your whole body in the shallow end while holding your breath. Putting your face in the water can be a little intimidating at first, but after a few times it will feel natural. Don’t blow out the air in your lungs while you’re under the water—that will make you less buoyant. Stand with your body as far into the water as you’re comfortable with, then hold your breath and dip your face into the water.

Your legs may angle slightly downward, which is fine. Once you’re in the water, lean back and spread your arms and legs out. Don’t worry if you have trouble keeping your entire body afloat. This is a good way to practice floating and moving through the water without having to worry about holding your breath. Have someone take one of your hands and pull you slowly through the water.

This will help you get comfortable breathing when you can’t touch the bottom of the pool. Go to deeper water and hold on to the side of the pool or a ladder. Submerge your whole body while you exhale, then come up to inhale. Do this several times, and try to exhale for longer than you inhale.

Then put both arms in the water and gently wave them back and forth horizontally, as if you are smoothing out the water beneath you. Once you are in the pool, move your legs back and forth in a scissor motion, keeping them straight but not rigid.

Get a kick board or pool noodle and use it to support your upper body in the water while you move yourself forward with your legs. Kicking properly is a very important part of swimming, and it can be easier to develop your technique when you don’t have to think about your arms at the same time.

Keeping them rigid may actually slow you down. While your legs should mostly be straight, it’s okay to let your knees bend by an inch or two as you move them through the water. Practice this while holding a flotation device until you feel confident. This is the most basic swimming kick, and you can do it by keeping your legs straight and moving them back and forth in the water.

Your feet should flex outward as you kick, and your legs should stay under the water. While holding on to a flotation device, practice moving through the water by bending your knees up towards your sides, then kicking them outwards and bringing them back together behind you.