There are so many reasons to learn to swim, especially if you -- like many other people across the country -- are staying close to home for vacations and opt instead to have your own family swimming pool installed. Swimming is such great exercise and is something that can be undertaken by people of all ages – truly from babies to senior citizens, water is a great place to exercise and have fun. And while the occasion may not arise, there could come a time when knowing how to swim will become a necessity and it's better to be prepared in advance.
There are many ways to learn to swim and even if you want to teach your family members to swim in the comfort of your own pool, you can hire a swim instructor to come to your home or if you know how to swim, pass that knowledge along to your family members. Here are some things to keep in mind when starting to learn to swim:
- Know the rules of the water: The rules of the water means that you those who are in the water need to have a healthy respect for it at all times. Regardless of whether you're in a pool, lake or pond you stress the fact that you should never swim alone. If you're in a swimming pool, those who can't swim should stay in the shallow end of the pool and the shallow end should be clearly marked to delineate it from the deep end.
- Ease your way into the water: If you, or someone you know, doesn't know how to swim, start off in the shallow end. The old "sink or swim" method of teaching someone to swim by dropping them in the deep end is long gone. Once you're in the shallow end, lower yourself little by little until you have submerged yourself up to your chest then eventually go underwater. Hold onto the side of the swimming pool as you ease your way in and work up the nerve to put your head under water. Take a deep breath before you put your face in the water and take time to just get used to the feeling of the water on your face. Work your way up to holding onto the side of the pool, putting your face in the water and kicking your legs back so that you're floating.
- Learn to tread water: Treading water is a great lifesaver, especially if you're in deeper water. To learn to do this, grab onto the side of the pool (or the hand of someone who is swimming with you) bend your knees (since you should be practicing this in the shallow end for now) and start kicking your feet. Once you feel comfortable, release the side of the pool and kick your feet in a motion as if you were climbing stairs, your hands should start out shoulder length apart and them move your hands in, with your palms in, until they touch, then push back out. Treading water will help you keep your head above water.
These are just the beginning steps of learning to swim but they are the baby steps you need to take to get yourself comfortable in the water and can lead to learning particular swim strokes. Once you've become accustomed to the water and have conquered any fear you had of it, you can learn to more fully enjoy the water and take advantage of the fun and exercise benefits of the swimming pool in your backyard.
Don't forget to talk to your local swimming pool builder about how to learn to swim and items they might sell in their stores that you can use as you're learning to swim – such as swim fins, kick boards, swim caps or lifejackets for the youngsters.