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Swimming as a Hobby

Tricia Deed has spent many years swimming in different types of waters. It is her favorite summer activity.

Swimmer

A young woman taking a swim in her swimming pool.

A young woman taking a swim in her swimming pool.

Can You Swim?

Not every person can swim...

  • One of the first things is to have respect for an enormous body of water and to feel comfortable with it. It’s your friend, not your enemy.
  • Learn breathing techniques with different swim strokes.
  • Master floating. Great for relaxing or for safety.
  • Kicking benefits speeding through water, assisting stroke movements, and keeping body aligned at water level.
  • Gain knowledge of the basic strokes and how to use them.

Floating - A Relaxing Technique

A swimmer doing a back float technique for rest and relaxation..

A swimmer doing a back float technique for rest and relaxation..

Swimming Year-Round

Swimming is a year-round hobby or sport activity available for all age groups. This activity can be a lifetime hobby, an athletic pursuit, or a profession.

It is a wonderful and fun experience to cool off during hot summer days and nights. Have fun splashing in ponds, lakes, rivers, swimming pools, oceans, and water theme parks.

Most people enjoy warm comfortable heated pools with temperatures between 83-86 degrees.

Our blue planet has water everywhere and for safety’s sake swim in water temperatures of 78 to 86 degrees. Your age, health, and swimming style will help determine your comfort level. The outside air temperature also has its influences.

There are people who like swimming in the chilly waters of cold climates They find icy waters invigorating. They swim during colder months experiencing chilly waters for its invigorating stimulus.

Indoor swimming pools are available in homes schools, and community buildings. They install electronic controls to regulate the temperatures of the heated pool and the environment of the room for swimming comfort.

Fresh water swimming is active in lakes, ponds, rivers, and swimming pools. Ocean water has salt which causes our bodies feel lighter than our original weight. Swimming appears to be at a minimum as people jump up and down or play into the waves.

It will take more energy to swim in fresh water because it does not have salt. Using more energy will burn more calories resulting in weight loss, overall muscle toning, and enhanced muscle strength.

Science reports that the human body is 75% water; therefore, we are like fresh water and would descend to the bottom of the container unless we continue swimming or floating. The greater the salt content of water the more we float. The saltiest water on our planet is the Dead Sea. Everything floats in this body of water.

Mermaiding - A new style of swimming

A mermaid rehearsing her monofin tail insert.

A mermaid rehearsing her monofin tail insert.

Types of Swimming Activities

What do you have in mind when someone says, “let’s go swimming?”

I think most of us consider swimming at a local swimming pool. We can do more than the stereotyped view of swimming.

Swimming Activity Ideas:


  1. Swim at an indoor or outdoor swimming location performing different swim strokes.
  2. We may do diving off a spring board, side of a cliff, or off a permanent raft structure in the middle of a lake.
  3. Snorkeling or scuba diving is a combination of both swimming strokes and diving. Great for using fins.
  4. Mermaiding is swimming with a monofin tail and no visible breathing equipment.
  5. Water sports are fun. Examples include basketball, volleyball, and water polo.
  6. Water skiing, wake boarding or slalom.
  7. Body boarding, board surfing, or kite surfing.
  8. Artistic swimming or synchronized swimming.
  9. Competitive swimming using speed racing with different arm strokes, various games, or water jogging.

If you are anything like me, I ask what type of swimming and do I need to bring any special equipment.

Fun with Friends and Family

Swimming can be a solo or group activity.

Swimming can be a solo or group activity.

Swimming Benefits

These benefits occur when wading in water, swimming, playing games or sports, aerobic exercises, synchronized swimming, and other favored water activities.

  1. Therapy for our joints
  2. Building muscle strength and endurance
  3. Improve cardiovascular conditioning
  4. Posture correction
  5. Flexibility
  6. Fat burn and weight loss
  7. Overall body conditioning

Swimming is a healing exercise which helps to prevent or rehabilitate before, during, or after certain diseases.

We may use all swimming strokes techniques in both fresh and seawater. But there are differences in energy spent, techniques, and safety issues.

Freestyle - Swimming Stroke

A child actively using the freestyle stroke to move through the water.

A child actively using the freestyle stroke to move through the water.

Statistics

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics and the American Time Use Survey of America age groups 15 and up spend 1.7 or an average of 2 hours a day in a swimming activity.

Forty-seven percent are men and fifty-three percent are women. For most, they swim alone as an exercise benefit.

The Harvard Health Publication - Harvard Medical School offers these statistics:

General swimming activity for 30 minutes will burn 180 calories for a person weighing 125 pounds, 223 calories for a person weighing 155 pounds and 266 calories for a person weighing 185 pounds.

Butterfly Stroke

The butterfly stroke is powerful.

The butterfly stroke is powerful.

5 Swimming Strokes

There are five distinct types of swimming strokes; however, the four most used are the (1). front crawl or freestyle stroke, (2). back stroke, (3). side stroke or crawl, and the (4). breaststroke.

This stroke requires powerful muscles. It is a fun stroke for the average everyday swimmer. Athletes involved with competitive swimming use the fifth stroke known as the butterfly.

They use the four most used strokes in both fresh and salt water. The front crawl and the side crawl are excellent for seeing and gliding through the water. The breaststroke allows the swimmer to see ahead and to brush away unwanted obstacles of weeds and other debris. The back stroke offers a technique for moving through the water, but difficult to see ahead.

Life Guard on Duty

Life guard in action at a swimming pool location.

Life guard in action at a swimming pool location.

Fresh Water Safety Tips

I have observed people bringing picnic supplies to fresh water locations. Do not swim for at least an hour after eating. Do not swim alone, use the buddy system which means having another person with you. .

Checklist for fresh water pool swimming:

  1. Adult supervision of children, emergency phone number, life saving equipment
  2. Introduce 6-month-old babies to water
  3. All children need swimming lessons
  4. Children and adults should swim together
  5. Learn CPR
  6. Know maintenance and safety instructions for swimming pools
  7. Do not swim during thunderstorms
  8. Post and enforce pool safety rules; such as, no jumping, pushing, running or diving
  9. Use bathroom facilities
  10. Swimwear appropriate for water conditions
  11. Wait at least an hour after consuming a heavy meal before swimming

Seaside Life Guard Station

Life guard at his station watching swimmers in ocean.

Life guard at his station watching swimmers in ocean.

Ocean Swimming Safety Tips

Swimming in the ocean is fun and exciting, but it offers challenges. Know and follow safety tips to prevent any unnecessary injuries or drowning.

Safety Tips for Swimming in the Ocean:

  1. Check the weather report, tides, and marine life
  2. Swim near lifeguard station and shoreline.
  3. Obey signal flags
  4. Avoid early morning and late or night swimming
  5. Sturdy Swimwear and no shiny objects
  6. Do not swim in or near fishing areas
  7. Know your swimming strengths and limitations.
  8. Never leave children unattended
  9. Never turn your back to the ocean. Stay positioned sideways or looking at the waves at all times.
  10. Wear a life jacket if unsure
  11. Do not fall asleep on floats.

Nathan Adrian/Freestyle Stroke - Swim Technique

Hello Swimmers

Comments

Kristen Howe from Northeast Ohio on October 17, 2017:

This is a great hub. It's informative and well-written about how beneficial swimming can be to everybody.