How to become a better swimmer
Whether you've been swimming for a while or have recently taken it up, you may be looking for ways to improve and become a better swimmer.
Although it doesn't matter if you're slow at swimming or didn't begin learning from a young age, that's not to say it's too late to get better.
It's true that swimming can be a tricky sport to master, especially if you've only recently taken to the water, but there are a number of simple ways you can help yourself to become a more competent swimmer.
Swimming is great for your general wellbeing and toning your body, as well as helping to boost your Health Score. So if you're wondering how to brush up on your swimming technique, why not try the following?
Get in shape
Although swimming works a range of muscles in the body, it's still important to be in shape before you get in the pool. Having a good level of fitness means that you'll be even stronger when it comes to swimming.
This doesn't mean you have to become a gym fanatic, though; simply performing 30 to 60 minutes of exercise each day will help to increase your overall fitness levels. This could involve going for a jog, getting on your bike or even practicing yoga.
You'll find that from regularly exercising, you'll naturally feel more at ease when swimming.
Don't hold your breath
Breathing is extremely important during swimming, as it can really affect your performance. Some people might get into the pool and panic at the thought of swallowing any water, causing them to hold their breath.
This causes carbon dioxide to build up in the lungs, producing feelings of breathlessness. Of course, this will seriously hinder your swimming technique, so instead practice your breathing pattern.
When swimming on your front, turn your head to alternate sides, keeping your ear in the water, and exhale and inhale on each turn. Once you become used to this breathing pattern you'll feel more relaxed, helping your swimming performance to improve.
Join a club
Being part of a swimming club could help to make you a better swimmer. Swimming alongside like-minded people will help give you the confidence boost you might need, not to mention the fact you'll be able to motivate each other along the way.
Look out for swimming clubs at your local fitness and leisure centre and sign up for a few classes.
Manage your diet
As well as regularly exercising, eating a healthy, balanced diet is an important contributor to how well you perform when swimming.
While it's okay to indulge in moderation, ensure you are eating the good nutrients your body needs. If you've fallen into the habit of eating lots of starchy foods like bread and pasta, cut down on portion sizes and swap to wholemeal versions.
Even the smallest changes to your diet can make the biggest difference and you'll soon notice them paying off in the pool.