Whether you’re a child or an adult, you can learn to swim, but it does take courage. If you’re learning how to swim, it can seem complicated at first, but it is actually easy to stay afloat and move through the water once you know what you’re doing. Here’s how to swim:
- Begin in shallow water. When learning to swim, it’s important that you are in an area where your feet can touch the bottom while your head is still above water. This will keep you from panicking. You should learn to swim somewhere with an edge you can hold onto, like the side of a pool. Never try to teach yourself to swim without an able swimmer with you in case of an emergency. A pool with a lifeguard is the best place to learn how to swim.
- Relax. Stand in the water for a few minutes. Relax. This is especially important if you feel anxious getting into the water. If you do begin to panic, remember that you can always put your feet down and stand in the water. You may want to put on a pair of goggles so you can see underwater when you begin swimming. Practice putting your face in the water before you try to swim.
- Move your feet. Keep your legs straight, but not rigid, with your toes pointed out. Kick up and down continuously while swimming. Before you begin to swim through the pool, practice kicking while holding onto the edge.
- Move your arms. You can try this out of the water, or combine the movements all at once as you are beginning to swim. Move your arms in a windmill motion opposite each other. While one arm is extended all the way in from of you, the other arm should be all the way back, almost against the side of your body. This is the freestyle stroke. You can also swim by pulling your arms from an outstretched position in front of your body to the sides of your body. This is the butterfly stroke, and both arms should move in unison during this stroke. With either stroke, your arms will pull you through the water while your legs propel you.
- Breathe while swimming. Don’t forget to breathe; you don’t need to hold your breath all the way from one side of the pool to the other. Breathe by turning your head to one side as the arm on that side of your body comes out of the water.
When learning to swim, you may have trouble remaining horizontal in the water. Strong kicks will keep your legs from sinking into the water behind you. Your kick should not make a big splash, because your feet should be under the surface of the water at all times.