Why Swim?4 November 2019
Swimming is a healthy activity that can be enjoyed by people of any age and ability. It offers a variety of health benefits and you can swim on your own or as part of a group workout.
It’s hard to beat swimming when it comes to a sport that strengthens the body, soothes the mind, regulates breathing, stimulates circulation and puts no stress on the joints – all in one.
Unlike running or weight training, which concentrate on specific muscle groups, swimming benefits the upper body, torso and legs together and is one of the fastest ways to improve general strength, stamina and cardiovascular fitness.
Swimming is a very low impact exercise, making it ideal for recovery patients, the elderly and for pregnant women.
The weightlessness of the water greatly reduces stress on joints, virtually eliminating the potential of back, knee and other muscular injuries that are common in high impact activities such as running. The water pressure against the legs and arms is also beneficial to the circulatory system.
Swimming is very much a life skill that once developed will never be forgotten, it is a skill you can use for fitness or pure leisure and can help you enjoy your hard earned holidays nore. There are not many sports activities that can potentially save your life!
Experienced drivers know that the roads are safer and more efficient when everyone observes the basic rules and a few courtesies. The same principal applies in the pool when swimming lengths.
Just a few shared rules observed by everyone can go a long way towards making your swimming visit more enjoyable.
Most pools will have graded lanes (for example, ‘fast’, ‘medium’ and ‘slow’) during lane swimming sessions. It is best to firstly observe the swimmers already in those lanes and for you to join the lane that has swimmers of a similar ability to yourself. Once in your lane, there are a few rules which you should follow.
- Follow the direction of the lane keeping close to the side, not swimming up the middle!
- Try to leave a 5 second gap between each swimmer.
- Allow faster swimmers to swim in front of you.
- When resting, be sure to stand to the side keeping the wall free for other swimmers to turn.
- If you need to overtake another swimmer, be sure to look to see that the path is free from oncoming swimmers.
- If you are being passed, keep to your side of the lane and maintain your stroke and pace.
Chlorine is used in drinking water and swimming pool water to kill harmful bacteria. Drinking water chlorination is one of the most widely used methods to safeguard drinking water supplies.
When it’s added to water, chlorine breaks down into two chemicals: one kills bacteria almost instantly, the second stays in the water killing any bacteria brought in by new bathers.
With swimming pools, it is not possible to drain and refill the pool every time a new bather arrives, so water not only has to be sanitised before it gets into a pool, but the water must stay clean throughout the day. With new bathers frequently entering pools, bringing bacteria with them, this residual cleansing aspect is essential.
The bacteria in an unchlorinated pool are more likely to do your health damage than chlorine itself, and the health benefits of swimming and bathing far outweigh any proven adverse effects.
Over-chlorinating may make your eyes itch, but when considering that chlorine eradicates micro-organisms that carry water-borne diseases such as dysentery, hepatitis A, and cholera, it is easy to see the benefits.
A few tips!
- Goggles – help you see clearly under the water and restrict the water coming into contact with your eyes. Goggles with a rubber seal are best.
- No Lotions – cosmetics, moisturisers and oils can react with the chlorine causing irritation.
- Shower – be sure to thoroughly wash yourself after your swim using shampoo and soap. Some pharmacies stock products that are specific to ridding pool chemicals from your hair and skin.