For many people, pool swimming represents a great way to have fun and get in shape, but for some, it is something to dread. For whatever reason, a certain percentage of people never get comfortable in the water – for them, pool swimming remains out of reach, an apparently unachievable objective.
The good news, however, is that with the right approach, and plenty of patience, almost anyone can eventually enjoy the pleasure of pool swimming. Surprisingly, you can even start getting yourself ready in the bath at home!
What is it that people fear about pool swimming? The most commonly reported fears are fear of water on the face, fear of sinking, being unable to breath, the loss of balance that can occur in water, and lifting their feet from the bottom of the pool.
What’s great is that all of these can be addressed at home. Try the following to help you to learn to deal with these basic fears before even setting foot in your local swimming pool.
Take a bath! Simply taking a bath can be a big step for many people – allow yourself to become accustomed to the feeling of being in water, and gradually increase the depth of the bath as you start to feel happier to be in the water.
You can gradually overcome fear of having your face in the water by practicing blowing bubbles. Begin by simply putting your mouth in the water and blowing. As you become more comfortable with this, try to gradually lower your face further until your nose is submerged, and blow some more bubbles. Finally, continue until you can put your entire face in the water, then practice blowing all the air out of the lungs.
It’s hard to duplicate the flotation of a pool in the bath, but you can start to get the feeling by lying in a deep bath, on your stomach, propped on your elbows. Next, take a deep breath, fill your lungs, then submerge your face in the water. Straighten your body, relax your muscles, and enjoy the feeling as the rest of your body gently floats. Men may find this difficult as the muscles and bones in the legs are denser and therefore tend to float at 45 degrees. This is an important step, because if you can float in this volume of water then you will float in a swimming pool.
- If you have children who have not learned to swim or are afraid of the water, bath time is a great time to get them sued to what the will experience in the pool. Make it fun and keep them distracted by adding lots of toys, and play lots of fun splashing games. They will be engrossed in playing that they won’t even notice the splashing of water. Once they are comfortable simply being in the water, you can work through the activities described above.
Once you are comfortable doing these activities, sign up for some formal lessons – swim teachers are sued to working with people who are nervous about the water, and will teach you at a rate that allows you to gradually gain confidence in the pool.