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Swimming as a Hobby

Updated on September 12, 2018
Tricia Deed profile image

Tricia Deed favors swimming as her top hobby activity. She has also performed synchronized swimming and being a lifeguard.

Swimmer

A young woman taking a swim in her swimming pool.
A young woman taking a swim in her swimming pool. | Source

Can You Swim?

Not every person can swim...

  • One of the first things is to have respect for a large body of water and to feel comfortable with it. It's your friend, not your enemy.
  • Learn breathing techniques with different swim strokes.
  • Floating must be mastered. Great for relaxing or for safety.
  • Kicking is critical in order to help speed through the water.
  • Knowledge of the basic strokes and how to utilize them.

Floating - Relaxing Technique

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

Swimming Year-Round

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

Some people are able to endure cooler temperatures. The majority of people are comfortable in a heated pool which is set between 83-86 degrees.

Our blue planet has water everywhere and for safety 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.

During the colder months it is a great overall exercise program for our body. There are people who do enjoy swimming in cold water as exists in North America like Alaska. They find cold water very invigorating.

Indoor swimming pools are available in the home, schools, and community buildings. The temperature of the heated pool and the temperature of the room is monitored for swimming comfort.

Swimming in lakes, ponds, rivers, and swimming pools is known as fresh water swimming. Ocean water contains salt which makes our bodies feel lighter than our original weight.

More energy will be needed to swim in fresh water because it does not contain salt. Using more energy will burn more calories resulting in weight loss, toning, and increased muscle strength. This is one of many benefits of swimming.

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

Swimming Activities with Friends and Family

Swimming can be a solo or group activity.
Swimming can be a solo or group activity. | Source

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 weight loss
  7. Whole body conditioning

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

All swimming strokes can be done in both fresh and seawater. But there are differences in energy expended, techniques, and safety issues.

Freestyle - Popular 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. | Source

Swimming 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 the majority of the time swimming for exercise activities are done alone.

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. | Source

Swimming Strokes

There are five different types of swimming strokes; however, the four most used are the front crawl or freestyle stroke, the back stroke, the side stroke or crawl, and the breaststroke.

The fifth stroke is called the butterfly. The butterfly stroke is mainly used by athletes in competitive swimming. This stroke requires strong muscles. It is a fun stroke for the average everyday swimmer but it is not used very often.

The four most used strokes are used 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.

Swimming Pool Life Guard

Life guard in action at a swimming pool location.
Life guard in action at a swimming pool location. | Source

Safety Tips for Swimming in Fresh Water

Swimming is a lot of fun; never the less, before jumping into your favorite swimming hole check on the weather report, tides, and marine life. When swimming at any community park or recreational facility familiarize yourself with lifeguard stations, designated swimming areas, knowledge of lake, pond, and river conditions, bathroom facilities, and follow any postings by management.

Check list 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. Appropriate swimwear 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. | Source

Safety Tips for Swimming in the Ocean

Ocean swimming is fun, challenging, and exciting. However, to maintain good health and avoid drowning know these safety tips.

Safety Tips for Swimming in the Ocean:

  1. Check the weather report, tides, and marine life
  2. Swim near lifeguard station
  3. Obey signal flags
  4. Avoid early morning and late or night swimming
  5. Appropriate swimwear and no shiny objects
  6. Do not swim in or near fishing areas
  7. Know your swimming ability and limitations. Stay close to the shore
  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 some form of a life jacket if unsure
  11. Do not fall asleep on floats

Nathan Adrian/Freestyle Stroke - Swim Technique

Hello Swimmers

Do you prefer fresh water or salt water swimming?

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    • Kristen Howe profile image

      Kristen Howe 

      13 months ago from Northeast Ohio

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

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