About 25% of adults in the country can’t swim. Another 20 to 25% are afraid of deep water, even in pools. If you’re afraid to take a dive, you’re not alone. Learning how to conquer your fear could save your life (or someone else’s). Are you interested in taking adult swim lessons this year? With a few tips, you can prepare yourself for the water before your first class.
With these tips, you can learn how to swim without fear. You can head into your first class feeling confident in your abilities.
Conquering your fear is the first step! Get started by using this guide before your swimming lessons today.
1. Gather Your Gear
Before you start using these Learn How to Swim for Adults tips, you’ll need the right gear.
First, make sure you have a comfortable swimsuit. It should fit well enough that you can move in it. Make sure there’s no risk that the swimsuit will fall off if you jump into the water.
In other words, avoid wearing baggy swim trunks and bikinis. Instead, choose clothing you can move in with ease.
Consider purchasing a swim cap, too. A cap can protect your hair from chlorine damage. It can also help your body move through the water by reducing tension.
If you have long hair, make sure to tie it up first.
Are you allergic to latex? Read the product label before you purchase a swim cap. You might need to look into latex-free options.
Don’t forget to grab goggles, too! Avoid purchasing cheap goggles, which might leak. You’ll want to keep the water out of your eyes as you learn how to swim.
Try the goggles on while you’re in the store first. Can you see through them? Is there an adjustable nose bridge you can use?
As you gather your supplies, consider purchasing flippers, kickboards, and/or pool noodles, too. These tools can help you get more comfortable in the water.
2. Learn to Breathe
One of the first things you learn in your adult swimming lessons is how to breathe. Teaching yourself this step can make you feel more comfortable in class.
Grab your goggles and a bowl of warm water. You don’t have to get into the pool yet. Instead, choose a bowl that’s twice the size of your face to practice in.
First, make sure you’re comfortable putting your face in the water.
Take a deep breath through your mouth. Then, place your face against the water. Exhale through your mouth, keeping your mouth closed enough to avoid swallowing water.
You can choose to exhale through your nose and mouth instead. Choose the option that’s more comfortable for you.
Exhale slowly. It should take twice as long to exhale as it does to inhale. Try counting to 10.
Make sure to relax when lifting your mouth out of the bowl of water. Take a breath, then return your face to the water.
It can take a few tries to learn how to take a breath without getting water in your mouth. Don’t worry; that’s normal.
3. Learn to Float
About 80% of Americans say they can swim. Unfortunately, only 56% can perform all five basic skills needed to swim safely. In fact, about 44% would fail a basic swim test.
One of the basic steps you’ll need to learn is how to float.
First, practice out of water.
You can use a bed, bench, or chair. Lie on your back and keep your body straight. If your hips move lower than your shoulders, you won’t float.
If you’re comfortable enough to practice in the water, try floating on your back.
Keep your body as straight as possible. Move your arms and wave your hands away from your hips. You’ll have an easier time staying afloat.
If you’re not comfortable floating alone, have an experienced swimmer help you.
While practicing with a chair, get comfortable with your arm strokes. Move an arm behind and over your head. Then, reach out in a circular motion.
You can practice your flutter kicks in a chair, too. Keep your toes pointed and your legs straight. You don’t have to kick hard.
Instead, kick your legs out in a soft, flutter-like motion.
You can also learn to float using a kickboard or noddle. Otherwise, hold onto the edge of the pool. Float up until your body is straight.
Then, practice your kicks!
4. Build Your Confidence
Next, it helps to gain more confidence while in the water. Make sure to have an experienced swimmer with you if you want to practice in a pool.
Stand in the shallow end and start moving your arms sideways. Rotate your arms until you feel the pressure of the water resisting you. Lift your feet off the pool floor while you’re still in the shallow end.
See if you can move around.
Try walking into slightly deeper water, too. Make sure you can still stand with your head out of water.
Then, hold the wall and lift your feet off the floor. Try bobbing up and down.
When you feel comfortable, release your hands from the wall. Push off the bottom of the pool, then grab the edge of the wall. Try rotating your arms to keep your head above the surface of the water.
Continue practicing until you feel more accustomed to having your body and face in the water.
With each of these steps, you’ll gain a little more confidence before your swimming lessons.
5. Prioritize Your Health and Safety
Before your swim lessons, it’s important to learn how to prioritize your safety.
First, make sure you’re always hydrated. Take breaks as needed.
If you’re learning in an outdoor pool, don’t forget to wear sunscreen.
Consider using a floatation device if you’re uncomfortable.
Avoid eating or drinking right before you swim. Don’t swim if you’re tired, high, or intoxicated, either.
Otherwise, don’t feel discouraged. Some people learn faster than others. Stick to it and discover how much you’ll learn.
Dip Your Toes In: 5 Tips to Help You Prepare for Swim Lessons
Ready to dip your toes into the water? With these tips, you can build your confidence before your adult swim lessons. Remember, practice makes progress!
Eager to sign up for your first swim lesson? We’re here to help.
Discover our spring 2021 schedule and register today to get started!