Today I was thinking about writing and it came to my mind to write about my hobby that is the mother of all exercises. Swimming is my hobby; I started to swim in my early childhood. There is an interesting story about how I learn to swim, once we friends when we were in school bunked the school and were roaming in at my native’s country side and there was a well(Kua) some of my friends know how to swim and they made me jump along with them. I cannot tell you people what was my state when I was in well. I did not know how to swim, then they help me out to swim and get on the shore of well. I was scared but thrilled also and this was now a common practice to go to the well and swim. I learnt swimming in few days, since then I had swum in every water body. But now I used to swim daily for 1 hour at sports academy’s pool. It is a fun to swim in a common swimming pool as there are other members also and with them I share our thoughts and we chit chat about politics, advance swimming, weather etc.
I would like to throw some light on swimming about what is swimming, history, what are the benefits, types of swimming, styles of swimming, swimwear etc.
Swimming is all about the use of ones arms and legs to move body through the water and controlling of breath. It has been discovered that swimming is a prehistoric practice as suggested by the stone age paintings. There are also the description of swimming in the Iliad and the Odyssey, the Bible and the Quran. In 1538, Nikolaus Wyanmann has written a book on swimming “The Swimmer”. In modern time the swimming has emerged as the recreational activity in 1830s. In 1828 the first indoor swimming pool was opened for public in England.
Swimming is said to be the best exercise, there are many health benefits of swimming.
• It keeps your heart rate up but takes some of the impact stress off your body.
• It builds endurance, muscle strength and cardiovascular fitness.
• It helps maintain a healthy weight, healthy heart and lungs.
• It tones muscle and build strength.
• It provides an all-over body workout as nearly all of your body’s muscles are used during swimming.
• It is also known as peaceful and relaxing form of exercise.
• It improves coordination, balance, postures and it also improves the flexibility.
• It is also known as the cooler in the hot summer where you can cool down yourself by swimming and be in the pool.
Swimming is much customized as you can swim all alone or can be in a group, either for hobby or for competition. You can swim in a pool, lake, pond, sea or any other water bodies. In competitive swimming there are mainly five styles of swimming – butterfly, backstroke, breaststroke, freestyle and individual medley. In individual events of swimming each stroke requires a set of specific techniques and in competition there are distinct rule for each individual stroke. Competitive swimming became popular in 19th century. The goal of high level swimming is to break the personal or world records while beating the competitors in any given event.
There is a set of gears worn by the swimmers that includes Swimsuit, swim cap, goggles, swim fins, drag suit, hand paddles, kick board etc.
Swimsuits – Competitive swimwear seeks to improve upon bare skin for a speed advantage and coverage.
Swim cap – A swim cap keeps swimmer’s hair out of the way to reduce drag.
Goggles – Goggles keep water and chlorine out of swimmer’s eyes.
Swim fins – Swim fins are used to help kick faster and build strength and technique and it is made of rubber.
Drag suit – Swimmers use the drag suit in training to increase resistance, this allows a swimmers to be challenged even more when practicing and let swimmer fell less resistance.
Hand paddles – Swimmers use these devices to build arms and shoulder strength by refining hand-pulling techniques.
Kick board – It is made of foam and used for support the upper body while the swimmer focus on the kicking.
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