Human swimming is a phenomenon in which a person moves forward in the water or any other liquid as an exercise regimen, recreational or survival purposes. Swimming is done when a person makes coordinated movements of hands, arms and legs. Simply putting, the entire body comes into the motion at the time of swimming. For how long a person will be able to swim depends upon his/her ability to hold breath in the water. The swimming can be learned by a human being who is just a few weeks old.
Swimming has turned from an activity to catch food from the water to a recreational activity that improves health and fitness of a person. This is perhaps the reason that swimming has been made compulsory in some countries and schools have swimming courses in their syllabus. Swimming competitions are organized at every level, whether state, national or international. The Olympics also have swimming competitions of different kinds, which shows how popular this activity has become in the recent times.
Science behind swimming
- 1 Science behind swimming
- 2 Infant swimming
- 3 How to swim? The most common and popular techniques
- 4 The amazing history of swimming
- 5 Why there is a need to swim?
- 6 Risk Factor
- 7 Swimming lessons
To be able to swim, a lot depends upon the resilience of the human being. It is the relative density of the body, which is 0.98 to that of the water that makes the human body to float on the water. But, this figure is not constant and can change depending upon the type of water and the composition of the body. If the build of the person is heavier and he/she is swimming on a saltier water, then the resilience is increased and the relative density is lowered.
The reason why water is able to hold the human body is due to the density of the body, which is almost the same as water. A person will feel less exertion while swimming as compared to other land based activities. When an object is thrown into the water, then it starts to float due to the perfect viscosity and density of the water.
In order to swim faster, it is important for a person to understand the concept of hydrodynamics. Having a good knowledge about hydrodynamics will help a person swim faster without tiring. Moreover, it is also possible to enhance the power of the strokes and alleviate the resistance that is provided by water. In order to swim effectively by decreasing the water resistance, one has to be in a horizontal position in the water, extending both the arms, reducing the body breadth to alleviate water resistance.
It is a well-known fact that human beings are familiar with swimming, but it is not until six months of age before humans could jump into the water and swim. By the time, a baby crosses six month mark, his/her muscles grow up to a level where he/she can try out swimming and enjoy the life underwater. There are three things that are needed to be taken care of in response to the diving, these are; vasoconstriction, reflex bradycardia and apnea. When a baby dives into the water, there is a certain effect on the heart, which can’t be ignored. If the baby is born with any heart related problems, then parents need to consult a heart specialist before letting the kid get in the pool.
How to swim? The most common and popular techniques
There are various styles that are used for swimming. These styles are called ‘strokes’ and one can use these strokes for normal day-to-day swimming or for intense competitions. There is no particular stroke to follow while swimming, but people can follow the stroke which they feel most convenient with. The simplest mode known for swimming is dog paddle in which the movements of arms and legs are simultaneous just like dogs.
When it comes to recreation and competition swimming, there are four main types of strokes that are used by the swimmers, these are; butterfly stroke, freestyle also known as the front crawl, backstroke and breaststroke.
Besides these four strokes, there are a few others as well, which are used by the swimmers. These are; training stroke, which is used to rescue people when they are in danger. Moreover, some strokes allow people to keep their certain parts away from getting wet. There are certain strokes, which are used by the people who are either paralytic or don’t have an arm and/or a leg.
The amazing history of swimming
There has been many evidences that show that swimming is an activity that had been done by people from the prehistoric period. There are various records in the paintings, especially those from the Stone Age that clearly shows that swimming was a hit back then as well. There are many books as well, including the most popular book in the world, “Bible”, where things have been mentioned about swimming.
Countries that have coastal areas are the ones where swimming became more prevalent than the countries that are surrounded by land on four sides. There are many fascinating stories in which the role of the swimming is very important. On a few occasions, the lives of the soldiers were saved just because they were able to swim across to the safe area.
The first book on swimming was published in 1538 by a professor based in Germany. The name of the professor is NikolausWynmann and the book was a big hit in the region.
Why there is a need to swim?
Swimming can be used for a wide number of reasons. Some people swim because they want to rejuvenate themselves and relieve from stress, whereas some people need to swim as a part of their job, and there are a few who swim because they have been told so by their physicians. Swimming has a number of benefits to offer to the people, so people who are opting for swimming will protect themselves from a number of potential diseases.
Swimming for recreation
The craze for swimming can be clearly seen in all parts of the world. People do swimming for all kinds of reasons, and recreation is one of them. There are many benefits of recreational swimming, as people who are looking to relax their bodies or finding a way to rehab can opt for swimming. There are many people who are not fond of running because of the high level of exertion, so they find swimming easy because of the support they get from the water and an alleviated impact.
Is swimming beneficial for health?
With a plethora of health benefits, swimming is preferred by doctors as well. Swimming is known for improving cardiovascular health because of the duration of the exercise. Moreover, swimming is one such exercise in which a constant supply of the oxygen is required by the muscles, except for the sprints because in that, the working of the muscles is anaerobically. Swimming is an effective tool to relieve stress, heart problems and other chronic diseases. People suffering from mood swings can also try swimming. Women can also opt for swimming at the time of pregnancy.
Swimming for disabled people
There have been many arrangements made by a number of governments all around the world to make swimming pools accessible to the disabled swimmers. In the United States, there is a special ‘Americans with Disabilities Act’, which permits disabled to swim.
Swimming is beneficial for people of all age groups. Elderly people can also maintain their fitness level by swimming regularly. Women who are suffering from menopause can also benefit a lot through swimming.
Swimming as a sport
Swimming has evolved as a sport in the past few decades. There are different types of competitions based on swimming these days, which people can take part in. The swimming has been an integral part of the Olympics since 1896, which shows how popular this particular sport is. If the current Olympics is to be taken into the consideration, then you will find that there are competitions ranging from 50m to 1500m, and there are all medley and strokes that swimmers can opt for.Swimming on the international level is governed by FINA, and all the swimming pools must adhere the rules that are laid out by FINA in order to be considered for the world swimming events. The length of the swimming pools must be around 25-50 metres.A bit of a confusion arises when competitions are held in the US because there, the length is measured in yards, not in metres.It is not just the swimming, which is popular in the global level, but various other sports such as water polo, diving, triathlon, synchronized swimming and pentathlon.
Swimming as an occupation
There are many jobs that require people to swim. Where some people swim to catch food, while others swim to find pearls and other treasures that are hidden in the water.
Diving in the water is one of the most common ways to suicide, so governments of many countries have hired professional swimmers who are continuously on patrol so that no such incident takes place. Moreover, many people go to the beach to spend a quality time taking a dip in the water, but sometimes, catastrophic events happen, therefore, it is important to have lifeguards who can help those unfortunate swimmers out of the water.
Many scientists and researchers also have to swim in order in order research for the new and obscure species of sea animals and plants.
Swimming plays a vital role in the militaries of almost all countries. There are many battalions in the US army that are totally based on the water. They operate in the water, striking the sea bases of the enemies. The training of these battalions is very tough, but every military officer has to undergo this training in order to provide the best services for his/her nation.
There are many state-level competitions held in the US where the top swimmers are offered with many cash rewards.These competitions pave the way for swimmers to take part in major competitions, including the biggest one such as the Olympics.
There have been various instances where people have swum from one place to another in order to take refuge. Though the distance travelled was short, but swimming has helped them reach a safe location.
When a person gets down into the swimming pool, there is always a risk factor involved because if the person is not apt in swimming, then there is a chance of drowning. In the worst case scenario, there is a chance that a person swimming in the water can die as well.
Below mentioned are the categories to determine the water deaths:
- The first reason for death is panic, and this occurs when the swimmer is not able to understand the dynamics of water, resulting in drowning. Sometimes, the level of panic is so intense that people drown in shallow water as well.
- Overexertion can also land a person in mortal danger because swimming takes some effort from the person, and if the person is not in a position to move his/her arms and legs in the proper manner, then he/she can easily drown.
- If the water is way too cold, then the person can get hypothermia and eventually die if not given the necessary medical help.
- Swimming for a long period of time in the saltwater can cause dehydration and another problem, which is called the water aspiration syndrome that causes difficulties in breathing. A person will be killed without drowning. The chances of dying are there even when a person is wearing a life vest.
- After seeing a huge flow of water or a flood, a person may experience blunt trauma and eventually die from it.
There are certain effects of swimming, which are as follows:
- Inhalation of the harmful Chlorine in the swimming pools.
- Infections from parasites, viruses and other bacteria that are present in the water.
- Exostosis can occur if the swimmer jumps into the water, causing cold water to fill the ear canal.Exostosis is an overgrowth that depletes the passage of the ear canal.
- Heart attacks are pretty common because swimmers are unable to understand the dynamics of the water.
- There are many sea animals that pose a serious threat to the human beings who swim in the water. Some species of fish are so dangerous that even a small contact with them puts people into mortal danger.
It is extremely important for swimmers to make use of all the necessary safety items, otherwise, things could go out of control.It would be better if you could swim under the supervision of a professionally trained person in order to be safe.
Swimming can’t be done without taking lessons. Where it is easy for adults to learn how to swim, it is not recommended to put children that are under four years of age, as the chances of drowning become higher.
In many countries, swimming has been taught in the school after 4th or 5th grade. It is important for kids to know how to swim because water emergencies can occur anytime, so kids should know how to come out of those emergencies. In every country, swimming has been added to the academics after a certain stage because the schools think it is imperative to teach children the basics of surviving, which can’t be completed without learning how to swim.
Right attire and equipment
There are certain set of clothes that you need to wear while swimming. Swimsuits are there for both men and women, but there are a lot of varieties in that as well. Men who want to do swimming for fun and not to participate in any competition can wear briefs or shorts, whereas men who are supposed to take part in a competition will have to buy dive skins or jammers.There is no specific attire designated for the upper part of the body for male swimmers.
Women’s swimsuits include midriff and bikinis. The point is to cover all the private parts, which swimsuits do in a very appropriate way. In competitions, women have to wear skin-tight swimsuits as a standard uniform.
Accessories needed while swimming:
Without these accessories, don’t even think of getting into the swimming pool or any other water body because one small mistake could put you in a mortal danger. Each one of these accessories protect a dedicated part of your body, thus letting you swimming comfortably and safely. Swimming is a gift given to the mankind, so that people can explore the amazing world that lives in the water, catch seafood, gain fitness and more. But, swimming needs to be done carefully and after undertaking professional training. Learn all the aspects of swimming before trying it out for real. Also, if you can swim under the supervision of a professional swimmer such as a lifeguard, then it would be better. So, have fun in the water, but try to follow all the rules in order to keep yourself and others safe.