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Swimming – Getting Started

It seems to easy – just get in the pool and start to swim.

But when you try it, you seem out of breath in less than a 25 yard length.

Why should it so hard?

It really doesn’t have to be!

You just have to take it one length at a time, learn how to swim more efficiently, work on your breathing and just repeat at least 3 times per week until you can manage longer duration swims.

It will happen!

Here are some tips on how to get a swim program started!

First off, I would suggest getting some swim lessons so you can work on the technique and the breathing.

These are the crucial elements to swimming better and longer.

If you are fighting the water, yes, you will exert more energy and use more calories, but you will not be able to go more than a few lengths with lots of rest in between.

A good swim instructor will help you with your breathing and will also help you use motions which propel you forward with little effort.

They will also help with floating and body position so your legs are not dragging behind you.

Once you have been to a few lessons, the next step is to practice as often as you can.

It is not about going as long as you can and then swimming tired.

It is more about being able to keep the proper form for as long as you can.

Once you get tired, form usually goes “out the window” and then you begin to struggle.

The more often you go swimming (preferably every day if you can – or at least every other day for 20 minutes), the more comfortable you will feel in the water.

Start with one length (25 yards or meters) and then take a 1 minute rest in between.

After a few days, try to shorten the rest to 45 seconds.

Then 30 seconds.

Once you feel ready, try 2 lengths, one right after the other.

Then 3, then 4.

This will be a challenge at first and focusing of form is the key, along with breathing to keep yourself calm and relaxed thru the stroke.

Then once you have 50 yards mastered, try 75, then 100 and keep going if you want to until you get to 200 or even 400.

Each time you swim, try to decrease the time in between your 25’s or 50’s or 100’s until you can string a series of them together.

As you continue to swim more often, you will soon build up to 10 minutes of continuous swimming!

Then it will be 15, then 20 and so on.

It’s okay if you decide to swim a continuous 20 minutes or if you decide to break it up into more manageable pieces.

A lot of beginning swimmers choose an event to swim so they can challenge themselves.

Some will choose a sprint triathlon or another open water event with a half mile swim.

This will force you to swim regularly as you know you must if you want to complete a swim event and finish well.

It’s not necessary to have an event, but it helps to keep you motivated.

Some may want to learn to swim before they go away on vacation.

It can make your days much more fun.

Swimming can be a fun and a slimming activity without the jarring of running or walking.

Better still, there are no cars like there are in cycling!

But in order to get into fitness swimming, you should learn to swim properly so you can fully enjoy the experience.

You can even try joining a masters swim program where you get the camaraderie of a group.

The swim sets are ready when you arrive.

A coach on deck will also help with stroke corrections as needed.

All you have to do it show up!

But if you don’t take the time to learn how to swim properly you will be challenged each time you get in the pool and your progress will be more limited

Now get out there and get wet!

About The Author

Joanna Chodorowska

Sports Nutrition, Nutrition Coach,

Swim Instructor & Triathlon Coach

Joanna helps you alleviate health issues as they are related to food.  She specializes in helping you make the connection between foods that aggravate your symptoms so you can avoid those, and introduces alternative foods you can eat.  Food becomes an adventure rather than a drudgery.

Joanna helps to incorporate healthier choices you can manage every day.  If it is not a plan you can do every day, then it is not the right plan for you.  She incorporates all real food options, such as raw foods, plant based foods, juicing, natural animal proteins, wheat and gluten free, allergy free and utilizing vegetables in season. All these aspects are in different ratios for each person, as each person is individual and requires different sources of respective nutrients.  Joanna helps you to understand why you are eliminating a food and for how long to help the body repair and rebuild.  Without that understanding, it can be challenging to stick with a program, even if it is temporary.  She wants to make food fun and includes variety into each and every day’s meals.

For more information on Joanna, visit