Your swimming safety depends on your water confidence
Many women, especially once they reach midlife, menopause and beyond, feel reluctant to go swimming. Is this you?
Some women feel reluctant to enter the water because of a deep-felt inner fear.
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Do you feel nervous in the water?
Feeling tense in the water is quite common in midlife women. If it's not bad enough to have to strip down and bare nearly all, just getting into the cozzie, then there's the often irrational fear that some women have of the water itself. This may hark back to a frightening experience involving water when we were young, or may just be one of those many inexplicable things in life - we just don't feel safe in the water.
Being in the water and developing your swimming can make you feel great. But if you get stressed every time you get past ankle depth, then you're obviously not going to reap the many fantastic health benefits of water-based exercise.
How can I feel more confident in the water?
If you don't feel happy in the water, why not try swimming lessons?
Swim coaching is not just for kids: There is no reason at all why a midlife and older woman shouldn't take swimming lessons, whatever swimming (or non-swimming) level:
If you can't swim at all, now could be the time to change this. Many public swimming pools run learn-to-swim classes for adult beginners. You may be at midlife or older, but this is the time of your life when those opportunities that you missed out on when you were younger can be taken up and learning to swim is one of them.
Perhaps you can swim moderately well but are still nervous, you don't like putting your head underwater and venturing into the deep end makes you anxious. If this is you, then a few sessions with a decent coach are definitely in order. A coach can give you the confidence to put your face in the water and revolutionise how you feel about swimming - the deep end will no longer be the big black hole full of sharks at the end of the pool!
Once you overcome these fears you can really start enjoying the sheer delight and fun of being in the water!
Good swimmer but in a rut?
Even if you consider yourself a good swimmer, a few lessons from a coach can often get you out of a rut and help you improve your style and technique.
A good instructor can analyse your stroke and give you some important tips for improving both your breathing technique and the way you move through the water.
Swimming for safety
Swimming is perhaps one of the only sports that can save your life - or someone else's. In the UK alone over 400 people drown every year (1).
It's worth getting confident in the water by learning the basics of swimming safety. Other aspects of swimming safety include being aware of other water hazards:
In swimming pools, make sure there is a proper life guard service, that hygiene and chemical controls are adequately monitored. Never swim on a full stomach or if you are unwell in any way.
If you enjoy open water swimming, never forget safety issues. You should always swim with a companion, especially where there is no organised lifeguard service. Always check currents, tides, water depths and other hazards before entering the water.
And if in doubt: Don't. You’re not trying to prove anything to anyone. As a mature woman at the height of your midlife years, you more than anyone know this. Swimming has a lot to offer midlife women, it's a great way to get and keep fit, there are options for socialising life aqua-aerobics or Masters swimming groups.
By improving your swimming you will become more confident not only as a swimmer, but also in yourself.
Swimming Safety - Reference
Published July 10th 2011 .
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