The self-propulsion of a person through water is known as Swimming. It is a sport, can be done for recreation, as an exercise, and even for survival.
Coordinated movement of the body and limbs helps in locomotion.
Swimming is amongst the top recreational activities. Some of the countries even have it included in their educational curriculum.
The science behind swimming is Neutral buoyancy. Neutral buoyancy occurs when the average density of the object (in this case, a human) is equal to the density of the liquid (in this case, swimming) in which it is immersed.
Any object which has neutral buoyancy will neither sink nor rise. The relative density of a human body is 0.98 on average in comparison to water. Hence, the body floats if it one keeps it absolutely still in the water.
However, there are multiple determinants for this buoyancy, such as body composition, the salinity of the water, and body composition. Swimming is not as high impact as an exercise like running as water actually supports the weight of the body.
The technique and styles:
Using swimming strokes with the limbs propels the body forward or backward. In order to swim faster and exhaust the body lesser, a good understanding of Hydrodynamics is important. Increasing the frequency of the strokes, rolling the breadth of the body in water are some of the techniques which reduce the resistance of the water and thereby propel the body faster.
There are various kinds of swimming strokes or styles. The Freestyle (or front crawl), the backstroke, the butterfly, and the breaststroke are some of the popular ones. These are the four main strokes that are used for recreational swimming as well as in competitions.
Purposes of swimming:
People swim for various purposes — Health, recreation, sport, occupation. Swimming is also great for rehabilitating cardiovascular and muscle injuries. It is one of the top activities that people take part in for recreation.
Swimming is excellent for toning, strengthening of the muscles improves mood, and is known to reduce the harmful effects of stress. Arthritis patients can also exercise their affected joints without causing any harm. Hence, there are many health benefits of swimming as well.
There is a range of events (from 50m to 1500m in the Olympics) in swimming as a sport. Multiple long-distance swimming events are also conducted across the globe. Diving, water polo, triathlon, pentathlon, and open water swimming are some of the other water-related sporting disciplines.
Lifeguards, pearl diving, lifesavers, and rescue swimmers have swimming as an occupation.
While there are many benefits of swimming, a newbie must take proper precautions. Inexperienced swimmers have a risk of drowning. Even experienced swimmers have risks such as Hypothermia, exhaustion, dehydration, and even heart attacks. Therefore, knowing the limits of your body and learning swimming from an instructor are of paramount importance to be completely prepared.
Swimming also requires the use of proper gear such as swimsuits/shots, wetsuits, earplugs, nose clips, goggles, and swimming caps. All or a combination of these can use this gear.
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