Swimming is an incredibly freeing activity, and it's even considered a sport all the way to the Olympics! Many people start learning from childhood and take this life skill as they become adults. On the other hand, some people start a little later on in life.
Training happens in many outdoor environments that involve open water: oceans, rivers or lakes included.
Get in your favourite swimwear and shake any nerves off! Read on for starter tips as you go about swimming in open water and everywhere else. You'll be one with the water in no time!
Familiarise Yourself with the Environment
Make sure you’re familiar with the environment you're heading to: what kind of water is it? Are there any restricted areas, or particularly restricted hours? What are the regulations like according to local boundaries? What's the temperature like underwater, or above water? How deep does it go, and do any watercrafts pass along it? Take note of these factors since they can all affect your swim.
Pair Up with a Swim Buddy
Since you're just in the beginning stages, swimming alone isn't the safest thing to do. Ideally, have a swim buddy that can accompany you as you go along. It would be better if there were a group that was swimming together. In some cases, a buddy that paddle boards or kayaks while you swim will do the trick just fine! This isn’t only fun; this also creates a better sense of visibility to make things even safer.
Make Sure to Craft a Proper Plan
Just like a road trip that requires a map, you should have a clear sense of where you're headed before any swimming happens. Take note of possible landmarks such as buoys. Have a SMART (specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and timely) goal in place. Look into distance, feel and time as markers for the goal.
Prepare the Right Gear
When it comes to swimming gear, the simpler, the better. Having a particularly cold temperature in place will require a wetsuit; no matter what, a bright-coloured swim cap is crucial for visibility and safety. Other pieces of equipment will depend largely on factors such as skill level and just how intensive the open water training is. At the very least, there should be a safety buoy to help with floating, and goggles for better visibility.
There is a marked difference between preparing to swim in a swimming pool and in open water. Blood flow should be increased before entering the water, alongside muscles being warmed up. Open water is colder, which can lead to a tougher time warming up. Try dynamic movements such as arm swings, jumping jacks and more.
Swimming is an incredibly fun activity and sport. Before going out into open water, it's key to be well-prepared for outdoor training, especially as a beginner. Prioritise safety, warm up properly and prepare the right gear. If possible, look for your swim gear in one shop so you won’t forget all your swim essentials!
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