Swimming Nature Wins Innovative Concept of the Year!

Active Training Awards WinnerSwimming Nature is delighted to announce that we have won at the Active Training Awards for the category of ‘Innovative Concept of the Year’. With the recent statistics from the ASA showing that 45% of 7-11 year olds cannot swim a length of an average pool, this award comes as validation of the hard work we have been undertaking here to motivate more students to swim longer. Additionally, with the strong industry competition in this category, this award has meant that we can start to bring swimming to the forefront of getting more people engaged.

Our innovative concept is based around our great teaching programmes which we undertake for our instructors, coupled with the data we gather from student assessments on poolside. This important data is used in order to develop our programmes further, as well as target students who require additional training in order to achieve more.

Swimming Nature 2We have also created our innovative teacher lesson plans which we are currently rolling out within the company. These digital lesson plans have been developed in a way that creates a bespoke lesson plan for the students who are swimming in the lesson – personalised to where their progression is at.

We look forward now to developing further, and releasing some of the great new projects to motivate our students further.

More information on the training award winners can be found here.

Swim yourself off the sofa as the temperature takes a dive

swim-off-the-sofaAs the gloomy winter months start to well and truly set in, we all tend to find ourselves replacing the outdoors for the sofa. With plummeting temperatures and routine rain, even contemplating venturing outdoors for that weekly run you enjoyed in the summer no longer seems so appealing. With the impending festive season, our fitness routine seems to taper off, invariably leading to panic button pushing as soon as the calendar hits the 1st of January.

So, how can we all stay fit without having to jog in the local park in our wellies and woollens? Swimming! Not only is it something which can be enjoyed indoors, it is also low impact and great to keep up your fitness levels. Consistency being essential to not only improving stroke technique, but also keeping the muscles active, and the pounds off. Making swimming a weekly routine is key to success.

According to the NHS, regular swimming can reduce the risks of chronic illness, such as heart disease and a stroke. One of the other main benefits is that it’s a great exercise to release endorphins and lift your mood, which we all tend to battle with as the darkness sets in mid-afternoon.

It’s important to find somewhere to swim which works with your daily routines, whether it be work or other activities. Also be sure to invest in some goggles and a swimming cap. If you are a beginner, lessons are a great way to give you confidence and keep you swimming better for longer.

So there is no excuse to be snoozing through the winter months, it’s time to get off the sofa and start swimming!

Swimming Nature runs lessons throughout London and Edinburgh for babies, children and adults, whether you are a beginner or capable swimmer looking for stroke development. You can find out more about the programmes they offer by visiting swimmingnature.com or by calling 08445040506.

Overcoming your fear of swimming

82c9afd2a64517036730ac64fa576577Swimming is a very impressive sport as it offers something that no other aerobic exercise does: the ability to work out your body without severe impact to your skeletal system. This is because water supports your body as you move (you automatically become lighter), whilst providing resistance to increase your muscular strength and decrease harm to your joints.  Due to these benefits this attracts a variety of people to swimming.

However, no matter what the benefits are there still seems to be quite a few people that avoid the water all together. This could be because of a bad experience in the water or an unexplained fear. Fear can be caused by many reasons such as feeling nervous in an unsettled environment or avoiding confrontation due to feelings of panic and agitation. Over time this fear may build as a mental block resulting in people avoiding swimming all together.

First you have to overcome your fear of the actual water. Once this is done you may find that you don’t even need that many swimming lessons as the anxiety would have worn of.

Here are 13 step by step directions that I have put together to change your attitude towards swimming and help improve your technique.

  1. It is never too late. If you feel that you are too old to start something new. Then why not start with the basics and set small goals and targets for yourself. For instance try to swim 10 meters continuously or count how many strokes it takes you to get to the other side (tells you about your rhythm and timing)
  1. Don’t overthink it. Adults have the tendency to over analyze the technique and as a result they lose valuable time of “real” swimming. As children we are fearless willing to dive right in and try different things, jumping first and looking later. Try to remember this feeling and enjoy the water more. Remember swimming is also about having fun in the water. Don’t think- just swim.
  1. Choose a pleasant environment and teacher. Good communication with your swimming teacher will make you feel more comfortable in the water. You will probably be more willing to improve your skills as you will know what is expected from you.
  1. Use the right equipment. To get the best out of your swimming lessons you need to choose the right gear to suit your body type. Choose a comfortable swimsuit and a good pair of fitted goggles. Shop around and make sure you buy swimming items that are best suited to you. Online shops include: www.swimshop.co.uk, www.sweatband.com and www.milletsports.co.uk
  1. Keep yourself calm and relaxed. It is very important that you keep your body stress-free while swimming. A tight, stiff body will use up more energy. So “Keep Calm And Just Keep Swimming.”
  1. Do not just hold your breath. Carbon dioxide in the blood is raised very quickly when you do not exhale. You should inhale when your face is out of the water and exhale when your face is in the water; essentially you can breathe normally.
  1. Train as much as possible. You can only improve on your swimming technique if you practice again and again. Set aside 2 30 minute workout sessions per a week to maintain basic health and fitness levels. In a single session try stay in the pool until you have done 400 meters of swimming or 16 lengths of a 25 meter pool at a medium to high significant pace.
  1. Try to learn the strokes step by step. If you are a beginner try not to focus too much on swimming a full stroke, instead focus on breathing and then progress to the correct body position which aids in developing kicking and lastly arms. By following these steps you’ll will be swimming in no time.
  1. Keep it simple. While swimming front crawl your arms should move under the central line of your body which means under the middle of your chest and your stomach. Try to keep your elbow higher than your hand at all times.
  1. Close your fingers. You can imagine that your hands are paddles. This will help you to catch more water and increase your swimming pace.
  1. Forget cycling movements in the water. One of the most common mistakes is to bend your knees excessively. This can result in a bad performance in the water. So, remember the leg’ movement begins from the hips. Straight legs, floppy ankles are a great starting point.
  1. Bring a friend. Instead of attending a swimming lesson by yourself why not bring a friend to join in on the fun. You can help each other out and even challenge one another.
  1. Don’t give up. You may not achieve your goal the first time so don’t be too hard on yourself. Try again and work on areas that you need to improve on. Ask your swimming teacher for advice, book more lessons and make sure that you maintain a healthy balanced diet to boost your energy levels and help improve your performance.

As well as being fun, swimming is a great way to keep fit and stay healthy. It is the ideal exercise to improve your physical and mental health. It might take a little while to adjust to the water but with a bit of help you can face your fear full on.

How swimming can help you

Young adult swimmerFind out how swimming can help boost your confidence and health. You can gain great fitness benefits as it tones your whole body and strengthens your muscles. Whatever your age, it’s never too late to learn to swim and improve your technique.

Swimming itself is a beautiful sport and an excellent non impact exercise. This is a great advantage as it protects the joints from stress and strain. The sport also provides physiological benefit such as stress reduction as water relaxes your body and calms the mind.

Through constant movement and relief; swimming helps encourage a healthy life style.

Through my own experiences of swimming I found that that none of your joints suffer because you are not in touch with anything solid. Not even a single muscle will be stiff during a lesson, as it’s relaxed and enjoyable. As you are utilising your entire body activating all your muscle groups this can lead to burning calories quite quickly and overall improvement of your fitness. You’ll build, strengthen and tone muscles as every bit of your body is moving and learn how to breath efficiently whether you are in water or not as breath control plays a big part.

Get a head start before your first lesson

Now that you’re eager to start swimming. You can start a few everyday exercises that will benefit you once you’re in the water. A simple exercise to start with is stretching your ankles. This can be easily done when you sit in the office every working day; just by pushing your toes against the floor one way and another, top and bottom, makes them more flexible.

This movement will help develop your kicking and is an essential first step in learning to swim confidently.

Now that you have focused on flexing your ankles for a more effective kick you can focus on the next element which is controlling your breath. You can try doing this anywhere, just be conscious about it; in and out, quick breath in and long release. Try to do it while taking a bath: quick in and long bubbles out. Do it a few times in a row when you walk or doing anything else and try not to get tired or out of breath. Breathe as naturally as possible but make sure it’s under control and that your are relaxed as this will help improve your swimming once you’re  in the water.

Once you are confident in the above techniques then it’s time to start swimming. Create swimming goals as this will bring a sense of achievement to your daily exercise routine and remember to have fun and enjoy the water.

Kick start your swimming!

 

With Christmas fast approaching nipping down to your local pool for a dip is probably the last thing on your mind but Autumn and Winter are an ideal time to start training for that summer Triathlon or getting a head start on your New Year’s fitness resolutions.

I am always pleasantly surprised to find my local pool much quieter at this time of year giving me the freedom to cruise along without any collisions or near misses with fellow swimmers. It also means that if you’re a bit more nervous about trying to make a start or improving your swimming you’ll have a more peaceful environment to practice in.

For many who are contemplating learning to swim the biggest step is the first one, just ask Johanna Derry from the Guardian who decided to take a lesson with Swimming Nature’s MD, Eduardo Ferré.

So, whether you only know head up breaststroke or like Johanna are always getting water up your nose and end up drinking the contents of the pool, lessons can help to give you the confidence boost you need to get your swimming under way. It is never too late to learn to swim so take the plunge!