Never swim alone
. Always go swimming with at least one other person who is a good swimmer.
Don t start swimming in moving water
. If you're learning to swim in a river, you'll need to be more aware of the motion of the water. If you must learn to swim this way, make sure you're with someone who knows what he or she is doing,
Stay within a depth you can handle
. When you're learning how to swim, don't venture into water that's too deep for you to stand in. So, if something goes amiss, you can simply stand up and breathe.
Don t swim during inclement weather conditions
. If you see and hear a storm approaching, get out of the water immediately but swimming in a light rain shower should be fine. This is a general rule to be followed regardless of how well you swim.
Never swim in too cold water
. Moving your limbs to paddle can become suddenly difficult if you're in frigid water.
Get used to floating
. When you're in the water, hold on to the side of the pool or a dock, and let your legs float out behind you - they should lift easily. Practice this on your stomach and on your back, until you're comfortable letting half of your body float.
Try floating on your back or your stomach as you re ready
. Stay in a shallow depth so that you can simply stand up if it's not working out. It might feel weird to have water around your ears while your nose and mouth are in the air, but you'll get used to it. For extra stability, put out your arms at a right angle so that your body is in a "T" shape.
Don t panic
. Always remember that you have a fallback if you're in an unmanageable depth or you simply can't move your limbs - floating on your back. Don't flail around or start breathing quickly if you can't swim, it is not advised; simply lie back as flat as you can, and let the water help you regain your composure.
Practice exhaling underwater
. While you're in a shallow depth, take a deep breath and put your face underwater. Slowly exhale out your nose until you're out of breath, then come back up. This will prepare you for underwater breathing. If uncomfortable exhaling through your nose, you can wear a nose plug and exhale through your mouth.
. Wearing goggles will make you feel more comfortable while opening your eyes underwater, and also allow you to see more clearly. Find a pair with spongy circles around the eyes and dip them in the water, so that they'll stick to your skin. Tighten the strap around the back of your head so that the goggles fit.
Practice kicking your legs
. Whether floating on your back or still holding on to the side of the pool, practice kicking to maintain balance while you're swimming.
Try a flutter kick
. The most basic kicks to start with, point your toes out like a ballerina, keep your legs straight, and alternate legs as you make small kicks. You should feel the most flexion in your ankles.
Try a whip kick
. Keep your legs held tightly together from your hips to your knees, and from your knees to your ankles. Bend your knees so that your shins come up to about a 90-degree angle, then quickly bring your shins apart and move them in a circular motion, keeping your thighs together the whole time. Bring your shins back together at the bottom of the circle, and lift them up again to restart the kick.
Try an eggbeater kick
. Commonly used to tread water, and stay in a vertical position with your head and shoulders above water. Start with your knees bent and your legs slightly wider than hip-width apart. Then "pedal" each leg as you would on a bike, only they'll go in opposite directions: while one leg pedals "forward," the other leg should pedal "backward." This one takes some practice to get used to, but it's handy for "resting" when your feet can't touch bottom.
Try a backstroke first
. Similar to a flutter kick with a minor change, float flat on your back, and do a flutter kick with your legs. With your arms, do the "crawl" motion, lifting one arm straight into the air and keeping it straight as it re-enters the water next to your head. Once it's underwater, bend it to bring it back to a straight position next to your side, and repeat. Alternate arms as you swim, and try to keep your fingers together and your hands as flat as p
Try a frontstroke
. Floating on your stomach, do a flutter kick with your legs and use your arms to "crawl" forward. Bring one arm out of the water so that it's "reaching" forward, then bring it back down and use your cupped hand to "push" the water behind you. Alternate arms. To breathe, turn your head to one side under the arm that's currently crawling, lifting enough for you to take a breath once every two strokes.
. Treading water can help you catch your breath and keep your head up without actually swimming. For treading, do the eggbeater kick, and use your hands to keep your balance by "sculling" - keep your forearms flat on the surface of the water, and imagine they're butter knives spreading on a piece of toast. Move one arm in a clockwise circle, and the other arm in a counterclockwise circle.
Use your arms to come up from the bottom
. If you're below water and want to come up, use your arms to propel yourself. Put them straight up above your head, and quickly bring them down to your sides. This should push you up a few feet. Repeat until you break the surface.