I learned how to swim when I was five years old, but for most of my life, swimming was just a recreational activity that happened when I went to the beach or community pool with my friends during Summer. It would be 19 years later when I decided to get a little more serious and start swimming to strengthen my health & fitness.
When I began swimming again as an adult, I had all sorts of questions:
What kind of swimsuit do I buy?
Are there certain rules I need to follow?
Will other people laugh at me?
Thankfully, my teammates at Kiefer gave me some valuable tips and advice on getting started and choosing the right gear. If you’re like me and just beginning swimming again, here is the gear and advice that helped me jump in the pool and get started.
Basic swim gear
What kind of gear do you need when you’re just getting started? Not too much. Here’s all you need to start:
- Swimsuit (Men | Women)
- Goggles (These are my favorite!)
- Sandals or Pool Shoes (for pool deck and locker room; like these swim shoes)
- Backpack (to store your clothes, towel, and accessories. I went with this one.)
- Swim Cap (If you have long hair. Click here to view our Swim Caps)
Your pool will most likely have some rules posted near the locker room. It’s a good idea to read these rules so you know how to conduct yourself at the pool.
Some basic pool etiquette includes:
- Rinse off in the shower before jumping in the pool
- Swim on the right side of the lane (if it is busy in the pool)
- Be kind to your fellow swimmers
The biggest thing that surprised me when I started swimming as an adult, was the inertia I felt to actually getting in the pool.
Inertia is “a tendency to do nothing or to remain unchanged.” (source: Google). My inertia was due to two things: (1) thinking I ‘didn’t have time’ to swim because of my schedule, and (2) fear that I would make a fool of myself in the pool (and people would laugh at me).
Neither of these things were true.
What helped me overcome these two obstacles was this:
- Desire > Inertia: My desire to swim and keep my mind and body healthy eventually became greater than the inertia I felt resisting me from going to and getting in the pool. Yes, my schedule was busy, but my health is important, and I was determined to make the time to swim. (This desire will also help push you past any fear you feel to getting in the pool.)
- Baby steps: Just start swimming one day a week, and then move on to two days, three days, and more. When you start, you will gain momentum to keep going. Take baby steps and remember that one is greater than zero.
- Going at night: Where I live, most people swim in the morning and right after work. I’ve discovered that if I swim between 8pm to 9pm, I have the pool practically to myself! For me, I enjoy this more because I am an introvert.
- Going with someone: In addition to going to the pool at night (when no one is there), going swimming with my wife was a great way to eliminate the fear of other people’s expectations. If you have a spouse, close friend, or family member who wants to get into swimming with you, this is a great way to blow up your inertia and start swimming.
Swimming is great for your mind and body. Once you get in the pool for the first time and start swimming, you’ll wish you had started sooner. So start today!
What tips and advice would you share with those who are getting into swimming again? What recommendations on swimwear and swim gear do you have? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!
Learn More Swimming Tips:
- Bilateral Breathing For Swimmers
- Swimming Technique: 3 Ways To Improve Speed (Butterfly Edition)
- Lap Swimming Etiquette
- Swimming Technique Part Three: 3 Ways To Improve Speed (Breaststroke Edition)
- Swimming Technique Part Two: 3 Ways To Improve Speed (Backstroke Edition)
- 10 Quick Tips for Swim Sighting
- 15 Meter Resurfacing Markers – The Underwater Swimming Rule
- The Benefits of Swimming: 5 Ways Swimming Improves Your Life