I am 58 years old and planning to learn to swim to help my diabetes. I am very scared of water but would love to start swimming and be a regular swimmer as it will help me with my diabetes ailment.
Learning to swim will help your diabetes by giving your whole body a good level of exercise to help burn some calories.
There is no need to be scared of the water. If you start gradually and learn some basic stuff first, actually learning to swim can be made much easier.
Firstly go to your local swimming pool with a friend or relative as support. Get into the water and just walk about within your depth. Venture out to about shoulder depth if you feel happy to do so, but no further. Feel how your body behaves in the water and how the water feels around you.
Next, try getting your face wet. You can start by cupping water in your hands and throwing it onto your face, which you may find very easy. If so, hold the poolside and try holding your breath and submerging, partially at first. Just let your mouth and nose enter the water, keeping your breath held to prevent water from going up your nose or in your mouth.
If you are feeling brave submerge so that your face is completely underwater. You may want to wear some swim goggles for this as they will allow you to see clearly and give you greater confidence with this.
Once you have become more comfortable and confident in the water then you can try using some floats to kick your legs and use your arms. I would strongly recommend getting some swimming lessons at this stage so that you have guidance and supervision from a swimming instructor.
One other factor to consider is the embarrassment factor. Many adults are embarrassed by the fact that they cannot swim and delay or even abandon learning to swim because they think that everyone else can swim and they are the only ones that cannot. Some feel intimidated or daunted by entering a swimming pool full of adults swimming around them.
Think about this: there are more adults sitting at home wishing they could swim than there are getting in the pool and having a try. If you get in the pool and have a go you may very well surprise yourself. As long as you take your time and learn at your own pace, you will become the regular swimmer you want to be.
Just about anyone can learn to swim and age has no relevance. If you don’t try you will never know.
My best-selling book The Complete Beginners Guide To Swimming contains aspects of learning to swim plus over 80 separate swimming exercises to help all parts of basic swimming. You can download it, print out the parts you need and take them to your pool to try out. Click the link below for more information.