Swimming is a great form of all-round exercise. It’s ideal if you want to be more active and stay healthy, whatever your age or ability.
Regular swimming can reduce the risk of chronic illnesses, such as heart disease, type 2 diabetes and stroke.
It can also boost your mood and keep your weight under control.
If you cannot swim, it’s never too late to learn. Most pools cater for a variety of needs and abilities, such as women-only classes, parent-and-toddler groups, and lessons for different age groups.
This guide is designed to make swimming fun and safe for beginners of all ages, and encourage them to stick with it.
Before you start
Do not worry if you’re afraid of the water or panic when you think about the deep end. Lessons for beginners focus on building confidence in the water.
A swimming costume or trunks are all you need. If you wish to cover up, most pools allow you to wear whatever swimwear you like, within reason, such as leggings or a close-fitting long-sleeved T-shirt, but it might be a good idea to check with the pool first.
Wearing a pair of goggles is a good idea to avoid the stinging sensation caused by chlorine in the water and to see where you’re going under water.
For most people, swimming is a safe and effective form of exercise. If you’re worried about an existing health condition, see a GP before you start swimming.
The best place to get started is at your local pool. You’ll find information on classes for different age groups and levels, women-only sessions, timetables and prices.