From Latin natatio, the swimming is the swimming action and effect. The term is also used to give a name to the sport which consists of swimming at the highest possible speed to defeat opponents in a race.
The human being has always tried by all means to adapt to the aquatic environment, a logical decision if we take into account that three-quarters of the surface of the planet they are covered in water. Swimming soon went from being a subsistence or commuting activity to becoming a sports competition.
Various engravings of the Stone age show that swimming was already an activity that was carried out in prehistory. Formal competitions, however, have only recently popularized in the second half of XIX century. In 1896, for example, swimming was one of the first Olympic Games of the modern era.
Competitive swimming includes four styles of swimming: crawl, butterfly, chest Y back.
The crawl style (of English crawl) is performed with an arm that moves in the air with the palm down to enter the Water and the elbow relaxed, while the other arm travels underwater. The legs kick in a reciprocating motion.
In the butterfly style, the swimmer should bring both arms together to the front, above the water, and then back. Meanwhile, an undulating movement of the hips is performed.
The breaststroke or breaststroke style consists of opening the arms with a backward movement until it is in line with the shoulders and the shrugging of the legs and then stretch them.
The back styleFinally, it is similar to crawl, although the swimmer floats on his back, with his back resting on the water.
The benefits of swimming
Like other sports, swimming benefits us on many levels. However, it is distinguished from the rest by a series of characteristics; for example, it involves all major groups of muscles and does not subject the body to impacts against solid surfaces. In addition, it feeds the feeling of security and confidence in oneself, and it can be practiced by people who for certain reasons are prevented from carrying out other sports activities.
With regard to the heart, it is known that a constant and moderate aerobic type of work is ideal to take care of it, and swimming represents the aerobic practice par excellence. Swimming helps muscle and strengthen the heart, and helps eliminate the fat that covers it, causing in turn to beat with more power and can carry more amounts of blood to the rest of our body. As if all this were not enough, the heart rate (that is, the number of contractions or pulsations performed per unit of time) decreases during rest, and improves the performance of the circulatory system in general.
Swimming also contributes to the strengthening of the muscles of the lungs; This results in the need to invest less energy to take in air, that is, that we breathe more efficiently, oxygenating ourselves better and stressing the lung muscles less, in turn decreasing the frequency with which we breathe.
When practicing the crawl style, for example, it is necessary to hold the air systematically, motivating the increase in density of red blood cells and their ability to carry out oxygen transport. As a result of this development, the lungs become more efficient as they cleanse themselves of impurities.
Something that should not go unnoticed is that swimming gives us a feeling of independence and security in ourselves, which improves our self-esteem. In addition, since it is usually practiced accompanied by other people and with little clothing, it enriches us socially and strips us of prejudices and labels.