Though he spent most of his time on camera, covering major sports events, Nick’s life-long dream was to become a sports columnist. Today, Nick researches and covers workout routines, exercise-related tips and tricks and sports diets. In need of an effective training routine? Look no further than Nick’s articles.+ info
Remember your parents saying you couldn't swim for an entire hour after eating?
There are a lot of myths around swimming, but here we are to put them to the test and see if they can be confirmed or not.
Swimming after eating
How many times has your mother told you this? This one is repeated generation after generation and we all go through life thinking that if we swim right after eating we will get a cramp and drown or that our blood will rush to our stomach, leaving our limbs weak and making us unable to swim. However, this is a myth. While it’s true that some athletes may get a cramp from overeating too close to swimming time, a small snack will give you the energy you need to perform while in the water.
Most swimmers can safely enjoy a small sandwich or protein bar before hopping into the water. In fact, ensuring you keep your blood sugar up is much preferable to suffering a dizzy spell in the water due to hunger. So, don’t go out for spicy wings and then hop straight in the pool, but feel free to have a small snack ahead of time.
"You have to hold your breath!"
This is something we all do by instinct but, as a matter of fact, having to hold your breath while swimming is a myth. It actually works against your natural rhythms when swimming. It’s better to breathe out or blow bubbles when underwater, preparing your lungs to fill with air when you surface again. This means you won’t have to take care of an exhale and inhale in the short time that your face exits the water, as this is inefficient.
There is a certain body type for swimming
Coaches usually say that they hear this very often. “I’m too skinny!” or “I’m a sinker, not a floater” are some common phrases that people use to blame their body type when swimming is difficult. The truth is that with the right technique, anyone can learn to swim. Building your strength, stroke technique, and ability to relax and float in water has nothing to do with your body type. So, don’t worry about it!
If you don't move fast, you won't go fast
Now here's a myth that is partially true. If you stroke faster, you may go more quickly. However, it’s also misleading because this is only part of the equation. Your stroke technique and length also play essential roles in your swimming speed. Many people incorrectly put all of their efforts into moving faster, rather than improving their stroke. With the help of a capable, experienced swimming coach, you can refine your stroke and achieve your best times.
"I don't sweat so I don't need to drink water"
Swimming might take your breath away, but it might take a while before it makes you feel thirsty. However, you should hydrate yourself. Just the same way you have a water bottle beside you while practicing any sport, you should do the same while swimming. Hydrating after your practice is, actually, really important! Naturally, after swimming you feel like you could eat the whole world —this might be because you need to hydrate, first!
Now that you know all the myths, you can improve your practice and swim like a fish in a pond!