History of Swimming

Swimming was invented
before recorded history. Humans discovered how to swim
by accident. A person probably fell into the water and
struggled to shore using a dog-paddle stroke. There was an
Egyptian hieroglyph for swimming dating from 2500 BC.
The ancient Greeks and Romans made swimming an
important part of their military training programs. There
have been known swimming contests that were organized
in Japan as early as the 1st century BC. During the Middle
Ages in Europe, swimming declined in popularity. People
felt that the water was contaminated and a source of
disease. Not everyone feared the water, however, Louis
XI reportedly swam daily in the Seine. During the early
19th century, swimming enjoyed a revival, especially in
England, Lord Byron swam the Dardanelles river, to prove
that the mythological hero Leander could have done it.
Organized competitive swimming began in England in the
1840s. In 1844 the British were surprised when two
American Indians demonstrated the efficiency of a method
of swimming similar to the modern crawl. The British still
swam with the head above the water, a holdover from the
days when people believed that the water was
contaminated. An overhand stroke was introduced into
England in 1873 by J. Arthur Trudgen, who had seen
South American Indians using this method to swim really
fast. When the flutter kick was introduced, the modern
"Australian crawl” was born, and this stroke has since
become the most common and most important swimming
stroke. FITNESS COMPONENTS To swim well u need
to know how to coordinate your arms and legs to get you
through the water. At first you will probably need to have
lessons. Also to swim u need agility and just gravity.
Swimming also requires balance and quickness in some
cases. Not much is needed to know if you want to swim.
Swimming improves heart and lung efficiency, enhances
muscle strength and endurance, improves flexibility, and
reduces stress. It’s easy on the joints, and uses more
muscles than most other forms of exercise. Although
swimming burns a great deal of calories, recreational
swimmers tend to lose less weight than would be expected
from other types of aerobic activity. Scientists say that cold
water removes heat from the body, stimulating appetite to
keep the body warm. Exposure to cold water may
encourage the body to maintain fat stores for insulation. To
lose weight by swimming, its necessary to cut down on the
calories you eat, and to swim fast enough and long enough.
Swimming can burn more than 660 calories an hour when
performed correctly and causes less injuries to joints and
muscles than aerobics or jogging. It takes only three hours
a week of strenuous swimming to improve flexibility,
increase strength and build cardiovascular endurance.
Swimming provides a good aerobic workout if 25% of the
total laps are performed at maximum intensity. However,
only 5% of those who swim do so at an aerobic pace.
Although few doubt the aerobic benefits of swimming,
studies comparing swimming with jogging, results found that
swimmers lost less body fat than joggers. Apparently
swimming causes an adjustment in how energy is burned,
resulting in the burning of more carbohydrates than body
fat. One reason might be that swimmers retain more body
fat to insulate and maintain body heat. However, swimming
works both the upper and lower body which jogging does
than half of all Americans can\'t swim. Drownings claimed
5,200 American lives in 1990 and is the fourth leading
cause of accidental deaths for children under 5. Many feel
figures are actually higher, since deaths occurring after
resuscitation or hospitalization usually aren\'t attributed to
the original drowning. Many lives could be saved if people
would just learn to swim. Correct swimming doesn\'t come
naturally to the body and can\'t be learned overnight. Those
swimmers who are exhausted after half a lap need more
instruction. The most common swimming problem is
incorrect breathing which causes individuals to expend
more energy than necessary. Coordinating breathing with
proper head rotation is the key to proficient swimming.
Proper instruction is the only way you can learn this, it is
the key component to swim well. WHAT IS UNIQUE
ABOUT YOUR SPORT? The most unique thing about
swimming is the actual racing in the water, you dive off
blocks and swim as fast as u can in as many different styles
and lengths. BIBLIOGRAPHY “Swimming.” Grolier
Multimedia Encyclopedia. CD-ROM. 1996 ed “Total
immersion swimming” Arcticles by Terry Luaghlin LIST
YOUR SPORT. Mark Spitz, is a well known swimmer
who won a record seven gold medals at the 1972 Olympic
Games. No athlete in any event had ever dominated