Parent page: Water Sports
Swimming is a fantastic sport, especially when one can swim in natural waters. The sensation of floating and gliding is a wonderful change to our usual gravity-bound state, and it allows us to see and feel the nature around the water in the most profound way. Swimming is also undoubtedly one of the best forms of exercise for humans, since it causes no strain to joints, and (at least in its non-competitive ways) doesn’t include moves which could cause muscle tears or other injuries. It is one of the few exercises which one can do even if one is overweight, has previous injuries, or is in terrible physical shape.
Basics of Outdoor Swimming
So, you’re going on holiday by the sea, and you ask yourself whether it is safe to swim in it. That depends on several factors which need to be considered. First, is it an ocean, or a sea such as the Mediterranean? Oceans typically have much stronger currents and tides, both of which can make swimming life-threatening. If swimming offshore where there are currents, one should always know what to do if carried by a current, since trying to swim against the flow can lead to exhaustion and drowning.
Another precaution to take is to always swim along the shore, not to the open sea. Even if one is used to swimming miles in a pool, the sea can still be unpredictable, and more tiring, due to waves and even small currents which drag you along unnoticeably. One should never enter the sea in stormy weather, because of waves and currents, and the possibility of a lightning strike on objects on the surface of the water. And finally, if swimming in a sea that is not in the tropics, the water can quickly start to feel cold; either wear a wetsuit or limit your swimming times, so your body temperature doesn’t lower too much.