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More and more people want to start swimming. This form of exercise is quickly becoming more popular and for good reason. Swimming has a very low injury sensitivity and is the perfect way to work on your condition while using all your muscles at the same time. Partly because of this, more and more runners and strength athletes start with swimming as recovery lifeguard training in addition to their usual lifeguard training sessions (see also: ‘ Why running and swimming go so well together ‘). And then there’s the triathlon trend. In short, starting swimming is extremely popular! But what do you need to know before you start this sport? I come with some useful tips for anyone who wants to start swimming!



ALWAYS have a water bottle or water bottle with you. You will perspire a lot unnoticed while swimming. It is often very warm in a swimming pool, but because you are in the water you do not realize this yourself. Yet you are exercising and you will lose a lot of fluid. To compensate for this fluid loss, drinking water is very important and sufficient. Energy drinks or other fruit juices are not necessary and often contain a lot of unnecessary sugars. If you drink too little while swimming, you can suffer from headaches that can last for a very long time or you feel weak and energyless for a longer period of time.


If you seriously want to go swimming, it is advisable to purchase a good bathing suit or tight swimming trunks/bikini. Fashionable bikinis with which you lie on the beach in the summer or long wide swimming trunks will especially hinder you while swimming laps and will not improve your swimming performance. Such long wide swimming trunks, for example, provide enormous extra resistance and are not streamlined at all, so that you can also work less well on your technique with lifeguard training. For the women, ‘normal’ bikinis will be especially inconvenient. When you swim even a little faster they will slide and/or sag. A bathing suit/ball squeezer/special training bikini ensures that you don’t have to worry about your equipment and you can focus better on your position in the water and your swimming stroke.

In addition, it is of course nice to have good swimming goggles so that you can safely swim with your head in the water and do not show up at school/work with red, stinging eyes after your workout.

I would definitely recommend a swim cap for those with longer hair. Such a hat often costs less than a tenner and you benefit a lot from it. You can of course wear your hair in a ponytail or braid. But when you start swimming a bit fanatically, you will soon notice that tufts come loose and still irritate your face. In addition, your hair gets tangled very quickly and chlorinated water is not so good for your hair either. Chlorine water is certainly not such a party for people with dyed hair. A bathing cap offers a solution. For most in the beginning it takes some getting used to, but after that, they can no longer do without.

You can often get the above materials at a sporting goods store or online. The brand’s Speedo and Arena are specialized in swimming and I would therefore recommend in this area.


Do not eat (too) much before swimming. Swimming laps on a full stomach can be annoying and you can get cramps more easily. If you are going to swim for more than half an hour, it is advisable to eat at least something (small). Think of a banana, currant bun, or protein bar. After swimming, most people often feel more hungry than usual. When you swim, you use all your muscles for lifeguard training, so your body can use some extra protein. A protein-rich meal after swimming is therefore good.

Warming up & cooling down

Even though it is often very hot in a pool, it is still important that you warm up your body and wake up your muscles before swimming with lifeguard training. The water is often cold! Build up your training slowly and start warming up/stretching your muscles on the side. When you go into the water, start calmly and do not immediately go the first lane as fast as possible to the other side. A good warm-up ensures that your muscles are at the right tension and you prevent injuries and cramps. Even after , it is best to swim a few lengths very calmly. Lower your heart rate, consciously breathe in and out, and your body slowly recovers fro . This way you also prevent injuries but also muscle pain / stiff muscles.

Think in small steps

Swimming is a very technical and difficult sport. That is why it is good to know that you will not master. The front crawls perfectly within a week or quickly make huge progress in terms of time. In any case, it’s already very good that you want to start and those miles and fast times will come later. For example, a first goal could be to go once or twice a week for a month. In the beginning, try to focus mainly on the technique, so you may (in your opinion) slow down a bit, but in the end, it will pay off! For example, look at the stroke of better swimmers or take a course. In almost all pools, certain front crawl classes are given or special trim swimming lessons are organized. In addition, there is always a trainer or pool employee present who will teach you the swimming stroke better.

Of course, you can also join a swimming club. But remember that really learning how to swim takes time and don’t give up too quickly if you don’t succeed within a month, because perseverance will be rewarded. All beginnings are difficult, but then remember that you are doing a great job! It is a fantastic sport, very good for your body and if you succeed after a while, it is even more wonderful to do.

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