I'm looking for infomation on how to learn how to swim. Would lessons be the way to go or should you just jump in the pool and try to swim in the shallow end by doggy paddling? Thoughts, comments?
I would not recommend just jumping in and giving it a try, unless you have a friend with you that knows how to swim well. If you do have a friend that knows how to swim well, I would ask him/her to teach you the basic crawl stroke, or freestyle. If that is unsuccessful, I would recommend taking a few lessons. Sometimes excellent swimmers, don't necesarily make the best teachers. I am a very strong swimmer, but was unable to teach my 7 year old to swim. After 3 lessons at the local aquatic center, he was paddling along just fine. Good luck to you.
Thanks Jinja. My wife and daughter have been "paddling" along on their own and are starting to get better at swimming everyday. I just didn't see the need to invest in "swimming classes" since they were making good progress.
I would start with a goal. Do you want to swim mile or are you starting to swim for general fitness? For me, I needed to learn to swim because I started doing triathlons. I took a lesson, but it wasn't very beneficial because I was so uncomfortable in the water. After a few months of "just paddling" I built up some aerobic capacity and upper body strength. I took another lesson and it was much easier to take instruction because I was more comfortable in the water.
I would recommend checking out adult lessons at a local Y. I'm a former high school swimmer but when I began swimming again after a break of oh, say, 20 years, I was always exhausted. Just a few lessons in a more modern, efficient swim style was very helpful. My local tri club also had some workshops that didn't break the bank but helped me work on my stroke style. Also, most of my masters swim friends came out of that series of classes!