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Water Survival Swimming Tips

One way to survive during moments of natural calamities and disasters (such as floods and water accidents) is to know how to swim. I strongly believe that swimming should be taught to people of any age not only for survival but also for total body exercise and superior body conditioning. This water sport is a very rewarding activity and, at the same time, an enjoyable form of recreation and socialization.

Many Filipino families enjoy going to beaches, resorts, and swimming pools during summer. This is one of the reasons why I want to give you tips on this kind of water sports activity to enable you to enjoy life and equip youwith some survival skills that you can use.

Water survival is the ability of a person to stay alive in or on water, in shallow or in deep water, in the bathtub at home or out in the open at sea. Here are some of the tips for water survival:

Presence of mind. Do not panic. It is easier to float in salt water than in a pool. All you have to do is to lie on your back as if you are lying down on a water bed.

Personal floating device. Make sure that the device is appropriately sized for the person concerned. A child may slip out of an oversized device, and an undersized one will not provide enough buoyant support for a big individual.

Disrobing. Clothes are, oftentimes, a hindrance for flotation. Removal of shoes and outer clothing may reduce the weight.

Use of hand signals. In case you are out in the open and are immersed in water, and you feel like you can’t move or you’re about to drown, keep your body up and bring your hands up for help.

Breathing is essential for life. To enable you to stay longer in the water, hold your breath a little longer. Try to bring yourself up to the surface of the water to get air and breathe.

For those who want to know the basics in swimming, here they are:

Survival floating
The first phase of survival floating is a “resting position” face down. Allow your body to float in the water with your knees tucked into the chest. Relax and try to hold your breath while in this position. Next is “inhaling position”. Do a swimming motion with your arms. Your head should reach the surface of the water for you to inhale. For the third phase, after breathing comfortably for a few minutes, inhale deeply, and return to the resting position.

Water treading
Water treading is a skill that involves the swimmer staying in a vertical position in the water while keeping the head above the surface of the water. Treading water provides the swimmer with the opportunity to keep the head from submerging while not providing sufficient directional thrust to overcome momentum and propel the swimmer in any specific direction.

Dog paddle
The dog paddle is like the combination of water treading and survival floating except the body is more in a horizontal position and should be moving forward. In simple words, it is swimming like a dog.

Back floating
The back floating is performed by lying on your back with both feet relaxed, slightly apart, and both arms at the side. Slightly move the arms and hands alternately upward and downward while remaining under water as in sculling or the figure of eight (8).

By: Erlinda Garcia- Amparo

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