Essay, Research Paper: Swimming History


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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 not. WHAT IS THE
ACCOMPLISHED. More 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
a well known swimmer who won a record seven gold medals at the 1972 Olympic
Games. No athlete in any event had ever dominated a single Olympics as did
Spitz. In 1972 he won the 100- and 200-m freestyle and butterfly events, and was
a member of the winning 4 X 100- and 4 X 200-m freestyle relay teams and the 4 X
100-m medley relay team. Spitz set 32 world and 38 U.S. swimming records during
his career. He was a very big role model for aspiring young swimmers.
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