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Essay/Term paper: History of swimming

Essay, term paper, research paper:  High School Essays

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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




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 Luaghlin LIST


YOUR SPORT. Mark Spitz, is 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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