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Hey, you're in the hobby / travel zone--YOUR HANDYMAN ZONE!

Sports / Outdoor Physical Games Category: Swimming

Hobby / Travel

How to swim.


Swimming is a fun activity, especially at an outdoor event on a hot summer day. Swimming (or aquatics) is a recognized sport of the Summer Olympic Games, which takes place once every four years. In addition to aquatics, the Summer Olympics have included as many as 32 kinds of sports representing teams from different countries all around the world. 

If you don’t have a swimming pool in your backyard, either an inflatable swimming pool or a Slip ‘n Slide would be a wonderful alternative for the kids. Caution: If children are swimming or near a pool of water, constant, adult supervision is absolutely necessary.

Another great idea, if the weather is hot, and you don’t have a pool, is to turn on the lawn sprinkler for the kids. They’ll have a blast running around and splashing in the water!

The following are some basic rules on how to swim.

How to Swim:

  1. Have someone who knows how to swim supervise and/or assist you.

  1. If you will feel more comfortable, wear a life vest/jacket and stay in the shallow end of the pool (shallow enough so that when you are in a vertical position, your feet can touch the floor of the pool).

  1. Optional: If desired, use nose and ear plugs, goggles and a swimming cap.

  1. Once you are in the water, hold onto the person who is assisting you, or grab a hold of the side of the pool.

  1. While still holding onto the person or the side of the pool, take a deep breath, tilt your face into the water, relax your legs and allow them to float outward in a horizontal position.

  1. While keeping your legs fairly straight, flop your feet in a rapid kicking motion just below the surface of the water.

  1. Breathe out through your nose into the water (air bubbles will flow out as you exhale) and then bring your head up out of the water for air.

  1. After you are comfortable with the kicking motion, let go of person assisting you or release your grip from the edge of the pool and stand in the water.

  1. With your feet, propel yourself off the floor or the side wall of the pool. Take a deep breath, tilt your face into the water, bring your legs up into a horizontal position, and as in step 6, start kicking your feet in a fluttering motion. At the same time use alternating arm motions. Gently bring one arm out of the water and in front of you, and while keeping your elbow up, enter it into the water, and push it through the water in a gliding motion until it’s at your side. Alternate with the other arm. In between arm motions, rotate your head to the side to quickly inhale. Exhale under water.

  1. If necessary, use a swimming pool floatation device to help you stay afloat.

  1. Once you’re comfortable in the pool and you’ve mastered the basic skills of staying afloat and moving through water, there are a variety of strokes you can learn (i.e. backstroke, breaststroke, butterfly, etc.). 

Helpful Tips: No matter what sport or physical activity you and/or your guests decide to participate in, this section provides useful information and tips for optimal performance and enjoyment:

  • Stay Hydrated! If you and/or your guests engage in outdoor physical activities, especially during hot weather, remember to drink plenty of fluids! Drinking simple,


    pure water is a great option to replenish your fluids during and after exercising. Most tap water is excellent. However, if you are still concerned about lead content and other potentially harmful particles in your tap water, using a water filter or purifier is one way to go. A water filtration system (i.e. Brita, Culligan or Pur) can keep vital minerals in the water like fluoride, while filtering out any contaminants or pollutants that may be in your tap water.


While exercising, perspiration allows your body to cool off as the sweat evaporates from your skin (a natural cooling mechanism), but in the process of this thermoregulation you loose electrolytes in addition to H2O. Therefore, if you’ve been especially sweating a lot, you need to replenish your lost electrolytes.  In this case, sports drinks - fortified with electrolytes - (i.e. Gatorade, Powerade, All Sport, Recharge, Extreme Ripped Force and Champion Nutrition Revenge Sport) are good choices.

There are also other energy drinks available on the market, such as vitamin-fortified water (i.e. Glacéau (a.k.a. Glaceau) Vitamin Water, Glacéau Smart Water, Glacéau Fruit Water, Glacéau Vitamin Energy, Propel Fitness Water and SoBe Life Water).

  • Play it safe! Wear the appropriate safety gear for each sport or activity you engage in. Also, make certain that you have all the necessary equipment for the sport or activity. Visit your local sporting goods store for assistance.

  • Stretch and warm-up! It’s important to stretch and warm-up before participating in any physical activity or sport. Stretching has many benefits: It allows your muscles and joints to relax, it improves your range of motion and it may prevent injuries. Before starting any sport or physical activity, consult your physician and get a physical exam. 

  • Keep an over-the-counter pain reliever handy! Don’t let minor aches and pains slow you down or prevent you from participating in a sport or physical activity you enjoy at your outdoor barbecue event. Over-the-counter pain medication (i.e. Tylenol (Acetaminophen), Motrin (Ibuprofen), Advil (Ibuprofen), Anacin (Aspirin), Bayer (Aspirin), Aleve (Naproxen), etc.) work great at relieving minor muscle and joint pain. Note: Always consult your physician before taking any medication, and use as directed.

  • Should any emergencies arise, keep a cell phone handy, or even a walkie-talkie! A walkie-talkie is a two-way radio transceiver, which is convenient, portable and handheld. It allows you to communicate with another person that is located at a reasonably close distance to you (i.e. if you are in the backyard, you can easily communicate with someone that is inside the house if you are both using walkie-talkies). It’s a great way to keep in touch!

  • Keep a first-aid kit handy! Accidents happen, so, for minor scrapes, cuts, etc., readily have available bandages; gauze; adhesive tape; sterile swabs; antiseptic (i.e. hydrogen peroxide topical solution, antibiotic ointment (i.e. Neosporin), alcohol pads, etc.); tweezers; anti-itch ointment (i.e. hydrocortisone); etc. Seek medical attention if necessary.

  • Prevent sunburn! Protect your skin from the sun’s potentially harmful rays, which may cause premature aging (i.e. wrinkles) and skin cancer. So, don’t forget to wear sunscreen with an SPF of at least 15 and one that offers broad spectrum protection against both UVA and UVB rays. If participating in outdoor sports or activities, consider wearing a sunscreen that is waterproof.

  • Avoid pesky bug bites! Keep a bottle of bug spray handy. If you do get bit, use anti-itch ointment (i.e. hydrocortisone) to help relieve the sting of the bite.

  • Keep allergies at bay, and enjoy your time outdoors! If you suffer from allergies, have readily available an over-the-counter allergy medicine - (i.e. Claritin (Loratadine); Benadryl (Diphenhydramine); Sudafed PE (Phenylephrine); Zyrtec (Cetirizine HCl); Zyrtec-D (Cetirizine/Pseudoephedrine); etc.) - to relieve allergy symptoms, such as red, itchy, watery eyes; nasal congestion; sneezing, etc., due to the increased levels of pollen, dust, mold, etc., in the air. Note: Always consult your physician before taking any medication, and use as directed.

  • Set Realistic Goals! Don’t overexert yourself, especially at an outdoor get-together where the idea is to relax and have a good time. Remember, as with most things in life, practice makes perfect! So, if you’re really interested in a particular sport or activity, practice it often, and you’ll be sure to impress your friends and family at your next outdoor event.

  • Most of all...Have Fun! Whether you’re a competitive athlete or an amateur, playing sports and exercising should be about enjoying yourself, spending time with friends and family, getting in touch with the great outdoors, teamwork, the spirit of the game, stress-relief, and good health!

Ed the Handyman


Your Handyman Zone Team


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