There are two main reasons why adults who do not know how to swim were not able to do so when they were young. The first is a lack of opportunity and the second more common reason is an irrational fear of the water. They continue to avoid learning it in their adult years mainly because of embarrassment at not being able to do something many children appear to find easy. These are not really strong reasons to remain unable to swim.
It is an accepted fact that as we grow older, our bodies no longer develop. After a certain point, it gradually deteriorates. This is seen in the more stooped posture of the elderly, becoming winded earlier when exercising or engaging in strenuous activity, and discomfort or even pain in ones joints when moving from one place to another. Some people make this an excuse not to learn to swim, or worse, to no longer exercise as regularly as before. Swimming can actually be engaged in despite these age related changes.
The older one gets, the more attractive this form of exercise becomes because it does not stress the joints to the same degree that dry land exercises do. Joint pain is thus either absent or very minimal after exercise. Also, increased blood circulation to both the muscles and the joints definitely aid in maintaining the joint within the acceptable range of mobility for a particular age group. Nearly everyone in the health care or fitness profession will agree that the best exercise for those in their fifties or older is swimming.
Another hurdle to an adult’s decision to learn to swim is the amount of time needed to learn it. They assume that because they had difficulty learning when they were young, they will encounter the same level of difficulty – for those who are pessimistic by nature, even more difficulty. It is actually easier to teach adults to swim. There are those who can even learn to do so, from scratch, in thirty minutes. This is because adults are more logical and are better at overcoming their apprehensions through logic. A child, especially a toddler, because their reasoning has not developed yet is prone to react emotional to the stresses involved, resulting in fear or even phobia.
Adults go through the same process as children when learning to swim. The first step is becoming comfortable in the water. The next step is adjusting to the head being submerged and the technique used when breathing while swimming. This is then followed by floating, propulsion, and confidence in deep water. Each of these steps mentioned can be discussed rationally with the adult then attempted in a logical and systematic manner. Any difficulty that arises is objectively assessed and solved making the objective, learning to swim, an inevitable result after some effort.
There are certain instance when, because of a medical condition, one has to choose a pool that does not aggravate its symptoms. In most cases this pertains to the temperature of the swimming pool, a case which is easily remedied. The places where one may learn to swim is quite varied so there may be one that will suit the person trying to learn.
It is thus never too late to learn and enjoy swimming. All that is needed in reality is the will to engage in it and set aside what can generally be considered irrational, and sometimes childish, excuses.