swimming-workouts-beginners

Swimming Workouts for Beginners

Swimming is a fantastic way to get fit!  It is a physical activity that works every muscle group in the body, improving both strength and endurance.  Swimming is also a low impact activity.  If you have weak knees or ankles, you will find swimming much better than other workouts like running. 

Other benefits of swimming include:
  • It’s a great stress reliever and a very relaxing way to exercise
  • Swimming will greatly improve your cardiovascular fitness
  • It burns a lot of calories!
  • Your muscles will become toned and your posture will improve
  • It can improve your balance and coordination
  • Swimming is a fantastic way to exercise in summer when it can be too hot to work out in other ways
  • Because swimming is low impact, it is ideal for people with injuries

To help you get started, this article will share some fantastic swimming workouts for beginners!

Some General Tips Before Starting

Before you “dive in” here are some general tips for beginners.

  • Make sure you have a basic level of swimming before attempting a workout.
  • Swim in a safe environment like a swimming pool.  Only swim in the ocean if you are an experienced and fit swimmer.
  • Don’t overdo it early on.  Swimming takes a lot of effort, particularly if you are not used to it.
  • Warm up before entering the water
  • Remember to stay hydrated by drinking water

Short Freestyle Distance Intervals

This basic workout involves swimming freestyle for short distances with breaks. Start out by swimming 25 yards at a time, with a rest period of 30 seconds between each lap.  Beginners should swim at a slow to medium pace initially.

You may benefit from using breaths instead of counting seconds.  Perform a lap, then count to 20 breaths before starting the next lap.  This will also encourage you to really use your entire lung capacity while taking your interval break.

Depending on your initial level of fitness, swim between 10 to 15 minutes when first performing freestyle intervals.  Once you are comfortable swimming 25 yards, extend the length of your interval to 50 or 75 yards and extend the time you spend swimming.  Record your personal best distances and speeds!

Using a KickBoard

If you are not confident enough to swim 25 yard intervals, there are a number of workouts you can perform with a kickboard and flippers.  These workouts will help you practice kicking, putting your face under water and breathing correctly.

Perform your stretches to start, then swim 25 yards on your side.  Hold onto the kick-board with a straight arm and rest your head on that arm.  The other arm should be straight down your side.  Have a rest, then perform another 25 yards on your other side.

Then, perform 50 yards holding onto the kick board with both hands and looking into the water.  Turn your head to breath, using both sides.  This exercise will get you used to kicking and breathing alternately.

Endurance Swimming

Once you have started to perform intervals well, you can begin to swim longer distances.  Endurance swimming will help improve your muscle tone and stamina.

Start by performing a few warm up stretches.  Jump into the pool and swim 250 yards at a slow pace.  Take your time and concentrate on your form.  Take a 20 seconds (or 20 breaths) break.  Then swim for another 150 yards and take another 20-second break.  Finally, swim for another 50 yards.

If these distances are too long or too short, alter them to a comfortable distance.  Eventually work your way up to 500 yards or longer.  Always keep a steady pace and think about your technique — it is not about speed, it’s about how long you can swim.

BREASTSTROKE and Freestyle Medley

By combining these two strokes, you can give yourself a more thorough, full-body workout.  Freestyle will really push your shoulders, while breaststroke will emphasize your chest muscles.

  1. 1
    Start with 50 yards of freestyle at a slow pace to prepare your body.
  2. 2
    Perform 4 x 25 yard intervals of freestyle, counting the number of stroke it takes you to perform each interval.  Aim to have the same amount of strokes per interval.  Afterwards, have a break of 30 seconds if you need it.
  3. 3
    Perform 4 x 50 yard intervals of breast stroke with 30 second breaks
  4. 4
    Perform 4 x 25 yard intervals of freestyle, counting the number of strokes
  5. 5
    Perform 50 yards of breast stroke at a slow pace

It is a hefty beginners workout that will address many muscle groups.

Work on Your Speed!

Once you have achieved a basic level of fitness in the pool, you might be interested in seeing how fast you can go!  You can perform this workout using any type of swimming stroke.

  1. 1
    Perform your stretches and swim 50 yards at a slow pace
  2. 2
    Swim 2 sets of 25 yards at a medium-fast pace to get your body ready
  3. 3
    Swim 6 x 25 yards at fast pace.  In between each 25 yards, take a full 60-120 seconds to recuperate.  Count your strokes per lap and check your times!
  4. 4
    Swim 4 x 25 yards to cool down

Working on Your Form

Maintaining correct form while swimming is crucial.  Proper form will ensure you are using the right parts of your body while swimming and maintaining maximum efficiency.  This workout is for freestyle and uses a pull buoy — a floatation device that swimmers place between their legs to give them additional buoyancy.  The pull buoy allows you to swim without kicking your legs and helps you to concentrate on your arms.

  1. 1
    Perform your stretches and swim 2 x 25 yards to warm up
  2. 2
    Using the pull buoy, swim 2 x 25 yards only using your right arm for momentum.  Keep your left arm straight in front of your body.  Concentrate on your shoulder rotation, pitch of your arm and the shape of your hand.
  3. 3
    Using the pull buoy, swim 2 x 25 yards using both arms.  Concentrate on the position of your body in the water.
  4. 4
    Using the pull buoy, swim 2 x 25 yards only using your right arm for momentum
  5. 5
    Using a kickboard, swim 2 x 25 yards kicking only
  6. 6
    Swim 2 x 25 yards as a cool down

Swimming is a fantastic way to stay fit.  Regularity is the key — if you have 4 to 5 workouts per week you will be amazed by the changes that happen to your body!

8 Fundraising Ideas for Teens

Most ideas for fundraising centered on teens always require some injection of fun in the right areas. It’s of most importance to find something that wakes up their zeal and gives them a chance to work together with other youths for a wonderful and fulfilling fundraising. As a parent what you want for your teen is a lesson in responsibility and to be inspired positively, particularly while interacting with other teenagers. This is where teen fundraising ideas come in. Of course there are many ideas teens could run with and raise some money for a cause they are very passionate about. You can also read about some great fundraising ideas for college aged students.

Teen Help Squad

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Those fundraising ideas that work should get the teens out of their comfort zones and get them working with their mind, hands and with others. One of the oldest and always effective ways of making extra money for teens has always been helping around people’s homes for all kinds of things. As a squad of teens comes together they can come up with all kinds of services to offer their community, from dog walking, cleaning around, offering child care services, raking and trimming other people’s fences and many others. If the fences around the neighborhood look worn out and dull you can offer to repaint and repair them for a fee.  Bring different teenagers together and give them those tasks appropriate to them and raise the cash you need for your cause.

Cookie Event

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Everyone loves some cookie and the jury is out there on the best shape for this crunchy delight. As a group, teens can come together and set up a cookie party or cookie selling event by baking all sorts of cookies in different shapes and sizes, from geometrical shaped, haphazard, large to small cookies and sell them to everyone, perhaps even with a cup of Joe or some freshly made lemonade for more profits.

Community Movie Night

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After seeking the proper permissions teens can come together and create a movie night perhaps in their church, school, community hall and other areas in the evening perhaps on a Friday or weekend. Before the weekend they can popularize the event all over social media, through flyers or word of mouth and sell tickets days before the event. You can come up with a classic picture people have probably forgotten about, a film that was probably made in your area or an educational or faith based film with lots of lessons and entertainment to boot.

Retro Game Day

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Teens today and computer games are inseparable and most of them have forgotten there were board games before the screen took over. Bring all those board games from chess, scrabble to monopoly and many others and make it a family day out where families play each other or individuals earn special points for specific gifts. Find those games that bring children and adults together, particularly those that no one plays any longer. Ask people to donate prizes and charge a fee as the entry to the great retro game day challenge putting families and friends against each other.

Child Care

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Individually, offering time to babysit a child is the best thing any teen can do. Teenagers rarely have time for small children and this gives them a whole new perspective on things. Individually or as a group, teens can come together and offer two hours of child care on a particular day for a month full of fun and all sorts of activities that kids love at night, during the day or evening when grownups want to go out for a date or have some time alone without the noise and bustle of kids around the house. It’s not a small undertaking and teens need to come up with child friendly games that do not bore children easily and a keen eye to keep them around the place the event will be taking place. Plan accordingly.

Gift Wrapping

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Of course every person loves gifts and specific times of the year there’re lots of them moving around. As a teen, decide to offer a gift wrapping service at a local store or around the neighborhood in such a time such as Christmas or thanksgiving.

Come Up with a Marathon

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Possibly one of those ideas you probably don’t have to invest much, a marathon is a long standing way of raising money, creating awareness and bringing athletes, families and communities together. If you intend to raise money for Hemophilia or some other condition affecting your community you can incorporate a marathon and come up with a course that will not affect traffic flow, perhaps on a trail around the hills and mountains in your locality.

Talk to other teens, the sheriff’s office for guidance and support particularly with some security and use as many teens to spread the word around. If there’s just no road or trail for a marathon approach your high school and make it an athletics challenge day where all types of people compete in all manner of disciplines. To participate one would have to buy a ticket including anyone who wants to be involved. Let parents and their kids fight off in relays, sprints, long distant races among other athletic disciplines. At the end of the day, you’ll end up with the funds you wanted and a very happy community.

Garage Sales like Never Before

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Everyone knows about a garage sale and probably has tried one in their lives. As teens this is one of the most effective fundraising ideas out there, more so if done as a team. The golden rule is that another person’s junk is another guy’s treasure and you’ll never go wrong. As a group go around the neighborhood asking neighbors, family and friends to donate those things in their closets they no longer use. Don’t leave anything provided but receive all, run through them and repair or clean each if the need be to make them very presentable.

You can even ask if you can help clean attics as you rummage through clatter to find things for those neighbors who might be happy about that. Once you have everything and improved them as you deem fit find tables and have all the items displayed in all manner of categories for ease of choice and purchase. You can create posters, flyers, send word around, post on Facebook and even Tweet about it if the need be. Talk to children and church members about it and create some buzz as much as you can.  Always remember to indicate to everyone you pass the information to that it’s all about raising money for a charity, a cause or just new equipment for your high school’s drama club.

If you have a lot of items and you’re sure through the commitments you’ve received the crowds will be huge tie the event with another, such as having a soda, fresh juice or water stand to sell to the people who will turn up if the day is a hot one. Take to the local grocery store or supermarket-they might just donate a couple of cookies and drinks.

Featured Photo by Anna Earl on Unsplash

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20 Fundraising Ideas for College Clubs

Participating in a college club is one of the most exciting parts of attending college.  It is a great way to make new friends, develop your interests, and make business connections that are advantageous for years to come.

Part of your participation in a college club involves securing funding for events, rental of facilities and general meetings.  To help you secure some money for your organization, here are some of the best fundraising ideas for college clubs.  They are a mixture of classic fundraising ideas with some innovative new fundraising approaches thrown in. And if you or your kid isn’t quite off to college yet, check out these great fundraising ideas for teens.

Throw a Bake Sale

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This is one of the most commonly used fundraising ideas for college clubs — because it works!  The key to throwing a successful bake sale is timing it right and advertising it well.  If you can have your bake sale coincide with another event on campus that has hundreds of hungry people attending, your college club will do very well.

Raffles

Old used torn tickets isolated white background

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There is a reason why so many clubs regularly run  raffles — they are very effective at raising money.  Ask friends and family if they have a unique item which they are willing to part with for the raffle.  You should also consider raffling off a service like 4 weeks of house cleaning or car washes.  Depending on the type of club you are in, you could raffle something related to it like piano lessons, a concert performance, maths lessons or Spanish lessons.

Auctions

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Similar to a raffle, a charity auction requires some valuable or unique prizes.  Some clubs have a great deal of success raffling off dates with their members!  Be creative and think of a range of products or services that people may be interested in.

Throw a Party

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Image via Freepik

Your college club can raise a significant amount of money by organizing an exciting party and charging admission.  The party should have a great theme and if it is successful, it can become an annual event.  Winter Balls, Halloween Parties and Valentine’s Day parties all work well.  Take the opportunity to run competitions, raffles and auctions.

Hold a Competition

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Competitions can be one of the most successful fundraising ideas for college clubs.  The competition could be something academic, sporty or fun. Consider trivial pursuit, scrabble, chess, dictionary or a team quiz for fun activities.  For something more academic consider a debate competition, spelling competition or maths competition.  For sporting competitions, you could use any number of team-based events.

Try to organize a “students vs academics” competition, because that will attract much more interest.  Focus the debate on a hot topic so it gains the interest of many people.  Charge a small entry fee and combine the event with other fundraising techniques.

Throw a Talent Show

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You’d be surprised at how talented your fellow students are!  Organize a talent show with various prizes and charge an entry fee for attendees.

Car Wash

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Another classic fundraising method that works well.  Just be sure to advertise the car wash well and combine it with other fundraising activities like a bake sale, BBQ and live music.

Nacho Party

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Who doesn’t like nachos?  Set up a nacho stall in the middle of campus at lunch time and you will get a lot of takers!  You could also combine it with some other siesta-themed activities.

Run a Game Show

SONY DSC

Photo via Flickr

Consider running a version of Family Feud with some academics facing off against a few bright students.  Create some entertaining questions and charge a small admission fee.

Themed Sales

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Take advantage of Mother’s Day, Father’s Day and Valentine’s Day by selling items that make great presents.  Many students don’t have time to go shopping or forget to find a present for their mother, father or partner.  Make it easy for them with a stall selling the appropriate gifts.

Garage Sale

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Another one of the best fundraising ideas for college clubs.  Have the members of your club find a few boxes of items that they no longer want and create a huge garage sale.  You can make a ton of cash and get rid of some items that you no longer use.

Create a Stress Relief Event

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Prior to final exams, hold a stress relief event.  It should involve foot rubs, massages, scented oils, positive affirmations and soothing music.  Stressed out students will be happy to pay a small fee to unwind and relax before the big test.

A Sports Competition between Clubs

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Hold a “College’s fittest man and woman” competition.  The goal of the event is to find out which sporting team has the fittest athletes.  The event should contain a series of challenges that test each athlete’s agility, strength and endurance.

Give a prize to the winning athlete.  Something simple like a t-shirt proclaiming they are the fittest person on campus is fine.  However, a cash prize would really give students a strong incentive to enter.  The sporting team that the athlete plays for will also win a trophy that they hold for a year.  You will see a healthy rivalry between sporting teams develop!  Combine the event with a nacho party, bake sale or sausage sizzle to feed to spectators.

Instructional Videos

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The Internet has become a great source of revenue for many writers, podcasters and video makers.  You could create a number of educational or tutorial videos and upload them online.  If they do well, they will provide a long-term source of revenue for your club.

Karaoke Party

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Rent a karaoke machine and throw a party.  Offer prizes for the best performance of the night (voted on by the audience).  Charge a small admission fee and offer snacks.

Scavenger Hunt

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You can place a number of clues around the campus for scavengers to find.  The first team to complete  the scavenger hunt wins a prize.  Have a small entry fee which also gives participants access to a party thrown afterward.

Used Book Sale

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Ask for book donations from friends and family, then have a book sale on campus.  Try to get academic texts from ex-students, because they will sell really well.

Sell Merchandise

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You can sell coffee cups, t-shirts and other merchandise that promotes your club.  You can connect with ex-members to see if they are interested in buying merchandise.

Ask Ex-Members for Donations

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Reconnect with old members of the club to see if they would consider making a small donation.  For that donation, they will receive some form of additional recognition with the club, which can help them create social connections with current club members.

Throw a Dinner

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Do you have any talented cooks in your club?  Consider throwing a luxurious themed dinner.  Pull out all of the stops and have club members dress as waiters, looking after the guest’s every need.  Charge a small admission fee and consider combining it with other fundraising activities like an auction.