Are regular swimming activities not cutting it for you anymore? If you find that you're feeling bored every time you get into the pool, it can be almost impossible to stick with any sort ofroutine you might have built up over time. That can, in turn, lead to inconsistencies in your fitness efforts. What if you could spend some time pursuing something in the water that could revitaliseyour interest in maintaining good health for swimming? Add one more question to the list: what if you could do that while taking on the role of a mermaid? It might sound like a fantasy story, but it's a reality you can access today.
Mermaid training is a growing niche element in the world of fitness based onold-fashioned shows that were once performedfor tourists, especially in places such as Florida in the United States. Wearing a single swim fin designed to look like a mermaid's tail, professionals are renowned for their ability to perform complex moves underwater while holding their breath for a seemingly impossible amount of time. What's the secret? This pursuit combines elements of the sport known as freediving with graceful movements and some rigorous conditioning. If you're interested in learning more, here's what you should know.
The basics behind mermaid training: learning to free-dive
Being a mermaid isn't a sport or athletic activity in and of itself, but the training you would undertake to participate in this sort of activity has its roots in a very real pursuit called freediving. You've seen SCUBA divers, certainly, and you know they rely on air tanks to stay underwater for extended periods of time. Freedivers, on the other hand, rely on no external help for breathing and simply train their bodies until they can hold their breath for minutes at a time. This skill is what enables mermaid swimmers to stay underwater performing elegant routines for what seems to be an impossibly long time.
If you engage in training, this will be a priority in all your lessons. If you can only hold your breath for 20 or 30 seconds at a time, you'll struggle to stay underwater long enough to experience the joy of swimming with a mermaid fin. Training your lungs to do this is a difficult feat, and if you want to be proficient as a mermaid, it can take a fair amount of time to learn. Practice makes perfect, and in longer classes, you'll get training from your instructor on techniques for improving and expanding your lung capacity. Keep in mind, though, that you should be very wary about practicing these skills on your own. If you do, always keep a spotter around to keep you out of trouble.
What are the benefits of engaging in this activity?
Aside from looking cool while you swim, is there any particular reason to choose this activity? As a matter of fact, yes! Not only are there benefits for your fitness, but you can find it has other advantages as well. For starters, since this involves swimming — and some intense underwater acrobatic moves at that — you can expect a high-intensity workout while you're undertaking training. Freediving can push your lung capacity to its limits and improving your VO2 max (the amount of oxygen available in your bloodstream) can translate into benefits outside of the pool. For example, a runner will find it helps them avoid that "out of breath" feeling during long runs.
Improving your swimming skills and physical prowess aside, you'll also find that it can be a big boost for your mental health. Many professional mermaid classes advertise these benefits, pointing out that when you master swimming with a monofin underwater, you can enjoy one of the most uniqueand graceful athletic experiences out there. The sense of accomplishment and personal development you feel can be immense. You can then take that feeling and apply it to other areas of your life, making this pursuit one of the more beneficial niche hobbies to try.
Who should try to become a mermaid? Considering the drawbacks
As attractive and appealing as it may be, it's important to recognisethat not everyone is cut out for this type of activity. Older individuals, especially seniors, will find many of the moves involved far too difficult to accomplish — and that's to say nothing about the difficulties in maintaining the lung capacity necessary for free diving at an advanced age. Likewise, children and very young teenagers won't have the body strength or ability to contend with the challenges of mermaid training. If you have any doubts about your ability to swim safely, such as if you have a heart condition, the best option is to speak to your physician before you enrolin a class.
It's also important to note that these are notexerciseclasses asyou might find in a gym or a public pool. Many of these classes assume you already possess a basic level of physical fitness. If you can't run for more than 30 seconds without stopping, you may need to work on your body for a while before you can sign up to be a mermaid. Only a few of these classes run longer than two or three days, so they aren't a solid substitute for other types of exercise.
The importance of safety and professional instruction
It must be saidthat there is an element of danger to mermaid swimming, and that is why you should not seek to undertake it outside of a professionally monitored setting. Monofins are commercially available, so it is possible to do mermaid-style swimming on your own. However, freediving — especially in deeper waters such as the ocean — carries many potential risks. Freedivers must be very careful about how long they hold their breath, for example, or else they run the risk of passing out underwater. As you can imagine, that's an extremely dangerous situation, especially if you chose to swim alone.
With a professional instructor experienced in freediving, you'll be able to practice in as safe an environment as possible. There will always be someone nearby to pull you out of the training pool, and you won't be pushedinto aspects of the training for which you aren't yet prepared. Often, the entire first day of training focuses solely on developing your level of comfort in the water and with the equipment. While the risks will always remain in some fashion, you can mitigate many of them by choosing to enrolin a legitimate, professionally-led class.
Using mermaid training to improve your other swimming efforts
Are you someone who loves swimming for fitness or fun already? Learning to be a mermaid can help you out in the pool a lot more than it seems at first. Although you're learning primarilyhow to perform special moves with the monofin, you'll also be improving important swimming skills. For example, do you often find that your kick is one of the weakest parts of your swimming strokes? The monofin increases the amount of resistance on your legs by an immense amount. Not only that, but it requires careful synchronisationbetween your legs to work properly.
The outcome: the more time you spend in this type of training, the better you'll be at your regular swim strokes. Not only do you get to improve your abilities, but you get to have tonnes of fun in the process. After all, who would reallywant to pass up the chance to be a mermaid for a day?
Take the plunge to learn how to glide through the water with ease
It is difficult to overstate the importance of working with a professional if you choose to pursue some form of mermaid training, or even if you simply want to explore a new interest in freediving. While many individuals participate in similar activities around the world, the risks can be real. That is why the best choice is to participate in an official class where a controlled environment can keep you out of trouble! Once you've completed a mermaid class, you may find that you now have access to an entire range of new things to do in the pool instead of simply swimming laps or practisingyour weaker strokes. When you could instead challenge yourself to complete a tough routine underwater, laps will be the last thing on your mind.
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