Swimming has been a recreational activity since prehistoric times. It became a competitive activity in the 1830s. For a truly Canadian experience, try the polar dip.
Swimming can take place in rivers, oceans, ponds, lakes and swimming pools.
How to play
Swimming as a recreational activity simply involves floating through and playing in the water. As a sport, swimming involves many different strokes: backstroke, freestyle (front crawl), breast stroke, and butterfly – mainly practiced in pool. Open water swimming is a form of long distance swimming in a lake or the ocean. Swimming can also be used as a fitness workout – Aquafit incorporates aspects of aerobics with swimming to give participants a full body workout without joint impact. Lastly, a form of swimming called treading water can be used as a lifesaving tool if stranded for a period of time in deep water. To learn, it is advised you find a qualified swimming instructor with the experience to guide you through the basics. For more information visit Swimming Canada or Masters Swimming Canada.
- Bathing suit
- Snorkel for underwater exploration!
Physical activity in Canada includes everyone, regardless of any ability or circumstance. Some sports and activities may, however, require a few adaptations to make them as accessible as possible. Below you’ll find recommendations and suggestions on how to accommodate individuals that may have limitations or different needs. With a positive attitude and a little ingenuity, any activity can be made enjoyable for all.
Everyone who likes the water can swim. It can be in a pool or open water. For individuals with a visual impairment, swim with a buddy to provide directional cues, choose the depth of water preferred and point out any obstacles such as pool walls.
Swimming takes on many forms. It can be great for exercise or just fun. Find a pool that suits your needs (temperature, number of swimmers, familiarity). If preferred, swim with a buddy, use a floatation device and adjust the length and intensity of the swim to the preference of the participant.
Swimming takes on many forms. It can be great for exercise or just fun. Find a pool that suits your needs (temperature, entry alternatives such as a ramp or lift, accessible facility). If preferred, swim with a buddy, use a floatation device and adjust the length and intensity of the swim to the preference of the participant.