Swim a Lap Day is celebrated on June 24 each year and it’s the ultimate antidote to the classic summer conundrum — how do I work out without working up a sweat and stay cool at the same time? To the ones for which this may not apply, it’s still a day for you, since swimming (or just floating) is fun for everyone! Since humans are not yet able to fly, swimming is the next best thing — just think back to the last time you were in the pool (or any other waterbody) and felt that weightless feeling of the water just carrying you. If the trip down memory lane is not convincing enough, perhaps the thought of staying cool without having to use up extra electricity will appeal to you more. Whatever your reasons for taking a dip, it’s a great way to beat the heat and get some exercise in, all while having a splashing good time, especially with those you love.
History of Swim a Lap Day
Though the origins of Swim a Lap Day are as mysterious as the ocean depths, the activity of swimming itself can be traced back several thousand years, to the ancient Greeks and Romans. These civilizations built beautiful artificial pools for training athletes, conducting military exercises, and having a jolly good time, too. Evidence of this can be found in paintings of the time, as well as certain written manuscripts. Some say that swimming can be traced as far back as 7,000 years ago, due to pictorial evidence of figures doing breaststroke depicted on cave wall paintings in Egypt and other places in the Middle East. Still, others say that the ancient Japanese were the ones who invented it and, long before swimming was a sport in the Western world, the Japanese were holding swim races as early as 36 B.C.
It was in England, in the 1800s, that swimming first became a competitive sport and the first swimming championship took place in Australia, in 1846. It then became an annual affair and it was during the 1896 Olympic Games, held in Athens, that swimming events were first added to the Olympics. The main four styles of swimming are breaststroke, backstroke, freestyle/front crawl, and butterfly stroke. Another popular swim-related event, included in the Olympics, is synchronized swimming, which combines aerobics, dance, and swimming skills all in one and is a treat to watch. To this day, swimming is so popular because age is no bar, and as a physical activity it can cater to a variety of purposes — to relax, exercise, or rehabilitate. It’s no wonder then that swimming has remained popular throughout the ages and across the world, so it makes sense that this sport is celebrated for everything that it brings to our lives.
Swim a Lap Day timeline
Ancient Egyptian and Assyrian cave paintings show figures doing breaststroke.
Roman Gaius Maecenas builds the first heated indoor pool.
An imperial edict in Japan declares swimming a compulsory activity to be taught in schools.
In England, swimming becomes a competitive sport, and competitions are held in public pools.
Swim a Lap Day FAQs
What is the best swimming stroke for toning your abs?
As usual, the stroke that is the toughest is the most beneficial for the abdominal muscles (nothing is ever easy, is it!). In case you were wondering, we’re talking about the butterfly stroke. There are, however, some alternatives to the classic swim strokes, which can also help with toning the abs — so feel free to mix it up with a lot of leg kicks and undulating strokes.
How long should you swim laps for a good workout?
If you want to get in a good swim workout in about 30 minutes, you should be swimming at least 20 to 30 laps as a beginner, roughly 40 to 50 laps as an intermediate swimmer, and about 60 laps or more as an advanced swimmer.
What is considered a lap in swimming?
In layman’s terms, a ‘lap’ signifies a full round or completion of a course. In pool lingo, the course is the length of the pool, from one end to the other. So a ‘lap’ here is one full length of the pool, varying according to the pool size. In an Olympic-sized pool, a lap would be 164 feet, whereas, in an American short-course pool, a lap would be 25 yards.
How to Celebrate Swim a Lap Day
Go for a swim
We have to stay true to the intent of this day and tell you to go swim a lap (or more) in your nearest pool or waterbody. Not only is swimming enjoyable, stress-busting, and relaxing, but it does wonders for your body, too. Did we just hear you say, “win-win”?
Organize a pool party
Nothing says “summer is here” like a pool party does, and it brings together two of the most enjoyable leisure activities — swimming and partying! Whatever the age group, everyone loves a good party, just be sure to slather on that sunscreen, too.
Take a course in lifesaving
Whether it be lifeguard training or a simple CPR course, equip yourself to be able to deal with emergencies, should they ever arise. It’s always better to be trained and ready, and the opportunities are plenty. You can volunteer at your local gym, school, pool, or waterbody. Don’t know how to swim? Now would be a great time to start learning how!
5 Facts That Prove Animals Are Better Swimmers
Elephants are accomplished long-distance swimmers
Elephants can swim up to 20 miles a day and they use their trunk as a snorkel.
Orcas are the fastest swimmers
Orcas are the fastest swimming mammal, that is — they can swim over 55 mph.
Polar bears are champion swimmers
Records show that a polar bear swam 426 miles over nine days straight to reach an ice floe.
Big cats are not averse to water
Many jungle cats like jaguars and tigers have proven to be excellent swimmers, unafraid of getting wet.
Blue whales are heavyweight swimmers
The blue whale is the heaviest mammal on earth and swims with the ease of a fish.
Why We Love Swim a Lap Day
Swimming is great exercise
We cannot say this enough (nor can the internet) — swimming is great for your health and fitness. Not only is it a whole-body workout, but it’s also easy on your joints and not as strenuous as other forms of cardio, so almost anyone can do it. Young or old, age is no bar when it comes to enjoying this sport, and you can enjoy a guilt-free treat after, thanks to all the calories burnt during your swim.
Swimming is a life-saving skill
They say that swimming is the only sport that can help save a life — that of your own or someone else’s. If that doesn’t speak volumes, we don’t know what will. It’s a skill that is seen as so essential to have that, in many countries, swimming is an integral part of the nation’s educational curriculum.
Everyone can celebrate it
Whether young or old, or just plain lazy, swimming is one of the most popular forms of exercise among the public, and it can always be found in ‘top-10 recreational activities’ lists. As a formal sport, it has many competitions, ranging from local to international — such as swimming as an Olympic sport.
Swim a Lap Day dates