Starting to swim or returning to swimming for exercise can be intimidating. It seems easy, but it isn't! Here are a few tips I would like to share with you, as someone who started swimming regularly in the last year.
--just jump in! Feeling like you might like lap swimming, but feel uncomfortable in your swimsuit? Just get in the pool! The other swimmers don't care what you look like in your swimsuit, trust me, they aren't checking you out or judging. That being said, ladies, no string bikinis; and everyone, don't wear an old, practically see-through suit. Wear something that will stay on while you swim.
--bring goggles and a swim cap. Swimming with correct alignment (body and hips at the top of the water) will be so much easier if you can stick your face in the water. Don't forget to breath out your nose! With goggles, you won't get chlorine in your eyes, and with a cap, you won't have annoying hairs in your face.
--determine how many breaths you will rest between lengths. This gives you time to rest before you continue, but also makes a challenge. Start with resting 15 breaths, then 10, then 5, then continuous lengths.
--watch videos online of excellent swimmers. Speedo, Swim Smooth, and Go Swim are some of my favorite YouTube channels for this.
--learn proper pool etiquette. Here's a great article: http://www.active.com/swimming/articles/busy-pool-lap-swim-etiquette-for-sharing-lanes.
--take lessons or hire a coach if you need to learn to swim or if you've hit a plateau.
What else would you add?