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Overcoming fear helps adults learn to swim

By Jack Kelly
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

For adults who can’t swim, try a lesson suited to grown-ups.

More than a third of American adults can’t swim the length of a 25-yard pool, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

If you’re among the 37 percent of adults who can’t, you’re at greater risk for becoming one of the nearly 10 people who drown each day, on average. Inability to swim is the No. 1 risk factor for drowning, the CDC says. Nearly 80 percent of drowning victims are male; 70 percent are adults. Black children are three times more likely to be drowning victims than are white children.

The good news is if you don’t know how to swim, it isn’t too late to learn – no matter how old you are, says the Swimming Saves Lives Foundation, the charitable arm of U.S. Masters Swimming.

U.S. Masters Swimming courses are offered around the country. Information: www.usms.org.

If you are one of the 46 percent of American adults who are afraid to go into water over your head, the Swimming Saves Lives Foundation recommends Miracle Swimming, a course designed to overcome fear.

“It is ideal for anyone who has found that traditional swimming lessons don’t solve the problem of overcoming fear of deep water,” the foundation says.

Miracle Swimming’s ratio of instructors to students is smaller than typical swimming classes. The Miracle Swimming course, which costs $1,145-$1,545, depending on location, comes with a money-back guarantee of success.

Typically taught in eight 3-hour sessions, Miracle Swimming is offered at various locations throughout the country. Information: www.conquerfear.com.

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