For every Singaporean Son, there's no escaping National Service once you're of age and relatively fit.
And there's no running (backstroking?) away from swimming as well - even if you cannot swim or are afraid of the pool - because your commanders will do their best to teach you how to.
After all, it is an essential life skill and provides a whole host of health benefits! (And hallo, we're an island leh - should be quite a standard skill for islanders, right? Right?)
Here's what to expect when it comes to hitting the pool during Basic Military Training:
1. It provides active recovery from training.
An active recovery workout involves performing low-intensity exercise following a strenuous workout. Examples include walking, yoga, and swimming.
Active recovery workouts are beneficial for your body. They may help you recover faster after a difficult workout. Some benefits include:
- Reducing lactic acid buildup in muscles
- Eliminating toxins
- Keeping muscles flexible
- Reducing soreness
- Increasing blood flow
- Helping you maintain your exercise routine
2. It provides a whole-body workout
Different peeps get their daily dose of exercise through different means. Some of you are chiong-sters who seem to have three lungs and can finish your 2.4 under nine minutes, while some of you are gym rats who can lift twice your body weight.
If you are neither, don't worry lah - there's still swimming! It engages nearly every major muscle group, and keeps you fit. Plus, it's easy on the joints as the buoyancy of water reduces stress on weight-bearing joints.
If you're overweight, we got you, bro - check out these inspiring NS stories of those going through a similarly challenging BMT. Gambatte!
3. It's a refreshing break from rigorous physical training
Shag ah, every day march and do push-ups under the hot sun. At least swimming gives you that cool respite from the heat, and you get to exercise without being drenched in sweat. (Well, it all goes into the pool lah, but that's not the point.)
4. Lessons are structured to cater to swimmers of different abilities
Nobody expects you to be the next Joseph Schooling.
If you're a weak swimmer or non-swimmer (aka totally cmi at swimming), you'll be grouped into different categories that provide the right type of training you need. So fret not and splash on!
5. I really, really cannot swim. How ah?
CMPB's website says that "Being able to swim is a basic skill required of all recruits in the basic training curriculum".
However, if you die-die cannot swim… heng you'll still graduate from BMT and ORD at the end of your service - at least according to this source.
Just that you might need to wear extra stuff like a swimming cap or life jacket to indicate your status as a non-swimmer.
This article was first published in Wonderwall.sg.