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Most children love to play in a pool and spend time in the water. Swimming lessons today are still very popular with both parents and children alike because they are fun and swimming lessons provide key benefits in the areas of personal development, life skills, health and safety.
Physical Health and Wellness
Children today spend more time on computers and mobile devices than ever before. Most children do not receive enough exercise or time outdoors. Swimming is a terrific way to get your child more active. Not only is swimming fun, it is a very beneficial form of low-impact, aerobic and cardiovascular exercise.
Some key health benefits of swimming include:
- Better sleep
- Burning off of excess calories and fat to maintain a healthy weight
- Improved flexibility and co-ordination
- Builds general strength and stamina
- Regulates breathing
- Stimulates circulation
- Improves lung capacity
- Relaxes the mind and reduces tension and stress
Swimming is a good way to improve your child’s mental and emotional health. Buoyancy in water is proven to be more relaxing than other forms of exercise. According to the American Center for Disease Control and Prevention, people, and children in particular, exercise longer when they swim. Because swimming is relaxing and freeing it can help elevate your child’s mood, reduce frustration, irritability and help with mild depression. Developmentally disabled children often experience improved family connections when they take part in group swimming activities.
Being a member of a swim club or swim team helps to develop social skills. Children learn how to act appropriately in a public setting, how they need to interact with others, how to respect other people’s space in and out of the water. They quickly learn everyone has a different body type and that everyone learns at a different pace and these differences must be respected.
Academic and Life Skills
Researchers have been able to document the stimulating effect of child-paced infant/toddler swimming lessons can:
- Increase intelligence
- Improve concentration
- Improve alertness
- Increase perceptual abilities
Researchers have also discovered that swimmers tend to be higher academic achievers than their non-swimming peers.
In terms of life skills, swimming lessons provide a great way for children to develop self-confidence and success. There are many different strokes to learn and goals to be met-especially if your child decides to become part of a competitive swimming team. Every new achievement builds self-confidence.
Other key life skills they learn are how to:
- Set and reach goals
- How to perseverance
- Teamwork skills
Water is dangerous and even experienced swimmers can get into trouble. Swimming lessons help children learn respect for water. They learn important techniques to help them be safe in the water and what to do if they find themselves in a potentially dangerous situation in water. Even so, children should always be supervised when they are playing or swimming in water.
The evidence is strong that swimming lessons offer the greatest benefits of any type of exercise because the benefits go far beyond simply the physical. The bonus is that swimming is fun and an activity that most children enjoy doing without prompting or too many complaints!