Did you know there are many benefits to swimming? Bucknell University lists 9 physical benefits:
- Improved flexibility
- Increased endurance
- Muscular balance
- Heart strength
- Improved physique
- Increased circulation
- Rehabilitates muscle
- Improves ease of weight management
- Low impact on weight bearing joints
All these are important, but for your children swimming is just plain fun. What are some reasons to get your kids in the water and create a healthy habit for life?
Safe from the start
Helping your child overcome their natural fear of water comes from a safe and stress-free introduction to swimming. Seeking out your local Red Cross approved swimming program will give you an age appropriate entry point. From babies to adults, there are first timer programs that will ease their way into swimming, by developing proper techniques and safety consciousness. Their ability to react calmly to situations in the water, because of good basic safety skills, could save their life or the lives of others.
If you just finished watching the summer Olympics, your gaze may turn to your child and you may have visions of them as the next Michael Phelps of Katie Ledecky. Should they go that direction, lucky you. If they just learn to play Marco Polo and manage to stay busy for a half a day, you’re pretty lucky too.
Safe swimming opens the door to days and days of water fun. Water parks, lakes, oceans, and rivers are new playgrounds for cool wet fun on hot days. Your family vacations can be filled with memories of beaches and docks, carefree good times, and kids so tired from swimming and water play, that they pass out first thing after dinner. Quiet kids equal quiet times for moms and dads.
Swimming is a lifetime sport. The techniques learned as a child carry into adulthood. Swimming is one of the few sports where competition continues as we grow older. Triathlons, masters swimming, distance swimming are all avenues opened to age groups.
Swimming allows us to compete as individuals, but still have a team perspective. Relays are the most team focused part of swimming competition, but still each individual has to do their part. The different strokes and distances allow different body and personality types to excel.
Other avenues for lifetime fun and competition are opened by good swimming skills. Boating, surfing, fishing and any other sport near the water becomes safer and more fun. With basic swimming skills, that Youtube worthy tumble into the lake, can stay funny and not be tragic. Another positive is that our daily dose of vitamin D doesn’t need to be taken as a pill. Some time spent in the sun, swimming or just on the water, is a byproduct of having good swimming skills. The fresh air and exercise, the relaxation, and the down time with family pull us away from the stresses of life and help us to have a closer bond with family and friends.
There are many reasons to get your child swimming but mostly, spending time with your child and talking about the experiences will create bonds and experiences for a lifetime. So go ahead and get wet together.