We are most concerned with learning to swim for safety, especially in a child’s younger years, but there are many other known benefits to swimming throughout life.
1. It’s kind to your joints and improves flexibility. The water supports the body so only a fraction of your weight has to be supported by your limbs. It also favours smooth circular movements rather than quick jerky movements that can strain joints.
2. Swimming helps you lose weight. Swimming for half an hour can burn as much as 250 calories. Even a gentle swim can burn 200 calories. Since water is about 800 times denser than air, your body has to work harder in the pool, even though it might not feel like it is.
3. Swimming improves mental health. The British website swimming.org reports that swimming promotes feelings of well being, can decrease anxiety, and exercise therapy in warm water can decrease depression and improve mood.
4. It’s great aerobic exercise. Swimming increases your lung capacity and gives them a solid work-out. Swimming has for this reason been identified as a good form of exercise for people with asthma. Aquarobics is also great exercise and great fun!
5. Choose where you want to tone up. Since swimming involves a variety of strokes that use different muscles, you can target the areas you most want to tone – be it legs, upper arms, or stomach muscles.
6. It’s not expensive. Unlike some sports which require a lot of equipment, swimming just requires a swim suit, bathing cap and a pair of decent goggles. It’s also a great summer exercise since you can cool down and work out at the same time.
7. Suitable for all ages: That’s why we say swimming is “from the cradle to the grave.’ You simply adjust the pace to your age and ability.
If you aren’t already a swimmer, but think you might like to start, first check with your doctor to make sure there aren’t any health issues to take into account. Not a confident swimmer? Enrol in swim lessons, it’s never too late, and we run adult group and private lessons in addition to Learn To Swim lessons for children! An instructor can not only help build swimming skills, but alleviate any fears you might have about the water. Take it slow in the beginning and progress at your own pace. Enjoy the experience of swimming – of floating and moving through the water – whilst getting fit and taking some time out for yourself.
Do you have children that have not yet learnt to swim? Now is the perfect time to start, and remember, we take Active Kids Vouchers, so download if you have not used and start your child’s Learn To Swim education asap. Learning to swim really is a gift for life.