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Benefits of Swimming Lessons for Adults: Why Adults Should Learn To Swim

The Benefits of Adult Swimming Lessons

The benefits of swimming can be enjoyed by adults as well as children.

Parents should consider jumping in for their own health and fitness, as well as an opportunity to enjoy the water with their kids.

In the course of teaching a babies’ class earlier this week, I demonstrated a new activity that required both parent and child to submerge and swim underwater together for 3 seconds.

I was astonished to observe that of the six parents in the class only one was able to perform the exercise effectively, with three of the remaining five parents appearing uncomfortable and awkward going underwater and in their recovery, and the other two struggling to complete the exercise at all.

With many parents of recent times demonstrating a commitment to having their children learn to swim at a young age, it begs the question how it has come to pass that the parents themselves are weak or even non-swimmers? While, like many, I learned to swim before I was 5 years of age, I count myself fortunate that I have had the opportunity to spend regular time in the aquatic environment ever since. For many people however, swimming is not an activity that they carry into later life, and indeed, as time passes many lose confidence and belief in their swimming ability.

The maxim “It is never too late to start” applies perfectly to swimming

In light of the many health benefits afforded by swimming, and the fact that it is a sport that caters for all ages and all abilities all-year round, adults might be well served to ask themselves why it is that swimming does not form a part of their normal exercise routine – is it pride perhaps? Adult swimming classes/squads are designed to develop confidence and stroke technique, and to improve fitness.

Most swim schools offer adult classes for all levels of swimming ability; from beginners to race swimmers. For those perhaps self-conscious of their swimming prowess, or who perhaps are confident swimmers looking simply to refine their stroke technique, private lessons with a qualified coach or instructor tailored to suit individual abilities/goals are a great way to fast-track progress.

Where self-consciousness is an issue, lessons can often be arranged at off-peak times. Intermediate and advanced swimmers are able to enjoy the social elements of swimming in an Adult Swim Squad.

The Benefits of Adult Swimming Lessons

Quite aside from the inherent exercise benefits and the opportunity for stroke improvement as part of a tutored swim class, swimming with others of similar ability in a squad is a great way to meet and make friends. Squad swimmers who wish to take their swimming to a next level might look to compete at Masters games or similar, or alternatively to take part in triathlons and open-water events.

Water exercise is not all about lap swimming of course, and there are a number of other water workout approaches that may be taken including water walking/running, water yoga and aqua aerobics. Swimming is beneficial to an individual not only physically, but also emotionally and psychologically.

Swimming works all the major muscle groups (including the abdominal, arm/shoulder/back and leg/butt muscles), and improves strength, flexibility, endurance, balance, circulation, breathing, posture, vitality, self-confidence and energy, and decreases stress and tension (what a list!).

As a form of exercise, water-based exercise is a lot gentler on the body than land/weight bearing exercise. The buoyancy of water reduces body weight by 90% and reduces the stress upon weight-bearing joints, muscles and bones which makes it a great activity from the standpoint of rehabilitation from injury, injury prevention, and enhancing body awareness. The buoyancy of water makes it a perfect exercise choice for pregnant women or those with arthritis or back/weight problems (remember the approval of your GP may be required before commencing swimming).

Whilst health and fitness are two of the major benefits afforded by swimming, it is also a life-saving skill

For safety and survival reasons, I recommend that children be able to swim at least 400m continuously in various strokes before they give any thought at all to stopping their swim lessons. I wonder how many of the parents of our swimmers are strong enough swimmers to save themselves, or indeed a family member should the situation present itself? The number of “would-be rescuers” or “rescuers” that drown in their attempts to save a swimmer in trouble is on the increase.

A case in point is the tragic drowning of the mother and father over the recent Christmas period. These parents lost their own lives trying to save their own children who had been dragged out to sea. The children managed to return to shore; but the parents drowned in their efforts to assist their children. What parent would think twice before rushing to help their child in trouble in water? But how many of you would be capable of implementing a successful rescue?

Get swimming with Hampton Swim School

Swimming assists in preventing drowning and improves health and all-round fitness; and of course it is both emotionally and psychologically beneficial. So why not slip on a comfortable swimsuit some time soon and GET SWIMMING! I think you’ll be amazed at the positive impact a few laps following the black line in a swimming pool can have on your health and wellbeing!

© 2010 Julia Ham/Hampton Swim School Pty Ltd