Swimming throughout the cooler months
We live in a tropical climate, and even though we call the upcoming months ‘winter’, they really are ‘just cooler’. There are so many benefits to swimming year round. In this blog we would like to write them down, AND tell you how we and you can keep your swimmers comfortable and warm throughout the year.
Keep progressing & growing
Many families have taken a break before. They only do so once, agreeing that it wasn’t worth having to start all over again. With such a long break the investment you have made so far in lessons, and the effort your child has put into getting this far, will be lost due to the high regression of skills and confidence. The littlest ones have just begun to gain knowledge of going under water. They have reinforced and increased comfort, confidence, and the memory recall to hold breath. If stopping, on return these skills are gone and awareness becomes an ‘unknown’, which can lead to an increased fear of water. Think about the brave ones who are preparing for transition! They feel comfortable with their teacher and are almost ready to be in the water without their parent. If stopping, on return the trust in teacher and pool can be gone and replaced with a fear of the whole structure of the lesson. This is such a crucial stage and age group for continuation. For older swimmers, a break can cause them to fall behind. We have often seen the upset of returning children, realising their peers and friends have moved up to Squads.
More than just an extra-curricular
Many people see swimming lessons as an ‘extracurricular’. We know that it is so much more than that. Yes, it is a crucial skill for life. But it has also been shown to improve many areas of a child’s development, including academic performance, language, maths, fine and gross motor skills, memory, confidence, coordination, and social skills.
Researchers from Griffith University were astounded by the results of their four-year study “The children were anywhere from six to 15 months ahead of the normal population when it came to cognitive skills, problem solving in mathematics, counting, language and following instructions.” Swimming lessons offer another great way to extend their learning and development in many aspects of life. All year round.
Drowning does not pause
Whilst the exposure to water play is reduced during the cooler months, the risk of drowning is not. And the risk is even higher when the warmer weather returns (and children are not prepared). Continued lessons play a crucial part in the layers of protection against drowning all year round. Each year we are reminded of how close the water can get, any time of year, with the flood waters at our doorstep. All the extra missed classes due to the pandemic and extreme weather events make it even more important to catch up, not give up.
Harness them for colds
When it gets cold, swimming may not be the first activity you think of. But trust us and the many studies done in the past: it is actually one of the best activities to keep doing in winter. Swimming strengthens the immune system, making children less susceptible to catching cold and flu symptoms. Some people think that colds are caused by cooler temperatures. This is not true. Common colds are viral infections. With a strong immune system, chances are higher your child gets through the cooler months stronger, healthier, and happier! Swimming as an exercise helps the release of endorphins, boosting your mood, and making you feel more relaxed.
The Benefits of an Outdoor Pool
Can you believe our Outdoor Pool is actually the healthier option during the cooler months? Due to the open circulation of fresh and natural airflow (and having less chemicals, using a gentle salt-based system), outdoor pools can be better for skin and health. The natural outside temperature helps to acclimatise children. Indoor heated pools can be overly hot, both in the water and on the deck. Returning customers often commented on the feeling of almost passing out while watching lessons.
How do we keep your swimmer(s) warm?
Did you know that during the cooler months, our pools are the warmest place to be? We raise the pool temperature to 33 degrees. We have blankets for you to use. We have hot showers at both locations and our changing rooms at Cannon Hill have electric heating.
We adjust our lesson format during the cooler months, to make sure your child stays warm throughout their classes. We keep them warm in the water up to their shoulders. Our younger students will be lying on the island on their tummies, nicely covered with warm water. Older students will stand or sit with their bodies comfortably beneath the surface.
And parents will keep their babies safe and low in the water during our baby programs.
We will not have children sit on the wall (and if they do, we splash warm water on the side to warm them up). We change ‘standing up’ routines to ‘pushing off in crouch position’ ones. These are just a few examples of how we make year-round swimming possible and extra comfortable.
Straight Into a Warm Hug
After our staff has done everything to keep your child warm during their class, we need you for the next step. We always ask parents to come to the pool edge with the child’s towel and wrap them up on exit. Sometimes parents get distracted or do not realise class has finished. Their child gets out of the pool, runs to mum or dad and will be shivering by the time they get there.
This does not mean it is too cold for swimming lessons. The lessons are warm. The run afterwards is not.
So please, make sure to stand ready at the pool side to catch them straight into a warm towel hug!
Swimming all year round is the best gift you can give your child. It helps with their development, confidence, physical and mental health, fitness, social skills and more. And it will benefit the parents, with happier kids, safer kids, and an investment that keeps on giving.