The Life-Long Benefits of Childhood Swimming: 7 Reasons to Learn to Swim Early in Life
Kids swimming lessons teach life skills that aren’t limited to the pool. As a child revels in their progress and success, they will gain a confidence within themselves that continues once they step out of the water and into other aspects of their lives. Swimming lessons are also a great for promoting teamwork, trust in others and bonding with parents or siblings.
There are many great life-long benefits of childhood swimming, and plenty of wonderful reasons to start early. Research has shown that early swimmers perform better socially and academically, and that swimming from an early age:
- enhances gross motor skill development and coordination
- promotes personality development
- leads to greater happiness, health, and development of the ‘whole’ child.
Here is some more information about the fantastic life-long benefits of swimming.
1. Swimming offers a respite from the summer heat!
Is there a better sensation than jumping in the pool or swimming at the beach when the temperature rises on a sweltering QLD day? Knowing how to swim means you can enjoy this to the fullest.
2. Swimming is great for overall health
There are huge physical benefits to swimming, such as the full-body cardiovascular and respiratory workout. This develops a child’s stamina, flexibility and muscle strength using the water as resistance—and also builds their concentration.
Children who swim tend to be stronger and more coordinated. The sensory experience of being in water is both relaxing and enjoyable for children and stimulates their senses.
With rising levels of childhood obesity, which is commonly linked to juvenile diabetes, a physical activity like swimming should be promoted. Swimming burns calories (anywhere from 500-650 calories per hour) and, because it’s low impact, it’s a great full-body workout for kids.
For an overweight child, movement in water is easier than on land. So swimming offers an effective way for overweight children to get fit.
For children with asthma, swimming is a physical activity less likely to trigger symptoms. It also allows asthmatics to enjoy exercise whilst improving their lung capacity, breathing, and overall fitness.
Swimming lessons are a great way to promote an active and healthy lifestyle for your kids. It can help prevent (or battle) obesity with regular exercise that is also fun. Children who exercise at a young age are more likely to continue this into adulthood, remain healthy and live a more balanced lifestyle— ensuring a lifetime of health and fitness.
3. Swimming is a fantastic way to make new friends
Don’t underestimate the social aspect of swimming for children. When children are in the water together they form a bond that is based on trust and fun. Socialisation skills are enhanced through the various games and activities.
At swimming lessons, children learn to relate with each other and may even develop their first friendships. They learn early on how to treat their friends in the water and interact safely while enjoying themselves. It can also be a great way for you to meet and socialise with other parents.
4. Swimming helps with academic skills – including reading and writing
Regular swimming lessons assist the development of gross motor skills, coordination and the left and right sides of the brain. Because swimming is an ambidextrous activity, it is thought to boost to language development and help children learn to read and write.
Children thrive on learning new skills. But learning to swim is not a race—your child can learn at their own pace. Unlike a lot of sports, swimming doesn’t require a specific skill set. It can be competitive, if desired, but it doesn’t need to be. It can be enjoyed individually without comparison to others.
Success is based on individual achievement, and will make your child eager to continue to improve. They learn to take pride in each achievement and strive for new goals according to their abilities. Swimming helps children learn to set goals, and to work towards achieving these goals.
Additionally, children who swim year-round have been found to be more self-disciplined and have increased self-confidence and motivation. All these developmental benefits carry over to your child’s schoolwork.
5. Swimming alleviates fear and builds trust – early on
Introducing children to water at an early age promotes awareness of water and ensures they remain confident and relaxed around it. Exposure to the meditative effects of water in a child’s infant years reduces the likelihood of the child developing a fear of water or experiencing panic attacks around water in later years.
Swimming is also a fantastic way to develop safe risk-taking skills in cautious babies and children. They can gradually build up trust between themselves, the water, and others who may be in their space. As abilities and confidence increase, children are able to overcome fear and celebrate their achievements.
A positive relationship with water will open the door to a whole range of water sports and activities in aquatic venues.
6. Swimming is a great bonding experience and lots of fun!
Swimming is a hugely enjoyable and relaxing experience. Water play is something that you can enjoy too. Bonding with your child in the water is a great way to share an exciting and valuable life experience. You’re also helping to create positive childhood memories they will always carry with them.
7. Swimming is the only sport that can be potentially lifesaving!
Should your child ever find themselves in a tricky situation in the water— whether it’s at the beach or a friend’s pool party—they’ll have the confidence to swim towards the edge of the pool, or tread water until you reach them.