How Is Swimming Good for Kids?
Splashing around in the pool appeals to many youngsters. While spending time in the water is often enjoyable, it has other benefits, too. Explore the positives of swimming to learn how your children will profit in the short and long term from learning water safety and swim strokes.
Exercise for Health
Swimming provides an effective opportunity for exercise for people of all ages, states Johnston Memorial Hospital. Swimming exercise involves cardiovascular activity, which enhances both heart and lung condition. Swimming also increases strength, endurance, flexibility and balance, thanks to the activity and movements involved in swim strokes. Children who engage in regular swimming activity might avoid health issues associated with childhood obesity, including diabetes.
Swimming Skills for Safety
Drowning is a real risk for children. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that approximately one out of every five people who die from drowning are younger than 14. By teaching your children swimming skills, you equip them with water skills that can increase water safety. The American Academy of Pediatrics advises parents to teach children to swim for water safety. However, even children who know how to swim are not immune from drowning. You must always supervise your children in the water, even when they know how to swim.
Children who enjoy swimming might pursue additional water activities, such as competitive or team swimming. When kids participate in individual or team swimming sports, they receive positive opportunities for learning sportsmanship, working toward goals and functioning as part of a team. Children who engage in ongoing swimming practices and sporting events can become stronger physically as they develop a positive outlook and self-esteem, states the USA Swimming website.
Fun in the Water
Spending time in the water can also be positive for children’s mental health, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports. Swimming may improve mood and decrease anxiety. Families that spend time swimming together could experience enhanced family bonding. Kids could enjoy swimming more than other types of exercise, so, if you provide your children with opportunities to swim, they may be more likely to exercise.
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: Unintentional Drowning: Get the Facts
- American Academy of Pediatrics: AAP Gives Updated Advice on Drowning Prevention
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: Health Benefits of Water-Based Exercise
- National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. Diabetes, heart disease, and stroke. Updated February 2017.
- Mohr M, Nordsborg NB, Lindenskov A, et al. High-intensity intermittent swimming improves cardiovascular health status for women with mild hypertension. Biomed Res Int. 2014;2014:728289. doi:10.1155/2014/728289
- Wing RR, Lang W, Wadden TA, et al. Look AHEAD Research Group. Benefits of modest weight loss in improving cardiovascular risk factors in overweight and obese individuals with type 2 diabetes. Diabetes Care. 2011 Jul 1;34(7):1481-1486. doi:10.2337/dc10-2415
- Erickson ML, Jenkins NT, McCully KK. Exercise after you eat: Hitting the postprandial glucose target. Front Endocrinol (Lausanne). 2017;8:228. 2017 Sep 19. doi:10.3389/fendo.2017.00228
- Colberg SR, Sigal RJ, Yardley JE, et al. Physical activity/exercise and diabetes: a position statement of the American Diabetes Association. Diabetes Care. 2016;39(11):2065–2079.
- National Institute of Diabetes, Digestive, and Kidney Diseases. What I need to know about physical activity and diabetes. Updated December 2016.
Kathryn Hatter is a veteran home-school educator, as well as an accomplished gardener, quilter, crocheter, cook, decorator and digital graphics creator. As a regular contributor to Natural News, many of Hatter's Internet publications focus on natural health and parenting. Hatter has also had publication on home improvement websites such as Redbeacon.