Top Health Benefits Of Swimming For Kids
Concerned that your child is not getting enough outdoor exercise? Swimming is the perfect answer. Here’s a look at the health benefits of swimming for kids.
By Pooja Arora • 8 min read
Given the sedentary lifestyle and widespread fascination for gadgets of modern-day children, parents often worry about ensuring how to make them spend enough time outdoors. The lack of physical exercise causes children to fall short on stamina and flexibility of the body. It also results in poor posture. For all these concerns, swimming - with all adequate safety measures in place, of course - is the perfect answer. The multiple health benefits of swimming for kids makes it one of the best modes of exercises. It is also a very valuable life skill your child needs to learn.
Importance of swimming for children
Introducing your children to swimming is a great way to establish the importance of a healthy lifestyle. One of the biggest advantages of swimming is that it allows children to be naturally adventurous and have fun. Both kids and adults tend to exercise for longer periods of time while swimming than while pursuing most other types of exercise.
The human body is 90% buoyant when in water up to the neck, and this makes swimming a perfect low-impact yet high-energy workout for children. It is also less strenuous on the body when compared to any other sport or workout. Further, the natural buoyancy of water and its effect on the human body is more calming than other forms of exercises.
One major physical benefit of swimming is that it triggers the release of endorphins. Endorphins, famously known as the ‘happy hormones’ or the ‘feel-good chemicals’, lift our spirits and leave us refreshed.
Swimming has been proved to be an effective form of physical exercise for both mind and body. It is a great exercise regimen for the joints, offering around 20%-30% more mobility than many playground sports. At the same time, it offers a challenging workout which is not too harsh on the joints and connective tissues in the body.
Swimming boosts the cardiovascular capacity while increasing muscle strength, offering a good alternative to higher-impact activities like basketball, running and weightlifting.
Health benefits of swimming for kids
Swimming is a wonderful exercise and offers so many health benefits to children. Of course, swimming helps in weight loss; however, there are other primary benefits too:
- Maintenance of optimal body weight
- Enhanced strength, flexibility and overall fitness
- Increased muscle strength and tone
- Physical fitness (providing an entire body workout that helps to keep it in great shape)
- Better hydration for the skin that makes it feel soft and smooth, and prevents dryness
- Improved heart health because of cardiovascular exercise
Why your child should learn to swim
It is important to teach children to swim as early as possible. Here's why:
- Knowing how to swim ensures that a child has the ability to cope with an accidental fall into a water body. It is also a life-saving skill that once learnt, can never be forgotten.
- Parents of picky eaters will love the fact that a session in the pool boosts appetite. On the other hand, swimming for weight loss helps prevent childhood obesity which is a rising health concern. This, in turn, can help prevent / control juvenile diabetes.
- Swimming also offers a goal-oriented approach and fosters a healthy competitive spirit. Once a child becomes comfortable in the water, he will become keen on setting targets for himself and bettering his own timings. This process will go a long way in the making of self-motivated and high-performing adults.
- Additionally, swimming is a perfect way to stay cool, engaged and active. In the process, your child will get to develop confidence in the water, perfect his strokes and may even enter the competitive league.
- Apart from mastering the various strokes in swimming, there are water games that add to the fun and make the pool a great place for group activity and workouts.
Safety first and always
Whether it is a private swimming pool or a public facility, ensuring safety while swimming is of the utmost importance. Swimming caps, water goggles, swimwear and other swimming accessories not only add zing to pool time, but also contribute to your little one’s safety.
And finally, swimming is a great way for you to bond with your child. Helping your kid learn to swim is not only joyful and inspiring but an important responsibility for a parent. Learning how to swim can turn your water-shy child into a confident individual. So make the most of your weekends and gift your children and yourself some quality time for fun and games in the water, and enjoy the multiple benefits of swimming!
Also read: 6 Swimming Pool Rules To Teach Your Child
About the author:
Written by Pooja Arora on 6 June 2017; updated on 19 September 2019
The author is a Speedo fitness expert.
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