Swimming: The one-size-fits-all physical activity!
● By Hood Magazine
By Haley Delvo, Aquatics Instructor/Lifeguard, LifeScape
There are many opportunities for children to be physically active. Between toddler gymnastics and traveling sports teams, it seems everyone can find their niche. But what about children who are not the most coordinated? Those with respiratory problems? And those with muscular or neurological disorders? How do families participate in physical exercise together? Swimming is the answer, and with the 2017 addition of an indoor aquatics center in the city, along with a handful of other indoor swimming options in the area, swimming will soon be an even better option for fitness!
Swimming has long been known for its physical benefits: it is a low-impact activity on joints, it builds cardiopulmonary function (breath support), and it can build muscle mass. In fact, the activity of swimming uses every muscle in the body and burns more calories than almost any other type of exercise! It is one of the best ways to work out your body and is good for any injury recovery.
The need for good water safety skills, however, cannot be over-emphasized. Children should learn how to be safe in outdoor or indoor pools, lakes, rivers and oceans. They should understand what should be brought with them to the water, such as sunscreen, water bottles, lifejackets, and of course--a grownup. Lastly, they should learn safety in assisting others that appear to be drowning or safety in various weather conditions.
Swimming is an important social activity, especially in the summertime. Pool parties, birthday parties, daycare swimming trips, and hanging out with friends at Wild Water West all require swimming skills.
Swimming can also be pursued as a competitive sport, individually or on a team. With organizations like the Special Olympics, any child has the opportunity to swim for sport.
Lastly, swimming is a great confidence builder! Mastering strokes, progressing with endurance, and overcoming fears of the water are important achievements for any child.