The Benefits of Raising Strong Swimmers
As a parent, one of the best things you can do is raise your children to be strong, confident swimmers. It’s not just a life-enhancing skill — it’s a life-saving one.
The best part is, it’s never too early to introduce your little one to the water. In fact, the sooner you do, the more comfortable your child will feel…which boosts their ability to enjoy swimming recreationally for years to come.
Let’s dive into the benefits of introducing your little one to the sport of swimming.
A Brain Boost Kids Can Enjoy
It’s no secret that kids who are active tend to be happier and healthier. But did you know that learning to swim at an early age can also increase your child’s intelligence?
The Griffith Institute for Educational Research in Australia found that young kids who participate in early swimming achieve a wide range of skills earlier than the normal population. These kids get a head start in development in fine motor skills, confidence, language, physical development, and even math skills, all of which helps prepare kids for a smooth transition from preschool to grade school.
Yet another study conducted by Dr. Win Wenger discovered that just three weeks of swimming underwater is enough to see a marked improvement in IQ, attention span, verbal ability, and cognitive reasoning. An article on Nuffieldhealth.com sums up Dr. Wenger’s finding:
“The study shows that holding your breath can increase your intelligence. Whenever you start to give attention to any awareness of stimulus, you hold your breath, and your breath is a pacemaker for your attention span, so the longer you hold your breath, the more you can take in. Swimming, he says, is THE best exercise for building lung capacity, which enables you to take in more information.”
Beyond the cognitive boost swimming provides, it also helps reduces the likelihood that your child will have behavioral and concentration problems in school. As an added bonus, swimming uses up a ton of energy, encouraging your child to sleep deeply so they’re well-rested and clear-headed. Now that ‘school’ is in your living room, this is a major perk!
Amazing Physical Benefits
As a sport that carries one of the lowest risk of injury, swimming is a safe option for kids of all body types and levels of athleticism.
Plus, getting your child in the water at an early age helps them build an association between physical activity and fun. While they’re splashing around and enjoying themselves, they’re building muscles, lung capacity and strong joints. It also opens up a world of countless fun activities, like kayaking, boogie boarding, surfing, snorkeling, water polo and sailing (did we mention water parks?!). Meanwhile, you can gain peace of mind that your child is equipped to feel safe in various bodies of water.
Swimming also burns almost as many calories as an hour of running — without the damage to your little one’s growing bones and joints — to help your child maintain a healthy weight. It’s great for their heart and circulation as well.
Other physical benefits include:
- Enhanced strength and endurance
- Improved cardiovascular health
- Strengthened immune system
- Increased lung function/capacity (especially beneficial for asthma sufferers)
- Reduced risk of developing chronic diseases
Swimming= Happier Kids
Finally, we’d be remiss not to mention swimming’s other superpower: Helping your kids feel relaxed, confident and happy. Thanks to its ability to increase the production of endorphins, which are the body’s natural painkillers and stress-relievers, swimming is a guaranteed mood boost.
It also boosts determination, discipline, character and social skills, all of which help your child thrive outside the pool. Don’t forget ‘perseverance,’ too: Just as your child can’t exactly give up halfway across the pool, they’ll learn the value of finishing strong in all aspects of life.
Raise Strong Swimmers With CA
CA’s friendly and knowledgable instructors are passionate about teaching the fundamentals and helping kids of all ages foster a love for swimming. Swim lessons are offered at Columbia Gym and Columbia Athletic Club. Learn more on our website.