With the exception of walking, swimming is one of the most natural activities you can do. It could even be said that swimming is more natural than walking, as water is the only environment we know before being born.
Children subconsciously know that water is nothing to be afraid of. Regular contact with water should therefore be encouraged as early as possible in a child’s life and this is a normal practice in a number of countries.
Why exercise in water?
- Thanks to the water’s buoyancy a swimmer’s body weight is halved and they are able to better utilise the strength of their muscles when swimming. The larger the body area in contact with the water, the greater the buoyancy
- Swimming also takes the pressure off the spine which is usually strained by gravity (i.e. as it has to help hold us up when we walk around)
- Correct swimming technique applies an even load to our muscles while helping our heart circulate blood around the body
- The movement of the limbs in the water positively affects the joints and increases their mobility. Swimming is also excellent training for the respiratory organs and it increases the performance of the lungs
- Swimming is an activity that burns surplus fat, which is essential for decreasing the risk of obesity, hypertension, heart problems etc
Benefits of exercise in water
Exercising in water does not entail only physical benefits, but also psychological and social benefits. We have already seen the physical benefits of exercising in water. Some of the other benefits swimmers reap are:
- Bonding in water is one of the greatest ways of connecting with your kids and friends. Children feel inspired by you as you swim long, strong laps or relax and have fun with you. it’s a lovely way for the whole family to spend time with each other
- Swimming teaches patience. It helps to release stress and tension. Swimmers always feel a sense of well-being and renewed energy after a session
The only possible risk involved in swimming is the effort of some swimmers to keep their heads above water. This can lead to excessive strain on the cervical vertebrae and subsequent health problems. Therefore it is important to encourage young children to swim with their heads under water from the outset
Its good to take swimming seriously at first and get your exercise in and then set some time just for playing in the water.