Are you concerned that your child is more likely to get sick due to swimming during the winter months? Contrary to many parent’s concerns, continuing swimming during the winter has many great physical and mental benefits!
Some parents are afraid that their child will catch colds or other illnesses by continuing to swim. Colds and flu, however, are transmitted by casual contact with an infected person not by exposure to cold air or water. Children are more likely to catch a cold from playing with their friends and siblings rather than from swimming.
The benefits to year round and winter swimming are actually very numerous. In fact, children who continue to swim and exercise year round are more likely to stay healthy and develop healthy habits which will continue into adulthood.
Swimming invigorates the body and increases the flow of oxygen to all the organs including the brain. Physical fitness can help children focus and problem solve better at school as well as teach them self confidence, develop cardiovascular and muscular strength as well as stamina.
Swimmers develop breath control and by learning to take deep breaths. This type of breathing helps keep the lungs clear of accumulated mucous, and can help reduce the chance of respiratory problems in the winter.
Exercise also causes your body to release a biochemical called endorphins. Endorphins help boost your immune system which will help you to stay healthier specifically during the winter months.
Overall exercise in the water is both strengthening and aerobic. For our younger swimmers, exercise in the water increases motor skills and coordination as well as develops muscle.
Children who continue to swim throughout the winter are better prepared in the spring and summer to participate in both water sports and casual social gatherings at the pool. The children who do not take time away from swimming continue to increase their confidence in the water, swim level and improve their overall physical fitness. Those who do not continue and do take a break during the winter months often need to spend time reviewing or relearning skills they had previously learned.
Most importantly learning to swim is not only a sport but an important life saving skill! Drowning can happen at any time during the year, not just in the spring and summer. Drowning can occur in a bath tub, shallow pool of water, lake, ocean or swimming pool. Teaching your child to swim could save their life.