As summer comes to an end and fall approaches, many families are under the impression that the swimming season is over as well. This, however, is not the case! There are a number of reasons why children should continue swimming all year long.
Children who swim year-round (and from infancy) are significantly stronger and more coordinated than those who do not according to several studies. The use of the entire body mixed with the water resistance improves strength and flexibility while minimizing injuries that are more likely to occur in other sports.
A scientific study in Germany found that children who swim year-round scored higher in problem solving and intelligence than other children overall. This becomes especially important during the school year. Many parents believe that their children will be too tired after school to participate in swimming when, in fact, being sedentary after hours of sitting in a desk at school can make children lethargic and unmotivated.
Children who swim year-round are less likely to become ill than children with a less active lifestyle. Swimming keeps the immune system in shape and exercise invigorates the entire body. A healthy lifestyle leads to a healthy child!
Consistent swimming (and especially learning to swim) helps children succeed in life. Swimming encourages setting and attaining goals, overcoming fears to assert independence and finding new and fun ways to stay active. Something as simple as being able to play independently in a pool with friends is a huge accomplishment for young kids and the confidence that it builds is seen in school, social situations and in other recreational activities.
Swimming skills, just like skills needed for any other activities, can be lost over time. If a child goes the entire school year without swimming, they lose many of the skills they may have had the summer prior which can actually be quite discouraging. Unlike riding a bike or playing soccer, if a child forgets how to swim, the consequences can be much more devastating.
There are hundreds of articles and studies from all over the world listing all of the benefits of year-round swimming. This is not to say that children who do not swim every single week will not be successful or happy in life; it just serves to suggest that children benefit from year-round swimming for a multitude of reasons.
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