Health Benefits of Swimming
Learning to swim at a young age provides many benefits throughout life. Not to mention the safety skills and numerous research reports on health and wellness in recent years that have brought to light many positive results. Swimming, especially at a club level, has been linked to stronger bone growth and better mental health. It also serves as a positive indicator of good health for the elderly!
Swimming and other organized sports are the best indicator for continued physical activity throughout life - better than demographics, personality, or behavior. An article published by BMC Public Health found that those at the high school varsity level, often having learned from a young age to reach those higher levels, were also the most active well into their senior years.
Activity later in life isn’t the only useful outcome of starting sports early, though - the National Center for Biotechnology Information reports that youth physical activity increases gains in bone mass by one to six percent. Highly active children at the age of five, the earliest tested, would continue to have better bone strength than most by age eleven, regardless of whether they continued to be highly active, and active children would, in adulthood, have between eight and thirteen percent more bone mineral content, and therefore bone strength and density, than their peers. This could also translate to up to a thirty percent increase in various health benefits from exercise. Even those adults that were only more active than average in their childhood, and as they matured quit club or sports, had eight to ten percent more bone minerals.
The benefits to this increase in percent bone minerals is varied - for most people, the most important benefit is a lower fracture risk throughout life. It is theorized to also, however, help prevent osteoporosis and to improve spine and lumbar support (and, by extension, posture). With lasting improvements to the skeleton early, your child will stay more healthy throughout their life.
This is not to mention a number of other benefits. By starting to swim early, the chance of childhood obesity drops significantly, and swimming itself is the among best cardiovascular endurance sports. Children better learn to use their lungs and get a full-body workout without the continuous impact on joints from such sports as running and tennis. This then improves their self-confidence and continued motivation, and creates for them a lasting group of achievement-oriented friends. This is incredibly important in their youth, when they are most impressionable and parents have the most control over their children's activities. When it comes to learning how to swim, the earlier the better - we hope this helps explain why!