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Life Arts    H4'ed 10/24/16

Five Reasons Why Children Should Learn to Swim at a Young Age

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The truth is that swimming skills can be gained much easier by a child under the age of five than by older people. The know-how includes not only the physical capabilities but also the visual and motor activities. Splashing around is fun, but swimming can be more enjoyable. It's not just a game, but also a great activity that improves both physical and mental health. In a word, the benefits of swimming are endless and today we'll take a closer look at some of them.

Keeping fit and healthy

Deciding which sport to choose for my 5-year-old son, my first priorities were safety and healthiness. The third thing I considered was my own engagement in this activity -- I wanted it to stay close to him, to get involved, and to benefit from this activity, too.

I've done a small amount of research and found out that swimming is an intensive cardiovascular workout as it involves moving different muscle groups at the same time. Therefore, very often children and adults choose this sport to keep fit and to lose weight. So we have decided that cardio training would be just perfect for both of us. He is going to have so much fun while I will be getting thinner.

Indeed, swimming is a safe and low-impact sports perfect for children and their parents. Introducing a kid to swimming at a young age promotes a healthy lifestyle. A high-intensity and low-risk sport is something they can go for at any point of their lives.

Take note that water-based sports can decrease chronic diseases, especially problems with joints, such as arthritis.

Swimming child -- happy child

As for the child's mental health, swimming is proved to help overcome depression, since it releases endorphins (happiness hormones), which improve mood. Psychologists are convinced that this hormone decreases anxiety. And when children get in the water, it generally helps to improve their mental state.

Swimming also allows for relaxation and stretching of different muscle groups along with rhythmic deep breathing. These elements are used in numerous practices, from hatha yoga to holotropic breathwork, as well as progressive muscle relaxation. The repetitive nature of swimming is amazingly meditative and therefore it evokes a relaxation response in your body and mind.

Well, indeed, I have never seen my son being grumpy when in the water and he stays energized and happy the whole day after a swimming session!

A skill for the entire life

If our children learn to swim at a very young age, this enjoyable and healthy skill will stay with them forever. In their adult life, swimming can become a great habit that enhances the quality of their life and their life span. Focusing on the fact that swimming is a low-impact sport, it is considered to be a safe activity that excludes trauma both for children and adults.

In terms of safety, swimming is much better than riding a bicycle or running. To put it simply, if you promote love for swimming in our children at a young age, they will gladly continue this practice in the future. In fact, my son has already flaunted his interest for other water sports for adults like canoeing, dragon boating, and kayaking.

Improving self-esteem

When my son started to feel that his swimming skills are improving due to his own constant efforts, it increased his self-reliance and confidence. It is understandable that developing such crucial traits will help a child in the long run.

Once children master new swimming strokes, they reap the rewards of their hard work and determination. This is an amazing practice for a young person: understanding that you can achieve better results through efforts and dedication. As a mother, I didn't even have to explain this philosophical aspect of swimming to my child -- he has easily realized it on his own. For kids with special needs or developmental delays, swimming gives a freedom of movement and new physical feelings, which they cannot get on the firm soil.

Interaction and bonding in water

Some parents prefer family swimming sessions while others allow their children to swim and play together with their friends. We practice both of these and allow our son to interact with others as well to spend time in the water together with us, mom and dad, playing games, holding competitions, and enjoying recreational swimming. Judging from our experience, such activities help build tighter connections within a family.

When swimming with peers, children can organize and take part in team games. By sharing this delightful experience, kids learn to support their teammates, create a positive atmosphere, and feel an integral part of the group. This positive skill can be beneficial throughout the entire life in school, college, workplace, family, and beyond.

It is essential for a child to have a favorite activity, especially when it's not only fun but also useful and healthy. There are numerous benefits in becoming a young swimmer, from improving physical and mental health to obtaining socialization skills as well as gaining a good habit for the whole life. Simply make your children fall in love with swimming and this sport will stay with them for years to come!

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Veronica Hunt is an ed tech expert and an experienced blogger. Veronica sees her purpose in providing her readers with up-to-date info in the spheres of education marketing and psychology. Apart from work, Veronica adores traveling and yoga.
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Five Reasons Why Children Should Learn to Swim at a Young Age

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