Swimming is a fun activity for kids. But it also has many practical benefits for your child. Kids and adults who know how to swim will be safer around the water. While water safety is always important, today let’s focus on swimming and children’s health.
Swimming is an exciting activity packed with lots of physical health benefits for your toddler, child, and teen. While your kids have fun in the pool, you can delight in the fact that they’re becoming healthier and stronger.
Swimming Is an Ideal Physical Exercise for Kids
Swimming can be enjoyed by kids year-round—whether outside in the summer, or year-round indoors at swim schools and aquatic centers. But regardless of the season, it is one of the healthiest sports for your kid’s body.
Swimming offers many health benefits, including:
- Endurance and stamina
- A stronger heart
- Better developed muscles
- Strength and flexibility
- Improved sleep and digestion
In fact, just about anyone can achieve improved overall physical conditioning by swimming. And since swimming is so much fun, and less strenuous than other sports, kids enjoy it for longer periods of time.
Let’s explore some of the health benefits of swimming for kids.
Kids Find and Maintain a Healthy Body Weight
Today, many kids lead a sedentary lifestyle. They are glued to their phones, tablets, video games, or computers when not at school.
The National Institutes of Health reports on MedlinePlus that “Most American children spend about 3 hours a day watching TV.”
When this is added to the use of other screen devices, such as phones and computers, kids can spend 5 to 7 hours a day online. This contributes to many health problems for children, including difficulty sleeping and gaining too much weight.
Swimming can help a child naturally find and maintain a healthy weight. A picky eater will gain a healthy boost to their appetite. A child who eats mindlessly while watching TV will instead seek the benefits of exercise—which include weight control.
Improved Coordination and Balance
Swimming improves a kid’s strength and flexibility. This leads to improved balance and body coordination. If your child also has an interest in other sports, such as baseball or gymnastics, these assets will help them perform better in those sports as well.
Parents know better than anyone how difficult it is to perform well with limited or poor sleep. It’s the same for kids. Kids can’t function well if they are tired from not getting quality sleep.
Swimming is an exercise that works the whole body; it takes a lot of energy. This healthy use of energy helps a child experience longer, uninterrupted sleep.
And parents often find that kids are more ready to go to bed when they have been physically active during the day. Yes, swimming can be a win/win for everyone!
Increased Lung Capacity
Swimmers need good breath control. This skill develops earlier in infants and toddlers who take our Njswim’s Water Babies Classes.
Good breath control also helps a body increase its lung capacity.
Improved lung capacity:
- Sends more oxygen to the brain
- Gets more oxygen to the muscles
- Improves stamina and endurance
- Keeps the mind better focused
Here are more reasons to enroll your baby in a Njswim swim class.
Muscle and Joint Development
Swimming is a low-impact exercise that helps kids safely develop muscles without overworking other parts of their body. Your child is much less likely to injure a joint or bone, as can happen playing other popular sports.
Swimming engages many muscle groups—unlike other popular sports.
Think of all the different muscles that are used during swimming:
- Arms are engaged in swim strokes
- Leg muscles are used to kick
- Lower back and abdominal muscles keep the body steady and streamlined
- Shoulder muscles help guide the arms
Swimming also helps joints achieve better mobility. The Arthritis Foundation reports that “swimming is generally an excellent form of exercise for children and adolescents with arthritis.”
The Foundation goes on to say that “[Swimming] is a great exercise regimen for the joints, offering around 20%-30% more mobility than many playground sports. At the same time, it offers a challenging workout which is not too harsh on the joints and connective tissues in the body.”
And kids will happily exercise longer in the water since they will experience less muscle or joint pain.
Swimming strengthens the heart. Your child’s heart will have an easier time helping the blood circulate throughout the body. Swimming can even lower blood pressure.
Again, your child’s participation in other sports and activities will be at its best when they enjoy excellent cardiovascular health.
Kids Learn Exercise is Fun
What greater gift can you give your child than the love of exercise? When kids swim, they have fun, feel better, and begin to appreciate a healthy lifestyle. This experience will stick with them throughout their adult life.
This time of year, when after-school schedules are developing, is a great time to start swim lessons.
At Njswim, your child will not only learn to swim, but learn about how to stay safe in and around water. Our swim teachers help each child progress at their own rate as they have fun learning to swim.
We currently have six swim school locations in New Jersey. Contact us to get your child in the swim!