Swimming is the largest participation sport in the UK and one of the best loved family activities. The benefits of swimming are numerous, significant, and undeniable. If you are wanting to make healthy life choices and changes it offers a fantastic way to get fitter and more active. It is also important to remember that swimming is also fun and a cost-effective activity that is for everyone, old and young. From bouncing around on the inflatables to doing several laps in the deep end, it’s hard not to love a dip in the pool.
Reasons you should be in the pool.
Swimming offers a great all over body workout as water’s weight provides resistance against muscles. Water’s buoyancy and support can gently increase your flexibility, while the weightlessness you feel floating promotes relaxation. An aerobic form of exercise it is not only fantastic for your Cardiovascular system but also a low impact activity that you can continue for a lifetime. Swimming for an hour everyday can burn up to 500 calories. Alongside the many physical benefits swimming is also positive for your mental health. It is what my nan would call a good all-rounder.
What is stopping you taking the splash?
Our seven-year-old loves going to the swimming pool. The king of the doggy paddle, it is one of his favourite activities. Reasons why your child should learn to swim are many and varied. Learning to swim may save their life one day. He has attended weekly lessons since the age of four and loved the opportunity to make friends and grow in confidence. Reasons people may avoid popping to their local leisure centre are; fear of the water, not knowing where and when they can go, thinking it will be expensive or not having the right kit. We simply fell out of routine when Norah arrived, and I want all of us to get back into the water. Make swimming more accessible to you and your family by using PoolFinder to discover local pools. It also has guides on improving your strokes, wearing the right goggles and swimming in a straight line! Sign up to centre memberships when they have deals on, take advantage of free taster sessions and ask for vouchers for the pool instead of toys for birthdays etc.
Before diving in, here are a few things to keep in mind.
Regular swimmers know that sticking with an established schedule helps them stay motivated. Check the swim timetable so you don’t turn up hoping for a quiet swim and you end up in the family session. If you are going solo don’t jump into the fast lane, start with short, slow swims. Set achievable goals. Don’t go swimming an hour after eating (leave 30 minutes from a milk feed before taking your baby swimming). Make sure your suits fit properly and never forget your towel! Global brand Tyr offer eye-catching designs and top-quality performance wear to ensure your comfort in and out of the pool.
What you need to know about baby swimming.
Water exercise is good for both mums and babies. At 10 months old I had hoped to get Norah in the pool before now as infants can start from birth. Swimming with your baby can be relaxing and fun, encouraging physical activity and experiencing aquatic environments. Benefits include strengthening muscles, improving balance, sleeping pattern and appetite whilst building water confidence early. Skin-to-skin contact also strengthens the bond between you and your little one. What has made me hesitate is that adults and babies experience water temperature differently. If your baby is younger than six months old, look for a pool that’s heated to about 32 degrees C. In a public pool you should wait until they are 12 weeks old, or 12lb in weight. Then you may want to invest in swimwear such as a baby wetsuit.
Start off with sessions of 10 minutes and build up to 20 minutes. If your baby is under a year old, limit your time in the water to 30 minutes maximum.
Children will be confident if you are confident. Whether it is finding some you time to exercise or going out together as a family we encourage you to give swimming a try!