Swimming is more than just a way to have fun in the sun. It’s a lifelong skill that helps you be active and safe around the water. Many adults might incorporate swimming into their exercise routine as it provides myriad wellness benefits. Children, though, can also see the same health benefits.
Swimming can improve cardiovascular health, strengthen muscles, and improve coordination.
Beyond the physical benefits, it is also a transformative activity for kids. It offers social and mental benefits that other activities do not offer. Children who learn to swim and participate in the sport learn how to set goals, face fears, and overcome adversity, according to the Michael Phelps Foundation.
But, let’s be honest, children are not going to choose swimming because of the benefits. For them, swimming has to be fun.
Parents can help their children get excited about swimming, whether it’s through group lessons, a local club, or by making it a bonding activity. Whether it’s watching your child in the pool or investing in a Michael Phelps swim spa, swimming can be a way to strengthen your bond and help your child build a healthy relationship with the water.
7 benefits of swimming for kids
Swimming is more than splashing and playing in the water — although that can be a lot of fun. Learning and developing the skills to swim can be an important part of your child’s development.
What are the swimming benefits for kids? Swimming can improve cardiovascular health, stress management, social skills, confidence, and more.
Physical activity is important for a child’s development. Whether it’s swimming, biking, or just running around, kids ages 6 and older should get in 60 minutes of movement each day. But in the era of electronics, it can be hard to get your kids to exercise. Swimming is a great way to encourage your children to move.
Swimming helps improve children’s heart health. The heart is a muscle, and exercise helps strengthen it. When a child swims, his heart will have to work, pumping blood to his muscles. Plus, the lungs and heart will have to work together.
While heart health might seem like a “grown-up” topic, it is important to establish good habits at a young age.
Strength and fitness
Swimming is a low-impact way to incorporate exercise into your daily life. But while it doesn’t stress your joints, it’s a full-body workout that strengthens your muscles. In addition, swimming helps improve your flexibility and endurance.
Good mental health is just as important for children as it is for adults. It helps them think clearly, handle stress, and relate to others. Playtime and exercise can be an important part of supporting your child’s mental health. Research shows that even light physical activity was linked to better mental health as children get older.
Swimming is a physical activity that can benefit your child’s emotional well-being. When kids are swimming, they must focus on controlling breathing. Plus, being in the water is relaxing — even if you are just floating.
Stress is a party of daily life — even for children. Schoolwork, sports, peer pressure and friends can all affect the way your child feels. It’s important for your child to learn how to manage stress so it doesn’t become overwhelming.
Physical exercise and especially swimming can help your kid reduce stress, feel happier, and be more ready to handle the world around him. Endorphins — those feel-good hormones — are released as you swim, helping to decrease cortisol.
Swimming can be an intimidating sport for a child, especially if he has some fear of the water. But as your child works on his swimming skills and becomes more proficient in the water, he will also be developing confidence and self-esteem.
Swimming can be a family or solo activity. However, it can also be a way to involve your child in team sports. When swimming with their peers, your children can develop valuable social skills. They might be swimming with kids who go to a different school or are in a different grade, helping them learn to adapt to new situations.
When your child participates in a team sport, he is bound to make new friends. But there’s more to swimming than the camaraderie. Learning to swim and participating in a club helps foster team spirit. Your child will learn how to demonstrate sportsmanship, encourage friends, and more.
Swimming and water safety
Children of all ages can benefit from learning to swim, whether it’s taking lessons or participating in a club. Beyond learning the mechanics of front crawl and how to float, water safety is a critical part of any swim program.
“While no course can ‘drown-proof’ a child, a progressive learn-to-swim program can provide your child with skills that will last a lifetime,” says Connie Harvey, national health-and-safety expert for the American Red Cross. [source]
Children should know that even a good swimmer to drown, and they should never be in the water unsupervised. Plus, swimming is always more fun when you are with a buddy.
Other water safety tips include:
- Look before you hop in the water
- No diving allowed — unless the water is deep enough and adult is watching. You should never dive in a swim spa.
- Holding your breath underwater is not a game
- Stay hydrated
Learning to swim in a Michael Phelps swim spa
For some children, the pool can be a scary place. It can feel too big or too deep. However, regular access to water in a place that’s free of intimidation can help a child develop confidence and skills.
A Michael Phelps swim spa has a spacious swim area without the intimidation. Children can ease into the swim area, sitting in the hot tub seats or holding onto the sides. They can move at their own pace, venturing out into the swim area while feeling safe.
For some children, a pool can feel too cold. While adults might swim at 82 degrees, children might prefer a warmer temperature. You can keep Michael Phelps Signature Swim Spas at a comfortable temperature of 85 degrees or set it to a therapeutic range up to 99 degrees. There will be no more shivering when going swimming!
Bonus: The more comfortable your child feels in the water, the more encouraged he will feel to get in the water. He will start to feel more secure and associate swimming with positive feelings.
Children who have spent a couple seasons on a team can benefit from the opportunity to swim at home. The swim spa has a continuous water current that allows for stationary swimming. The current of water is smooth and wide, and the pace can be adjusted to match your child’s skill level.
Swimming at home, too, your child can work on skills outside of practice. Sessions can be short and easy, or at a tough pace to develop into a stronger swimmer. Plus, there’s no carpool or commute to the pool. As a parent, you won’t have to wait for your child to get out of the locker room. And, you can even join in the fun by sitting in the therapy seats as he swims.
How to buy a swim spa
Are you ready to enjoy the benefits of swimming, recreation, and relaxation year-round? Having a Master Spas swim spa at home allows you to train at your pace so you can swim your best. You can click here to get more backyard ideas and picture what a Master Spas swim spa would look like in your space. Or, contact your local Master Spas retailer to learn more about swim spa ownership. Wondering how much a swim spa costs? You can request a quote here.