Part of the fun of summer is making a splash at the pool, lake or ocean. Not only is swimming fun, there are a lot of benefits associated with the activity especially for kids.
Safety tops the list. According to the Centers for Disease Control, unintentional drowning is the leading cause of death for children ages one to four in this country. Teaching kids how to swim at an early age can prevent them from becoming a statistic. This is especially a good idea if the family has a pool or body of water on or near their property.
Swimming is a great form of exercise. It’s a cardiovascular workout that is great for the heart and lungs. The exercise improves strength, flexibility, stamina and balance. About a third of all kids in the United States are overweight or obese. Swimming can promote weight loss and reduce the risks for things like diabetes, heart disease and stress on the joints.
Splashing around is good for mental health too. The CDC says kids who swim tend to workout longer than other forms of exercise. That’s in part because the water can be more relaxing than doing things like running, walking or biking. This creates an improvement to mood and fights depression.
Individual swimming is great, but it can be a team sport too. Getting involved at an early age encourages teamwork, leadership and goal setting. Friendships and rivalries are created which is how the real world works. That early taste of competition can prepare kids for future tasks.
Time management skills are also honed whether swimming with partners or alone. Competitive swimming requires a lot of practice and dedication. Between school, family life and other activities; fitting swimming into the schedule requires balance. Homework has to be done on time and other goals and deadlines met. The earlier these skills are learned and mastered, the better the chances of improving a child’s work ethic later in life.
Here in southern Illinois there are a few places kids can go to learn how to swim. Most facilities offer private and group lessons.
SIU Rec Center offers five lessons to members for $60 and non-members for $75. Two week sessions at The HUB in Marion costs $40 for “Hubbers” and $65 for non-members.
Group swim lessons at The Bill Trees Memorial Pool in Harrisburg cost $125 for the entire summer or $20 per private individual session.
For a list of area pools, check here.
Do you or someone you know provide swim lessons? We want to share your information! Comment below.