As parents, our days are packed full of work, school and social commitments, yet we are encouraged to spend quality time together and instil a healthy lifestyle in our children. Time can seem like a precious commodity slipping through our fingers. A wonderful way to achieve a happy combination of quality family time and active living is to take your children swimming.
Kids generally love to swim; even the non-swimmer can have fun in a shallow part of the pool, supported by floating aids and with games to play. Armbands and other suitable floating aids can be purchased at reasonable prices from online stores such as http://www.newitts.com/ plus you can search out some fun splash toys too.
Swimming lessons can be expensive, but a regular trip to a pool will help even the least confident child to overcome fears and learn to swim at their own pace. Start by playing chasing games in a shallow part of the pool. Running widths or chasing is a fantastic resistance exercise and will get your child used to the sensation of the force of the water. Encourage you child to practice floating on their back and experience the quiet of having their ears under the water. Playing ‘Ring around the Roses’ and dunking down under the water when ‘we all fall down’ is fun way to have your child experience holding their breath and getting their face wet. Repetition and encouragement is always the key with a reluctant swimmer, often parents’ report of children learning to swim whilst on holiday, with endless pool time available to them and more children to play and splash about with when weary parents prefer to lay poolside.
As swimming is an activity for the whole family, it is a wonderful way for you to all spend some time together in a relaxed environment. From babies to teens, there is something for everyone to enjoy in the pool, see if you can even encourage grandparents to join you. Have races, play catch with an inflatable ball or time each other to see how fast you can swim a width or length, you and your children will be getting the health benefits of an aerobic workout without even realising it. Studies have even shown that parents of children with developmental disabilities have found that group swimming improves family connections.
Swimming is a great exercise for overweight children, as the support of the water makes movement easier whilst asthmatic children who find other forms of exercise aggravate their condition, will benefit from the moist environment of the swimming pool. Swimming is the only sport that could save your life and by teaching your child to swim, you are giving them a wonderful skill that will stay with them throughout their life. Ensure that a trip to your local pool is a year round activity, not one just saved for the warmer months and look out for fun ‘splash’ sessions that your local pool may offer when larger inflatables or platform floats may be brought out for super fun swimming play.