During the summer season, mothers frequently look for activities to keep their children busy (and hopefully not glued to a screen). Swimming classes have always been a popular option, giving children the opportunity to be outdoors, active and challenged. However, you may be surprised with how much swimming can actually do for your little one.
1. It Aids Their Physical Development
Learning stroke techniques may be confusing for children at first, but the different movements and positions required in swimming help them develop good coordination, balance and posture. German studies have also shown that young children who were regularly swimming since infancy were not only more coordinated, but also physically stronger than their peers.
In addition to this, adapting to an active lifestyle at a young age makes it a lot easier to combat obesity and other similar diseases as adults, being inclined to a lifestyle with routined physical activities.
2. It Aids Their Mental Development
Recent studies have also shown that regular swimming can help children develop their mental capacities. While children who regularly swam tested to have more coordination than their peers, they also attained superior scores in intelligence and problem-solving tests. A similar study in Melbourne also showed that children who could swim by the age of five had statistically superior IQs than those who could not. Though the reasons may not be fully understood, exercise has been linked to affect the size and memory capacity of the hippocampus— the part of the brain responsible for learning and memory.
3. It Aids Their Emotional Development
It’s also interesting to see how swimming and other goal-oriented sports can positively impact a child’s attitude and perspective on life. The consistent practice of setting goals and working hard to achieve them instills children with self-discipline, as well as a healthy ambition. Reaching set goals —both big and small— also empowers children with confidence, knowing they can work hard and achieve things they set out to do.
It may seem intimidating at first, but with all of these benefits, it’s no surprise more and more mothers are enrolling infants and toddlers in swimming classes!