Periodically, YWCA members, staff and volunteers are featured highlighting the many facets of our community in which they’re a part of. This month, YWCA Assistant Aquatic Director Ben Evers shares the many benefits of year-round swimming.
Being able to swim year-round can be tough, especially in this busy world. However, having your child enrolled in swim lessons year-round is really beneficial. For example, swimming is one of the best types of exercise a person can participate in as it is a great cardiovascular workout. Other benefits from swimming include staying flexible and building up muscle strength all over the body, not just in one area like with running.
Children (and even parents) may not want to get out in the cold weather, but having your children in swim lessons during the colder months keeps them active when they aren’t able to play outside. Swimming also leads to better brain and physical development, such as better balance, endurance and stamina.
Being in swim lessons year-round also helps maintain and increase a child’s overall swimming abilities. Whereas taking multiple sessions off in a row may lead to the child feeling as if he or she is starting all over due to forgetting how to perform certain skills or not having the strength or endurance to complete the skills.
This also may result in the child taking longer to progress through the levels and potentially needing to repeat a level, which may lower the child’s self-esteem. Year-round swim lessons, however, help establish the confidence children need in order to progress through the levels. This confidence helps them become strong swimmers and all-around safer in the water. By having the confidence in the water, it helps eliminate the embarrassment they may feel in front of their peers of not knowing how to swim or being uncomfortable in the deeper water, or from having to wear some sort of floatation device when their peers may not need to.
With living so close to the river and having multiple locations for water-based recreation in the area, it’s important for children and adults to have the ability to swim confidently and understand how to be safe in and around the water. Taking lessons right before the summer may not be enough time for children to know how to adequately swim on their own or have the strength and endurance that is needed to swim for long periods of time. Knowing that your child will be prepared with the knowledge of being safe in and around the water, along with knowing that they will be able to swim independently will allow you to feel more relaxed when they are swimming with their friends.
Swimming is one of the few exercises a person can perform their entire life that doesn’t negatively affect the body. Being able to swim and being comfortable in the water leads to quicker recovery times from injuries. When in the water, you feel as though you are “weightless,” since the water supports the body. This reduces the stress on the joints and actually relaxes them. This “weightless” feeling allow the muscles and joints to perform movements that when on land, may be harder to perform due to pain or immobility.
To learn more about YWCA Clinton’s lap swim options, their year-round swim lesson program for children or private adult swim lessons, visit ywcaclinton.org or call 242-2110.
Ben Evers, YWCA Clinton assistant aquatic director.