5 Reasons Why Swimming is the Perfect Family Exercise in 2017
Blowing out the Christmas cobwebs or making healthy family New Year’s resolutions for 2017? We'd love you to remember that swimming is a great activity to add to the list of healthy family activities.
Trying to build exercise into everyone’s weekly routines can be difficult if you’re all doing different activities and sporty hobbies, but swimming is special. Swimming is one of the only activities that absolutely every member of the family can do at the same time, no matter what their age or ability is.
So if you’re looking for a way to keep everyone fit and healthy in the New Year, here are our top five reasons why you should choose swimming:
1. It’s inclusive
Swimming is a low-impact sport, which means it’s not too strenuous on joints and muscles. The water helps support body weight and provides just the right amount of resistance to make it an effective form of exercise without being painful; that’s a combination rarely found in other sports. What’s more, there’s no pressure in the swimming pool to go at a faster pace than you’re comfortable with, making it the ideal activity for all swimmers no matter what their ability level. Baby swimming, toddler swimming, older children swimming and even adults that are not confident swimmers or older members of the family. You can all visit the pool together for a splash, a bit of fun and a few strokes. For an extra confidence boost in the water, children's floats such as the SwimFin can be used by all the family in the pool and can add to the fun (we've heard athletes even use them in swim training)!
2. It strengthens the heart and muscles
Babies and young children benefit from any exercise which will help strengthen their core muscles and heart and aid their overall physical development, and the rest of us need to maintain these strengths in order to stay fit and healthy. Swimming provides all of these fantastic benefits to everyone all at the same time, so while you’re helping your little ones learn to control their movements in the water, your own body is also getting a full workout as you move through the water; how great is that? When you take baby or toddler swimming, you might want to consider the use of a float jacket to help with boyancy (and safety). Baby float suits can help your baby or toddler build their confidence in the pool whilst they are learning their own buoyancy.
3. It keeps everyone fit
Weight loss (and inch loss) is one of the most popular New Year’s resolutions for adults in the UK and preventing childhood obesity is on the agendas of parents and healthcare professionals alike. But hitting the gym isn’t exactly possible for babies and younger children, so you need something that can help keep you all fit at the same time. Once again, it’s swimming that comes to the rescue. Children love nothing more than splashing about and playing in the water, which burns a whole load of calories without them even realising they’re exercising. And, of course, parents can get a few lengths in while the children are having fun, though do make sure somebody is keeping an eye on them at all times. Try this swimming calorie counter to see how much you could burn. 'Leisure Swimming' and playing with pool toys such as the ones we stock could burn around 220 calories each.
4. It’s a fun group activity
Getting fit is much more fun when there’s lots of people around you, so why not take your whole family along to the pool for a good splash about? A great way to get everybody moving is to try a few pool games such as Piggy in the Middle (take a good swimming pool ball for this one), diving for treasure, swimming races (for the slightly stronger swimmers) or even just a simple game of catch which is great for improving motor and coordination skills in babies and toddlers.
5. It’s affordable
With most family activities carrying a hefty cost these days, it’s difficult to find something affordable you can all do together. Luckily, swimming is a very low-cost activity for families of all sizes. Most UK swimming pools let children under 16 and swimmers over 60 swim for free, so that’s the little ones and the grandparents sorted! And, seeing as swimming is so cost-effective, you’re much more likely to be able to go more regularly and build it into your weekly family routine, rather than it needing to be a rare treat.
Don't worry that it is Winter. Baby and children's wetsuits can help keep little ones warm whilst swimming.
Raring to go? A great place to start is the Poolfinder website which will help you locate your nearest family swimming pool and check out prices and opening times. From there it’s just a case of planning your first trip, which will hopefully lead to a fun, fit and healthy 2017 for your whole family.