We all want to live longer, healthier, happier lives, and we want that for our children too! Countless studies highlight different ways that we can live our lives to the fullest, and supercharge our health, but there’s so much information out there it can be overwhelming trying to work out what to prioritise for your own health, and the health of your family. 

It’s universally agreed that physical activity is good for us, but what exactly does that mean? What are the health benefits of regular exercise? Are all physical activities equally as good for us? Are certain forms of exercise better at different stages of life? And what are the health benefits of swimming? Let’s dive in! 

Health Benefits of Swimming for Children

According to Activity & Nutrition Aotearoa, water-based activities have specific advantages over land-based exercises. Regular swimmers have been found to have 28% less risk of all causes of mortality and 41% less risk of cardiovascular disease mortality, compared to those that don’t swim regularly. As if that wasn’t good enough, regularly swimming long-term can improve cardiorespiratory fitness or endurance in children with asthma, since many New Zealanders live with asthma, we think this is a very exciting health benefit! 

There are a whole host of reasons that swimming lessons are worth the investment, but there’s nothing better to invest in than the health of your child, and swimming has been shown to be an especially beneficial method of exercise for young Kiwis, not just as a healthy habit in the present, but also to nurture their development, and safeguard their health into adulthood. 

Physical health

Swimming regularly has so many physical health benefits that it would be impossible for us to list them all! 

For children, regularly swimming can help to build muscle strength, and increase mobility, flexibility, and coordination. Since swimming requires the use of muscles all over the body, it’s a great choice for a full-body workout. Not only that, but it’s heaps of fun, so it’s perfect for children! 

Encouraging children to pursue exercise helps them to grow strong bones, muscles, and joints. But it also helps to set them up for life! Encouraging healthy habits from a young age can help your child grow into a fit and healthy adult who understands, and values, the benefits of physical activities.

If your little one is nervous around water, you may be thinking that your child won’t be able to make the most of these swimming health benefits, but don’t worry! We’ve got lots of tips to help your child feel comfortable in the water and get the most out of your swimming lessons.

children swimming benefits

Mental health

When thinking about swimming health benefits, you might not immediately think of the range of mental health benefits, but swimming is incredible for mental health - no matter what age you are!

Swimming has been shown to boost cognitive function in children. It can help improve their memory, learning, and problem-solving skills. Swimming can also help with mental health challenges like stress and anxiety. While your child may not always be able to articulate that they’re dealing with big emotions like stress, giving them the tools to move through overwhelming feelings is a useful tool that they’ll use for the rest of their life. 

Swimming is proven to reduce stress, and that, coupled with the full-body workout of swimming, can also help to improve the quality of your child’s sleep which in turn helps to set them up to get the most out of school and other activities.

Enrolling your child in swimming lessons is also great for helping them build their confidence, develop friendships and foster high self esteem.

Injury prevention

Come on in, the water's warm! Seriously, all of our pools are heated to 32 degrees celsius to ensure all of our swimmers are warm and comfortable. Exercising in a heated pool has been proven to reduce injuries in people of all ages, by relieving muscle tension, improving strength and joint mobility, and increasing circulation. Swimming also helps to improve balance and promotes good posture, meaning less chance of future spinal misalignment - it’s a win, win! 

Swimming regularly helps to maintain a healthy body, which means less chance of injury and quicker healing! And, since swimming is low-impact, it’s also an excellent choice for exercise for little ones recovering from surgery, or suffering from chronic pain or illness. Your child will be able to do the same movements as their peers in a swimming lesson, since they'll be partially assisted by the water, so they won't feel left out, or held back, if they’re still on the mend. 

Swim England’s research in 2017 shows that swimming has a positive impact on both physical and mental health, with swimmers reporting a wide range of benefits. However, especially when children are first learning to swim, it’s crucial that they have guidance - that’s where we come in! 

At Fulton Swim School, our swim instructors are passionate about teaching Kiwis of all ages to enjoy the water, so that they can make the most of the health benefits of swimming. By attending swimming lessons with us, your little one will learn how to have fun in the water, without putting their bodies, and their health, at risk.

You may notice some of the health benefits of swimming immediately when your child begins regular water-based exercise. We frequently hear that our students sleep better, even after just one lesson! While other benefits may only become apparent long-term. Either way, supporting your child to make the most of swimming will have lasting rewards for their health and wellbeing! 

If you’d like to know more about the health benefits of swimming, reach out to our friendly staff, or if you’re ready for your child to reap the rewards of swimming regularly, you can enrol them for swimming lessons at your local Fulton Swim School!