Tag Archives: mental health

The Benefits of Taking Swimming Lessons During the Winter Months

When the temperature drops during the winter, it can be incredibly tempting to stop taking your little ones to the pool for their swimming lessons. This time of year is full of frosty mornings, unpredictable rain and chilling winds, which all make the idea of cancelling your plans and starting to hibernate very appealing!

However, doing so can stunt the progress your child has made in their swimming, and begin to affect their health. If you want to learn more about this, take a look at our list of four reasons why you should push yourself to take your children to their lessons.

1) Sharpening Their Safety Skills

The retention of skills and safety information is the number one reason to keep children swimming during the colder months. If they can continue to build on all of the techniques they have learnt by continuing our programme in December through to March, then your child will definitely be a stronger swimmer when the warmer weather returns!

Alongside this, swimming all-year round means that your little ones will be able to apply the basic skill of swimming to real life situations. This ensures that they know how to stay out of danger, as the quick response which is needed when falling into water does not become innate without practice. In return, you’ll be safe in the knowledge that your child can fully enjoy all the fun water-based activities when summer finally comes round again.

2) Staying Healthy by Boosting Their Immunity

Have you heard the old wives’ tale about going out with wet hair making you sick? Maybe you’ve always trusted your parents and grandparents on this, but it’s probably time to start second guessing their slightly old-fashioned, but very common, belief. In reality, swimming during the winter can markedly improve children’s immune systems, in turn reducing their risk of catching a virus! It turns out that damp hair is really nothing to fear.

Winter swimming can also improve children’s all-round physical health. You may have found that your child gets restless during winter, which is mostly due to them not being able to stay as active because of the cold weather. Swimming is a great way to ensure that they remain fit, whilst being in an indoor environment! Keeping active is so important for good health and well-being, and it should be maintained throughout the year, not just during the months when the weather allows for it.

3) Helping Their Brains Grow

As well as being a good way to improve physical health, getting the kids out of the house and into the pool during winter has been proven to benefit their psychological health and development! This is due to the very nature of swimming, which centres on rhythmic and bilateral strokes. This way of moving your body helps to connect neurological pathways in the brain.

Alongside this, studies have shown that because swimming helps to increase the production of the human growth hormone (HGH), it helps to improve children’s cognitive functions. This is due to HGH having various benefits for the human body, which includes increasing brain volume!

4) Keeping up Their Confidence

By not attending swimming lessons during the winter, it invariably leads to a child being unable to perform at the level they were at. In turn, this can cause a decline in their confidence. Continued participation in the colder months is the only way to prevent this! This particularly applies to children under the age of four, as for them a significant break from swimming can lead to a noticeable decrease in their ability.

Can you think of any other reasons to keep your little one swimming during the winter? Let us know in the comments.

For further information on our private one-to-one or two-to-one swimming lessons, visit www.swimmingnature.com or call us on 03445 040506.

Why Swimmers Have a Higher Self-Esteem

There has never been a better time to get into swimming. Really.

In a world of constant distraction, screen-gazing and information fatigue, it’s no wonder that our psychological health is under threat. Body image is currently at an all-time low, with 80% of women admitting that they don’t like how they look, whilst 34% of men are dissatisfied with their physical appearance. Combine that with the fact that rates of anxiety and depression in children and young people have reportedly risen by 70% in the last 25 years. Our self-esteem, or ‘a person’s overall sense of their value or worth’, clearly needs attention – and one solution is swimming.

So why do swimmers have a higher self-esteem?

There’s proof that the natural change in hormones which occurs during swimming has a major effect on both body and mind. Swimmer’s bodies start to release more endorphins, because swimming is one of the best all-round exercise regimes. Many of our instructors report getting out of the pool with big grins on their faces, having done a mere thirty minutes of exercise! So, if you can commit to swimming a few times a week, just imagine how you will feel all the time – AMAZING. This natural endorphin high leads to a more positive mental attitude, as well as happiness.

However, this isn’t the only link between swimming’s improvement of the body and a raise in self-worth. A regular swim not only builds endurance, it also tones muscles, improves strength and provides an all-over body workout. By making swimming the basis of your fitness or exercise regime, you’ll see your body shape change naturally. This will do wonders for self-confidence – when you feel you look good, you’ll automatically feel great at the same time.

Aside from the link between body and mind, those that swim also gain a sense of achievement. This particularly applies to children, as swimming races encourage a natural sense of competitiveness, which will stay with them for life. Soon, you can guarantee that medal after medal will be won, as swimmers find themselves standing on the podium after all their hard work. This leads to far more natural, rather than enforced optimism, as a strong sense of self-belief becomes the norm. This goes hand-in-hand with a shift to being more self-assured, which will positively impact on other facets of life, including the achievement of goals and dreams.

Swimming can help distance us from the stresses and strains of daily life that can prevent self-reflection, as it creates more independence and a self-starting mentality. As swimming isn’t always a group activity, a session in the pool gives you the ability to spend time processing your individual thoughts.

It’s a fact that being taught, and subsequently mastering any skill, builds confidence. However, swimming in particular provides the added bonus of learning to be in control of an environment which can potentially be unsafe. Once grasped, this makes every swimmer feel as though they can achieve anything! For children, this new found confidence translates into the classroom, the playground, the football pitch and almost any other part of their lives. Who wouldn’t want this for their little one?

If you or any of your children struggle with low self-confidence or self-esteem, why not give swimming a try? Your mental and physical health will thank you for taking just thirty minutes out of your busy week to visit your local swimming pool. If you’d like to find out more about self-esteem and its link to swimming, please click here, or here.

Have you felt swimming raise your self-esteem? Let us know in the comments.