Babies Learning to Swim is Smart
And other Benefits
Swimming delivers advantages for all ages, and especially in babies. As shown in a study with over 7,000 babies and young children in Australia, New Zealand and the United States, preschoolers who participate in swimming lessons early in life perform very well intellectually later, as they enter school. The study conducted by Griffith University in Australia reported that “swimming children score significantly better than the normal population on a number of measures” regarding cognitive, language and mental development.
The bi-lateral cross patterning taught in swimming – using both sides of the body concurrently – is part of the enhanced exercise that trains the brain to work from both sides of the body. The crossover of nerve fibers from the left and right hemispheres of the brain facilitate communication, feedback and modulation from either side. By engaging a child in swimming, you are increasing that child’s potential for activating all areas of the brain simultaneously, leading to enhanced cognition and improved ease of learning.
Other Benefits of Baby Swimmers
Excellent Health – A baby that swims regularly with his or her parents will develop a love for activity and will look forward to this healthy exercise. By exercising frequently, and observing his or her parents doing it with him or her, he or she will develop a lifelong habit of exercise that will prevent childhood and adult obesity and the accompanying diseases such as type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and high blood pressure. Swimming is easy on the growing joints of a youngster, while strengthening the muscles. Regular exercise also improves sleep which is important for children and their parents.
Enhanced Coordination and Balance – Not only does the bilateral cross patterning of swimming benefit the brain; it also improves coordination and balance in a young child. Moving forward through the water with the arms and the legs, and lifting the head to breathe requires good coordination, and it teaches the body to work together, through repetition. Agility and balance are achieved through swimming, and it is a form of functional fitness – training your body to conduct everyday activities with ease, and without pain, by acknowledging all of the body’s muscle groups.
Parents Bond with Young Children
Babies take easily to water. They are not born with a fear of water, for there is no time to become fearful, or aware of the dangers. They learn that being in the water is fun, and may more easily enjoy bath time, a benefit to both child and parent. The bonding that takes place when a baby swims with his parent in an instructor-led environment builds trust with the child, for the parent brings him or her out of the pool safely every time. In addition, after repetitive lessons, babies build water confidence, which can bubble over into other forms of confidence as the child matures.
Bright Babies are Swimming
To pursue this lifelong sport, a baby will need to be introduced to the water with a parent in a safe environment. Some organizations advise to wait until the child is 6 months to a year old. Swimming lessons with a qualified instructor with a “learn to swim” area is the best way to go, with a custom made teaching environment.
Pool Safety Essentials
Swimming is an almost perfect exercise. For all ages, it is invigorating and relaxing at the same time, while building muscle, increasing cardiovascular capacity and managing weight. When swimming with children, pool safety must be of the utmost importance. Rules are usually posted at public pools, and parents must instruct children about them every time […]