It is a popular activity for family members to participate in and bond regardless of age or ability. Swimming is also an inexpensive way to gain a healthier and happier lifestyle.
When people take up swimming as a sport, very often than not, they find that they improve in their self image, self-confidence, flexibility, strength, motor- coordination and overall stamina.
Such benefits have also been reported in persons with disabilities.
But Wait, I am Afraid of Water!
If you or your child suffers from hydrophobia (fear of water)? Fret not.
You can start with non-swimming activities like
- or doing cycling action in shallow water
This is helpful for persons with disability to consider embarking on. It is less threatening, very achievable and just the body motion in water tones muscles. This also helps in building up water confidence.
Kind on the Joints, Freedom for the Spirit.
While on land, we may experience joint pain due to the impact from movements like running and jumping. But when in the pool, water makes us buoyant and supports our weight, spine, joints and muscles, thereby relieving the stress off our joints and spine. This is particularly helpful for people with physical challenges and who spend most of their time on wheelchairs, or supported by crutches or braces, as they may experience the joy of freer physical movement buoyancy provides in water. In some cases, this may also help to relieve pain. Additionally, water provides resistance that is good for muscular endurance and strength training. Even an hour of unstructured water play can increase muscular strength, endurance, and cardiovascular functional capacity. (It is good for your heart!).
Where’s the Lifeguard?!
Safety is paramount as water can drown anyone, even a seasoned swimmer. Many-atime, children face near-drowning experiences in the pool and became afraid of water. This can be largely prevented if parents or caregivers stay close by and are vigilant. It helps if they can be in the water with their children as it will improve bonding. Do not ever leave children alone, in or near water, even for a minute. Even if a child could swim, they may get cramps or face some difficulties that they cannot cope with alone in the pool.
Warm it UP!
Although swimming has a low impact on joints, it is important to do a self-check before you swim to ensure one is sober, not overly tired or ill. Before jumping into the pool, remember to have a proper warm-up as this will reduce the risk of muscle cramps and injuries.
So…start right for a great swimming experience. Swimming can be fun for everyone!