Swimming Lessons & Childhood Obesity
Obesity strikes all ages, especially children. Childhood obesity has significantly increased over the years; almost doubling.(1) Being obese means the children are more susceptible to health and mental issues. Often times, swimming can be extremely helpful because of its unlimited health benefits.
KidsHealth.org notes that drowning is the second leading cause of death for people between the ages of 5 and 24, consisting mainly of children and adolescents. Children are exposed to water on a frequent basis, whether they are going to the beach or at a pool party. For safety and health reasons, learning how to swim at a young age would be very beneficial. To ensure quality learning, obese children can take swimming lessons taught by certified instructors who have years of experience. These lessons provide children with a safe learning environment that promotes quick learning under proper guidance. Leaving obese children to learn how to swim on their own is not the ideal solution for children who may lack confidence in their skills or performance. Having an instructor makes it easier to track the child’s progression and improvement. The instructor can provide a detailed step-to-step action plan specifically for someone who is obese. Learning in an environment with other children who have the same health conditions makes it easier for the child, who knows that he/she is not alone. It gives him/her social and moral support.
Obese children may have difficulty learning a new physical skill because their bodies have not been regularly conditioned to physical activity. It is best they start an exercise that is less strenuous on the body, like swimming. Swimming is an easier form of exercise because “water’s buoyancy accommodates the unfit as well as the fit. Water cushions stiff joints or fragile bones that might be injured by the impact of land exercises.”(2) Swimming is not difficult with practice and patience, but without proper guidance, it can actually become difficult.
1. Childhood Obesity Facts. Center for Disease Control and Prevention, 28 Jan 2013. Web. 14 Feb 2013. http://www.cdc.gov/healthyyouth/obesity/factshtm
2. Fitness Basics: Swimming is for Everyone. WedMD. Web. 14 Feb 2013. http://www.webmd.com/fitness-exercise/guide/fitness-basics-swimming-is-for-everyone.