Wet hair, the cold, then he gets a cold, school and other commitments… For many, taking children to the swimming pool in winter is more of a sacrifice than a pleasure, and more of a problem than a solution. As if swimming were a summer sport, for the beach and the sea, and it wasn’t appropriate to continue taking them swimming from October to March.
Children in the pool in winter: why continue taking them swimming
But no, continuing to take children to the pool in winter is very, very important. And if you have to make some sacrifices, take a few extra minutes for them to dry and coat properly, arrive a little breathless at dinner time or invest a few hours on the weekend, well, they are all hard work and sacrifices. expenses. Because all the beliefs about the perception of swimming in the pool in winter are false, and in fact it is even more important that boys and girls can continue to swim regularly.
1. SWIMMING IS A SPORT SUITABLE FOR ALL WEATHER CONDITIONS, WHICH FACILITATES CHILDREN’S ACTIVITY
We all know that children should get some physical activity every day. But when it’s cold, dark and humid outside, most of us prefer to stay indoors, curled up on the sofa, or sign up for some classes at the gym, indoors and with heating. It is therefore not surprising to know that research from the University of Cambridge states that children are less active and spend more time sitting in autumn and winter compared to other times of the year; Average activity levels across the group peaked in April, at 65.3 minutes per day, and were lowest in February, at 47.8 minutes per day.
It’s not easy for parents to get reluctant children out of the house to grab their swimming bags and go to the pool, perhaps in the real cold outside. However, with swimming you can be sure that your children get the physical exercise they need, regardless of the weather, all year round. It’s worth mentioning that this is a one-of-a-kind full-body workout. Swimming can also be practiced during injury recovery, as it is low muscle impact.
2. SWIMMING STRENGTHENS THE IMMUNE SYSTEM
No, the old legend that says you catch a cold by going out with wet hair is false. Wet hair in cold weather does not give a child (or even adults) a cold. You only get colds when you come into contact with germs. It is staying indoors that spreads the germs that make winter the “cold and flu season” and not the low temperatures outside. Therefore, if you want to reduce your chances of catching a cold, avoid being in close contact with sick people who sneeze, cough or blow their nose, rather than avoiding swimming pools.
On the contrary, swimming in water at temperatures below body temperature is known to help resist infections by increasing the number of white blood cells – the cells of the body’s immune system – which work like soldiers protecting the body from infections. Exercise such as swimming improves blood circulation, and with good circulation, the immune system’s white blood cells are transported throughout the body and ensure that the organs function efficiently.
This improved blood circulation also helps remove waste produced by various organs, thus reducing inflammation. Given these facts, we hope you agree that it makes no sense to avoid swimming if you want your child to have a strong immune system.
3. SWIMMING IMPROVES SEASONAL AFFECTIVE DISORDER AND MENTAL HEALTH
A recent report from the Children’s Society shows a significant decline in children’s happiness over the decade, which is alarming for all parents. Some children struggle more in winter and suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder.
Any type of physical activity can significantly contribute to improving mental health. However, swimming is particularly effective because immersion in water increases blood flow to the brain and improves mood. Swimming also increases the production of endorphins which relieve pain and create a general feeling of well-being. It is also known to increase the number of other “feel-good” chemicals in the brain, such as serotonin, norepinephrine and dopamine. Additionally, swimming increases your steroid reserves which help you become more resistant to stress.
A physical activity like swimming can lead to a 30% improvement in self-esteem, increasing overall life satisfaction. In a research conducted with the participation of 4,000 swimmers around the world, 75% agreed that water activities help release tension, while 68% of people believe that being in water makes them feel happier.
READ ALSO: Is swimming really a complete sport? The 11 answers
4. SWIMMING PROMOTES BETTER SLEEP
As mentioned above, it is common for children and adults to be sedentary and spend more time in front of a screen in winter. Exposure to blue light emitted by digital devices for long periods before bed, combined with less physical activity, can lead children to have lower-quality sleep at night.
Many studies establish that exercise improves sleep for many people. New Zealand researchers collected data on children’s sleep. The average (median) time it took for children to fall asleep was 26 minutes. But those who were active during the day took less time to fall asleep than inactive children. In fact, for inactive children, every hour of sedentary behavior increased the time it took to fall asleep by 3 minutes.
One reason exercise can help you sleep better is that it raises your body temperature, and when it drops after exercise, it signals your body that it’s time to sleep. Exercise is also great for psychological health, as mentioned, and the feel-good chemicals produced by swimming help reduce anxiety and improve sleep.
5. SWIMMING IMPROVES YOUR CHILDREN’S SCHOOL RESULTS
With lower temperatures and less sun exposure in winter, children tend to feel tired and less motivated, which negatively impacts their academic performance. But that doesn’t mean it has to be this way.
Increasing blood flow by immersing yourself in water not only helps improve mood, but also enhances cognitive functions, including attention and concentration, as it increases the supply of oxygen, glucose and nutrients which have a positive impact on the brain.
Studies from Griffith University show that children who swim regularly are above average in cognitive skills, maths problem solving and languages. Swimming has also been shown to have a significant impact on improving memory function and thinking skills.
Swimming is one of the best and most valuable activities for your children, and with this skill, it will open doors to other opportunities for them throughout their lives. It is a truly worthwhile investment for your children.
READ ALSO: Why enroll your child in a children’s swimming course now
Image by Jan Haerer / Jan Haerer / Pavel Sbitnev
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