Most kids are excited for summer because they get a break from school. They have time to do whatever they want. But usually, summer means going to the pool or the beach and doing other outdoor activities.
Many parents may be hesitant to take their children to public pools or the beach in fear of COVID-19. But research has found that infection and transmission in the water itself isn’t a real hazard. A well-ventilated place such as an open area reduces the risk as well. But families will still need to maintain a safe distance from others and wear masks when they’re not in the water.
This summer, parents should allow and even encourage their children to go swimming. This activity isn’t just enjoyable. It can also benefit children’s health in the long term.
When the pandemic started, physical activity dropped nearly 50 percent around the world. This makes sense given that people were not allowed to go out in the first few months to control the spread of the virus,
Swimming is a great form of exercise that can help kids stay more physically active. This activity is a full-body workout and requires a person to move their entire body against the water. As a result, children will be able to build their muscles.
A compounding effect to stronger muscles is better posture, which is important for mobility. And this is why leisure swimming is also used to help children with posture problems, such as scoliosis. Usually, a specialized treatment such as the Schroth method is used to treat scoliosis. But swimming can be a supplementary activity that will prevent the progression of this spine abnormality.
Improves Cardiovascular Health
Any form of physical activity can contribute to better heart health. According to the American Health Association, working out for 30 minutes a day can reduce the risk of heart disease by around 30 to 40 percent.
And swimming is no exception to this idea. It is a form of aerobic exercise that can help children keep their hearts healthy and reduce their risk of cardiovascular diseases as they grow up. While swimming, kids’ heart rate will increase. This can help make the heart bigger and, therefore, be more efficient in pumping blood.
Improves Lung Health
Swimming will also help kids improve their lung health. Just like the heart, the lungs become bigger and stronger because of swimming. This means that the lungs will work more efficiently. And children will be less likely to feel shortness of breath. In a 2015 study, researchers found that swimmers have better lung capacity than football players and other individuals from the control group.
Having strong lungs also increases endurance. Children will be more likely to last in physically tasking activities, such as running and walking. That also means they’ll be able to get the most out of their childhood through play.
During a global pandemic, negative emotions such as anxiety, fear, and worry are normal, especially for children. Online schooling and being unable to see friends may also cause kids stress. But if these feelings are not controlled, children will become stressed. And stress can lead to health problems, such as difficulty breathing, sleeplessness, headaches, and many others.
Kids can relieve stress and boost their mood by swimming. Exercise can raise serotonin and dopamine levels, both of which can improve a child’s mood. In addition, if parents swim along with their children, this physical activity can become a bonding moment for the family that can also make children feel better.
Improves Sleeping Patterns
A 2019 study found that half of the children in the U.S. don’t get enough sleep. Sleep deprivation leads to mental health and physical health problems. So children should always be able to get adequate sleep. Parents can ensure this by limiting their children’s screen time during the night, which is one of the reasons why children stay up late.
Swimming can also help children get enough sleep and avoid staying up late. It is a mix of physical exercise and mindfulness. A child needs to focus on the movement of their arms and feet and practice deep-breathing exercises at the same time. This combination helps children reduce stress and makes them tired, which means they’ll be able to sleep better at night.
Swimming is an enjoyable activity that kids can engage in during summer. And as a bonus, it will improve their health in many ways. So as much as possible, parents should find ways for their kids to be able to go swimming.