Rebecca Adlington: The Benefits of Swimming for Children

It’s no secret that swimming is a great activity for children to take part in, but what exactly are the health benefits and why are they so important for the next generation?

Despite retiring from competitive swimming back in 2013, my passion for the sport continued and the following year, I launched my Learn to Swim programme. This was set up to ensure that all children, in line with the National Curriculum requirements, leave primary school able to swim at least 25m.

That’s why I’m so proud to support Everyone Active’s School Swimming Programme!

Swimming taught me so many life lessons that eventually moulded me as a person; respect – for my coach, teammates, competitors; determination – showing up to training every morning, even after I’d come last in a race the day before; friendship – the camaraderie was a huge part of my swimming journey, with many of my teammates then still being my closest friends today; the list goes on…

As odd as it sounds, another fantastic advantage of swimming for children is the water. The buoyancy means that any activity in the pool has very low impact on their bodies, and the added resistance also means they use more energy than they would out of the water – it really gives the whole body a workout without any strain being put on your child’s joints. I know whenever I take my three-year-old, Summer to the local pool, all she wants is a snack and a sleep afterwards!

Swimming also promotes a healthy heart and healthy lungs. It can even help children with asthma – not only because of the humidity of indoor swimming pools, but also because of the quick, deep breathing patterns that swimming requires. It’s great for getting the blood pumping and the best thing is, it can be done by any ability and at any pace.

And not forgetting, swimming is a great mood-lifting exercise and is a guaranteed way to get your little one having fun!