One of America’s health epidemics is childhood obesity. The Center for Disease Control (CDC) has found the rate of obesity has quadrupled in adolescents and doubled in children in the last 30 years. Childhood obesity is potentially life-altering. Over 12 million overweight children mean one-third of America’s youth is at risk of type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease or suffering stroke. This is why it’s important to educate yourself on what you can do to keep your child happy and healthy!
What can parents do to prevent childhood obesity?
A healthy diet and exercise will help children win their battle with obesity. Fun activities like swimming can help children develop healthy lifestyle habits. Swimming is a workout with physical and mental benefits. Good for all ages, swimming is a sport where you don’t need to be naturally athletic to swim laps or play games in the pool. Below are some of the ways swimming can improve your child’s health:
Swimming is a full-body workout that can get your child’s heart pumping. It promotes heart and lung health. Growing children with strong hearts remain healthier as they age. Swimming benefits include improved heart contractility, decreased blood pressure, lower heart rate and better lung efficiency. Swimmers should aim for 150 minutes of exercise per week to achieve these results.
Improved Heart Contractility
Heart contractility refers to the heart’s ability to squeeze and relax, which does the following:
- Pumps blood and oxygen from the heart to other parts of the body
- Increases blood and oxygen supply
- Makes it easier to perform everyday tasks
Decreased Blood Pressure
According to The American College of Sports Medicine, swimming is an effective exercise due to these reasons:
- Stresses the cardiovascular system without a large increase in blood pressure
- Horizontal position doesn’t push the heart as hard, which keeps blood pressure in check
- Blood vessels will not become stiff from aging by swimming
Lowered Heart Rate
Swimming helps in maintaining a low resting heart rate in these ways:
- Less work on cardiac muscles
- Prevents certain types of heart disease
- Drops in heart rate can occur while swimming
Increased Lung Capacity
- The size and efficiency of the diaphragm improves respiration
- Increasing the number of capillaries helps supply oxygen to the bloodstream
- It helps with oxygen uptake, distribution and utilization throughout the body
Swimming is a low-impact exercise that’s easier on the joints, due to the water’s low resistance. Swimming can help children with developmental issues socialize as well. Our private swim lessons are taught by friendly and helpful instructors who have experience in teaching children with disabilities.
Strength and Co-ordination
Swimming uses most of the body’s major muscle groups. It requires you to synchronize your arms, legs and breathing. It also helps build endurance, stamina and flexibility. Swimming long-term will allow your child to develop strong muscles, improve balance and coordination.
Learning Essential Life Lessons
Swimming is a great way to build confidence through sport! It frees you from self-doubt and promotes happiness as well as freedom from fear or anxiety. It also provides peace of mind, motivation, self-worth and success. Swimming helps evolve mental and physical strength, independence and discipline. Swimming also helps teach your child to be independent and confident and shows them skills that will stick with them for the rest of their lives.
Promotes Mental and Emotional Well-Being
Swimming positively impacts our emotional well-being. It doesn’t feel like exercise because your body doesn’t overheat and it relieves stress. Swimming is also beneficial to those suffering from chronic illnesses according to the CDC. It also is helpful to vital organs and major muscle groups. Daily healthy habits translate into happy adulthood!
Swimming has a variety, which plays an important role in fighting childhood obesity. Schedule a private swim lesson with us today. Check out some of our programs!