If you are like me and learned how to swim as a child, the importance of swimming skills may not be so obvious as you take them for granted. The systematic instruction that children nowadays receive is a significant improvement compared to what was done only fifty years ago.
My father learned to swim by himself as a teenager using a tire’s inner tube in a pond. My mother only took lessons and learned how to swim when she was in her thirties. And I don’t think my grandparents ever learned to swim.
However, not being able to swim in today’s society can be mildly annoying at best and life-threatening at worst. Let’s review why.
Swimming and Water Safety
The importance of swimming lessons for water safety can’t be overstated. Everyone and especially children should be able to swim. Sadly, this is not the case, and every day nine people die by drowning in the U.S. That’s also why you should never let a child play in the proximity of a pool or a pond unsupervised.
The Benefits of Swimming
On a lighter side, swimming has a lot of benefits in itself:
- The health benefits of swimming are numerous. It trains the cardiovascular system, is a low-impact exercise and a great whole body workout.
- There are also several psychological benefits of swimming.
- A swim session at the pool relaxes the mind, uplifts the spirit and is also often an occasion to have social contacts.
- Besides this, swimming is also a recreational activity to have with friends and when it’s hot outside.
- Being able to swim opens up a lot of recreational possibilities that wouldn’t be safe to practice otherwise: surfing, kayaking, boat fishing, …
Other Uses of Swimming Skills
There are other cases where it is important to know how to swim:
- In primitive cultures it allows people to cross bodies of water.
- It is a prerequisite for several jobs: lifeguards, fishers, professional divers, …
- It is a prerequisite if you want to follow in the footsteps of professional swimmers like Michael Phelps, Ian Thorpe, or Jenny Thompson. But you knew this already, didn’t you? :-)
Now that I have tried to convince you about the importance of swimming lessons, why not start to learn how to swim?