Why you should learn how to swim
- According to WHO, about 40 people die daily from drowning
- In the UK, only 1 in 5 people can’t swim, in the US, close to half the population
- In Kenya, no definite statistics, but lots of drowning accidents are reported often in our dailies.
These are the FACTS. Water safety is pretty ignored in our education system, since not many parents, teachers or even policy makers see it as an important skill. Often times, it is painfully expensive, putting off most. With the above statistics though, WHO recommends that we should learn how to swim to save lives- ours and those of others. As they say, swimming is a skill you’d rather have, and not need, than need and not have.
Beyond water safety, including a swim a week may as well keep the doctor away. Here’s why:
- Cardiorespiratory fitness and muscle mass
Swimming, even for relaxation requires the swimmer to take in oxygen and produce energy under intensive conditions. This does wonders for oxygen uptake and heart strength. Middle aged men and women swimming regularly for twelve weeks increased maximum oxygen consumption by 10% and heart strength by up to 15%.
Just diving into that swimming pool utilizes just about every muscle in the body, helping to build muscle and strength. In individuals in an 8-week swimming training program, triceps muscle mass increased by 23% according to this study. Beyond that, swimming tones the muscles, fulfilling your Michelle Obama arms look.
- Swimming burns calories
Swimming burns between 500-650 calories per hour depending on intensity and efficiency of the swim. Studies suggest that swimming burns about 90% as much calories as running, and close to the same amount while cycling.
- Swimming is low impact
Joints and muscles are protected from excessive strain and stress. Swimming has no ground impact unlike running, jogging and other land exercise that expose the joints to excess pressure. When regular exercise is not possible due to injury, swimming is a therapeutic alternative. In fact, swimming is recommended by the Arthritis Foundation as a suitable practice to keep fit while managing arthritis.
Professional athletes when injured especially in the legs are especially encouraged to swim so as to maintain fitness levels. Even with a busy schedule, 30 minutes of swimming may keep you fit.
- Swimming is for all ages; it’s a family affair
From toddlers to the old, swimming is healthy and comfortable for all. As parents, it is important to impart a healthy lifestyle on children- swimming easily achieves this, encouraging kids to exercise regularly. As one ages and normal exercise becomes even harder, swimming comes in handy. As Mary J. Blige would say let’s make it a family affair.
Swimaholics classes are affordable as we are aware of our role in improving water safety in Kenya. Join any of our swimming training programs to help us achieve this mission. We’ll appreciate any suggestions too.