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Why winter is a great time to learn to swim

As many of us Canadians are experiencing, winter months can be cold, icy and snowy – and all we want to do is bundle up and stay warm.  A natural tendency, for sure, but did you know wintertime is a great time to learn how to swim? Swimming is not just for summer; it can be a great year-round activity!

The Canadian Red Cross has a variety of swim programs for different ages and abilities.Learning how to swim is always beneficial for water safety and life skills, and the Red Cross runs various swim programs for different age groups. But a common misconception is to stay dry and warm in the winter, steering clear of pools; but indoor pool facilities are always warm and the water inviting.

Here are more reasons to swim your way through winter:
 
  • Keep active! Indoor swim pools make a good respite for restless children. It’s a fun activity to keep the whole family active indoors during even the coldest months. Physical activity will shake away that cooped-up, cabin-fever feeling of even the darkest winter months.
     
  • Boosts confidence. Keep children’s confidence high with consistent swim practice year-round. If you stop swimming in the winter, your child will have to catch up again, re-learning previous skills they were taught before and potentially make them feel less confident in their swimming skills.
     
  • Get summer-ready! Winter is a great time for new swimmers to begin with the basics, preparing them better for water activities before summer arrives.
     
  • Build long-term skills. The repetition of consistent swim lessons reinforces existing skills and advances their abilities in the water. With a break for winter, kids can lose their groove and development, both physically and psychologically. Maintaining swim programs year-round ensures consistent reinforcement of these skills, which is particularly important for infant, toddler and pre-school aged children where long-term skill retention and muscle memory is beginning to develop.
     
  •  Increases brain power. Children who learn to swim at a young age have been shown to reach many developmental milestones earlier. As well as achieving physical milestones faster, children can also improve their visual-motor skills, and mathematical related tasks by swimming.1
With swim programs run by community pools in most cities, find a place to swim close to you!

 
Related stories: 1. Deborah Marshall, 2012, Swimming Kids are Smarter, Griffith University
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