By Kayleigh Montgomery, Canadian Red Cross Digital Volunteer

Learning how to swim is beneficial at all ages. Adults ranging from little or no experience to those training for a triathlon have options to enhance their water skills and comfort level through a number of Red Cross swimming courses.
Adults swimming
What is water safety?
Water safety focuses on educating individuals and families about how to interact safely near and in different water bodies.

Learn to swim classes are opportunities to refine swimming technique, increase efficiency, recover from injuries, stay in shape and make new friends.

Advancing water skillsDominique MacDonald portrait
Adults seeking to unleash their inner Olympian can learn new swimming strokes, how to increase speed, endurance and efficiency, or how to train for a triathlon.

“We see a lot of triathletes come through our doors.” – Dominique Macdonald, Aquatic Manager at the University of Calgary and  a Red Cross Master Instructor Trainer. “Swimming is a great way to increase cardiovascular health while minimizing impact on joints or previous injuries.”
 
Injury rehabilitationMitchell headshot
Most public pools are set at 28-32 degrees, but at Vecova, the 34-degree pool is ideal for injury rehabilitation or for individuals with limited mobility.

“We see many participants who are on hip, knee or back surgery recovery programs. Swimming in the warmer water is easier on recovering or ageing joints, making it easier for people to fulfill with exercise requirements.” – Mitchell Clarke, Aquatic Assistant Manager Vecova Centre for Disability Services and Research.
 
Overcoming a fear or first encounter with water
Canadians often have positive associations with water and enjoy activities in lakes, pools and oceans. For others with limited to no experience with water, or may be healing from a traumatic water event, water activities may be intimidating. 

The Red Cross Swim program at the University of Calgary known as the UCanSwim program is a free 60-minute swim lesson designed for adults seeking to overcome a fear or discomfort with water. It teaches adults about floating technique, self-rescue, self-recovery, prevention tips, weather awareness, personal flotation devices and safety for their children, all within one hour.

 “People who’ve suffered from a traumatic water experience think they are alone. The UCalgaryCANswim program is an opportunity for students to conquer this deeply entrenched fear, supported by peers who’ve experienced the same type of trauma.” – Dominique Macdonald

Skills for people with disabilities
Water activities are accessible to everyone. Specialized programs for people with disabilities such as the Red Cross Swim Adapted program have seen an increase in demand since their inception.

“We’ve seen incredible progress. The kids are making leaps and bounds with swimming safety. The warm water helps the kids get into the water faster and aids with sensory issues.” – Mitchell Clarke.
Adults swimming
Anyone can benefit from improving their water safety knowledge
“Class participants are able to do the work to get in the water, and fulfill the workout requirements that they need to do in order to have a healthy lifestyle.” -Mitchell Clarke

“I taught a grandmother to swim with her grandchildren. She booked a cruise and sent us pictures of herself floating in the ocean.” – Dominique Macdonald
 

Sign up for adult swimming lessons today!


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