Part of the reason Brian, one of our swim instructors, first learnt to swim was because he “didn’t want to be a parent who couldn’t swim anymore” and he didn’t want to “embarrass [his] competitive daughters!” It’s absolutely true. One of Brian’s main motivations to learn to swim was to make sure he could participate in his daughters’ sport.
But Brian’s is just one reason parents should learn to swim. There’s lots of reasons why, if you can’t swim but your children can, you should learn.
It’s just good for you
We mention this in a lot of blogs, but swimming is objectively good for your health. It’s recommended by the NHS as an activity you can do in a lot of varied health situations. Swimming is particularly good for the heart and lungs, and swimming can be adapted to accommodate people with disabilities, problems with their joints and people recovering from an injury. Even if you have pre-existing health problems swimming can often be adapted for you.
So, we don’t mean to guilt trip you here (honest, we promise!) but don’t you want to live longer as a parent? Heart and lung problems are major cause of premature death and a little bit of exercise can go a long way to improving your lifespan and keeping illness at bay. If you’re struggling to find motivation at the gym, swimming is a completely different environment, and you may find it “clicks” with you better.
There’s a new opportunity for play
“Dad and lad football” is a thing – but it doesn’t have to be the only thing. Playing and doing sports with your child is an important bonding opportunity and helps develop good habits of exercise for later life. Swimming is suitable for almost all parents, and almost all children, and can be done together. Waterparks, holidays, beach swimming and just Saturdays at the pool are some of our instructors’ fondest memories from childhood. If you can’t swim yourself but you find yourself by a pool, you can’t get in the pool yourself to use swimming for play and parenting.
Safety and Supervision
If you do find yourself at the beach or at a pool with a deep end, as a grown-up adult you’ll likely be stronger and taller than your child. This means you can walk more safely at a deeper depth and withstand a stronger wave. Your little dolphin might not be ready for the deep-end yet, and you can stand ahead of them making sure they don’t swim out of their depth. Some young children are naturally inquisitive and push boundaries – so trust us when we say that calling over sometimes isn’t enough and an adult or older sibling has to intervene, and it’s best if they can swim.
BONUS: You can start your child swimming as early as possible
For mums-to-be we recommend our partner Our First Steps and their fantastic Aquanatal Yoga classes. You can read about their Aquanatal Yoga classes at our blog here but essentially it’s exercise you can safely do to relax and stay fit whilst pregnant. If you’re pregnant we’d really encourage you to consider if aquanatal classes are right for you and to contact us if you have any questions.
Secondly, they also offer Adult and Child swimming for parents and guardians of very young children. Adult and Child swimming is for children older than six months but younger than two years that can’t swim independently. Adult and Child swimming allows you to take advantage of a very crucial bonding stage in child development, start them off swimming very early and get your baby some exercise!
What to do if you can’t swim but now want to learn?
Contact us. We’re always happy to receive inquiries from all ages and can arrange private swimming lessons for adults, as well as having pre-bookable blocs. It’s never too late to learn to swim and we offer patient encouragement, advice and mentorship to help you dive into the world of swimming at any age.