Swimming is one of the best cardiovascular exercises and great for your mind, body and spirit. Simply floating in water is meditation. You need to be still. Being still leads to deeper breathing and clearing your mind of clutter.
Browsing the web, watching television, checking emails and your phone are all things that can keep you up at night. Swimming removes the anxiety that comes with too much information and technology usage. You sleep soundly. And your spirit will thank you.
During summer, it’s important to be reminded about water safety.
I recall an incident at my home in NJ. There was an inground pool. Property was gated, but a neighbor strolled in with her 4-year-old child through an opening on the side.
As she was chatting with me, she took her eyes off her child for all of two seconds, and he fell in the pool. His cries were the only reason we turned around. Immediately, it was apparent he couldn’t swim. His mom screamed even louder. I instinctually jumped in and got him out quickly. It forever changed my view about unattended children around pools. Drowning can happen in the blink of an eye.
Hold your child’s hand if they can’t swim and you’re near water.
Even if they CAN swim, never ever take your eyes off of them, not even for a second.
I also think swimming lessons should be mandatory in schools. To this day, I meet adults who can’t swim and say they’re “afraid.”
Remember, it’s never too late to learn, even if it’s only as a survival skill.
Check with your local YMCA about lessons. It’s well worth it. I’m a certified aerobics instructor with CPR certification, and taking a water aerobics class is a great way to get comfortable in the water before taking swim lessons.
A Few Alarming Swimming Factoids:
70% of African American children cannot swim
60% of Latino children cannot swim
40% of Caucasian children cannot swim
Ten people drown each day in the U.S.
37% of people can not swim the length of a pool
Drowning is 2nd leading cause of childhood unintentional death for children under 14
Formal swim lessons could reduce the likelihood of childhood drowning by 88%.
Water safety education can save a life, including that of a loved one, a child or your own.
Here are a few more swim factoids. I’m still working on #2:
1. Drowning is silent. In every fatal or near fatal case of drowning, the victim goes under water without thrashing about and yelling for help.
2. NEVER swim alone. Even the strongest swimmers can drown.
3. WATCH your child/children. Do not take your eyes off of them. It doesn’t matter how well they can swim (see #2.) Watch them vigilantly if they are anywhere NEAR a body of water- you never know when they’ll end up IN the water.
Read more water safety rules HERE.
Besides keeping you safe, there are SO many health benefits to swimming.