Swimming Safety and Fun
For many families local to the Roseville and Rocklin area, today marks the exciting first day of summer vacation. The weather is warming up, and many parents are seeking out ways to keep their kids entertained, active, cool and happy this summer! One of the best ways for both adults and children to stay active and cool outdoors during our hot summer months is by swimming!
Our area is home to many popular swimming spots. Locally, we have access to great indoor options such as Mike Shellito Indoor Pool, and Roseville Aquatics Center. Many local gyms such as Lifetime Fitness and California Family Fitness have family friendly pools. We have access to great nature spots such as Folsom Lake and Lake Clementine for outdoor natural swimming.
The most important part of swimming is that you stay safe! Today we are going to talk about some of the great health benefits to swimming, as well as some tips on safety for your families.
1. Staying Cool: It is no secret that we get some scorching hot summer days here in Northern California. The heat often makes it difficult for children to get out and play, and adults to get the physical exercise they need. Swimming provides a way to enjoy the outdoors, get some exercise, and feel good while doing it!
2. Mental Benefits: We know our mental health is very important, and can change daily depending on environmental and personal events. Swimming.org suggests "Swimming for just half an hour three times a week can lower stress levels, raise mood, lower incidences of depression and anxiety and improve sleep patterns." In an article by MedicalNewsToday, it was suggested that even 20 minutes of physical exercise per day can help reduce stress!
3. Adaptability (Injury, disability, and pregnancy): We will start this suggestion with the caveat that in order to keep yourself safe, you should always consult your health care provider before starting a new exercise routine, especially if you are injured, disabled, or pregnant! If you are cleared by your health care provider, swimming can be a great way to get some physical activity!
The Dementia Friendly Swimming Project has some great info on the benefits of swimming on individuals with dementia.
Water gently supports your body, and can be a great way to get exercise for individuals who are recovering from injury, have pain related to arthritis, or mobility difficulties from other conditions or pregnancy.
4. Physical Benefits: The NHS recommends adults get at least 120 of aerobic exercise per week to maintain a healthy cardiovascular and musculoskeletal system! This can also be achieved with more vigorous exercise or strength training. Children 5-18 should be getting 60 minutes of exercise per day! This can be difficult on hot summer days, but swimming is a great way to achieve this goal!
1. Sun Protection: We gathered some great info from skincancer.org on the importance of sun protection.
Sunscreen: Choosing the right sunscreen can be very confusing. There are so many types! Here is a link to SkinCancer.org's explanation on the use of sunscreen and choosing the right SPF. Also, if you are swimming at the ocean, please consider using a coral reef-safe sunscreen.
A special note on babies: Skincancer.org recommends keeping babies under 6 months out of the sun, as their skin is still too sensitive for proper sunscreen. Cover their skin with clothing and choose a brimmed hat and eye protection.
Once a baby reaches 6 months, a broad-spectrum SPF shoulder be applied to uncovered areas at least 30 minutes before going outside, and reapplied after 2 hours or swimming.
Eyes: Regardless of your age, its important that you protect your eyes! Here is a link to information about the importance of sunglasses for children and babies.
2. Take a swim lesson! If you do not feel confident with yours or your child's swimming skills, please consider taking a professional lesson. A swim lesson can be a fun way to build swimming skills and confidence at all ages! There are many local options for adults and children to build their swimming skills.
3. A note on children: According to the Children's Hospital of Pittsburg, while swimming is a great activity for kids, drowning is the second leading cause of injury-related death in children. It is so important that we exercise caution when we have children around water! Here are some great tips from their website: These rules are great for children and adults.
If you are thinking about starting swimming or water aerobics, please consult with your physical therapist or health care provider. Not all exercise activities are appropriate for everyone, and its important you take the necessary steps to keep yourself safe.
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