Benefits of Swimming for Children With Autism

 

Swimming benefits All

Little Boy Swimming Underwater

Swimming is a very good exercise and there are many lifetime benefits of swimming for everyone.   Its benefits range from physical, mental, social to survival which is a good exercise for children with autism and  I strongly recommend all to learn to swim and start swimming regularly.

Anyone can do it  — Whether you or your child has autism or not.  No matter your age, weight, skill level, or fitness level, swimming is an excellent choice for anyone including overweight people, people with disabilities , pregnant women and seniors.

Swimming is a low impact exercise.  Swimming helps to build a strong heart by keeping your heart rate up and is more gentle compare to most land exercises.    It has lower stress and impact on your knee and ankle by not putting weights on them. Swimming does exercise almost the entire body – heart, lungs, and muscles – with very little joint strain.   In fact, swimming is regarded as one of the safest exercises, with very little risk of injury. And many people who have been injured turn to swimming as a way to exercise, and even rehabilitate their injuries.

 

Swimming is great for general fitness and  helps to keep you fit and cut down on extra pounds.  Swimming helps to loss weight and burns calories at a rate of about 3 calories a mile (1.609 km) per pound (0.45kg) of bodyweight. If you weigh 150 lbs. and it takes you 30 minutes to swim one mile (1,760 yards or 1,609 meters), then you will be using about 900 calories in one hour.     Another way to measure the calories you burn if you are swimming around 25 meters per minute (the breadth of standard Olympic size pool) is to multiply your weight in kg by 11.06.  Therefore, if you are 50kg, then you could burn 553 calories per 30 minutes.   Of course, how many calories you burn depends on how much you weigh and the intensity of your workout.  

Longevity — A recent study shows that swimming helps you live longer. In a study of more than 40,000 men ages 20 to 90, swimmers were 50 percent less likely to die during the 32 year study period than were walkers or runners.

Regular swimming builds endurance, muscle strength and cardio-vascular fitness.   Water adds 12 times more resistance than air, so it takes more work to move through water than air. Swimming not only helps strengthen muscles, it also helps builds lean, flexible muscles.

 Swimming is fun and recreational.  If you are looking for a break from the heat of the summer, then a dip in the water is exactly what you need.  Swimming is a way for you to cool off physically and mentally.  It fills a wonderful recreational need for individuals and families, from beach and pool fun to water parks.   Swimming is a lot of fun and can be a great way to socialize. Whether at the beach or a pool, it is fun to swim with other people.

 There are other psychological benefit to swimming, if you allow it to occur. Relax and swim with a very low effort. Let your mind wander, focusing on nothing but the rhythm of your stroke. This form of meditation can help you gain a feeling of well-being, leaving your water session refreshed and ready to go on with the rest of your day.

Many swimmers find an in-direct benefit form swimming. They develop life skills such as sportsmanship, time-management, self-discipline, goal-setting, and an increased sense of self-worth through their participation in the sport. Swimmers seem to do better in school, in general terms, than non-swimmers as a group.

More Benefits  for Children with Autism

Swimming could be used as a therapy to help autistic kids gain confidence, social skills and sharpens their coordination.

Swimming helps to build Self Esteem.  Swimming is a positive accomplishment for any child. Too often, children with special needs miss the goal. They know that they don’t quite measure up at school or with social interaction with peers. Swimming offers that opportunity to succeed that all parents want for their children. They’re doing something that some people feel they would never be able to do and we can prove them all wrong and that builds confidence.

Swimming is an important Life-skill. Learning to swim can also prevent accidents.  Drowning is one of the leading causes of death among children with autism.   In the situation of a child who is less aware of his surrounding and challenged with communication, it is even more crucial.

Large Muscle Development and Coordination Every child uses large muscles to swim (as opposed to the "small" muscles used in handwriting). Swimming involves coordinating arms, legs and breathing to say up or to keep going.

Cognitive Processing - Swimming is great for cognitive processing of multiple steps or multiple things to do. For example: jump in the water, hold their breath, move arms and legs to tread water, breathe so as to not inhale water and float when needing a break.

Another benefit is it offers kids an athletic outlet. Oftentimes, children with autism are excluded from team sports and swimming can be done even if you are alone.

Relaxation – Water is relaxing and therapeutic. Children who have difficulty processing the sensory input in the world often find swimming to be a welcome respite. 

Swimming is a healthy activity that can be continued for a lifetime – and the health benefits swimming offers for a lifetime are worth the effort it takes to get to the pool.  

 

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