Often in Australia when we think of summer, we think of swimming. We think of people enjoying beaches, pools and rivers in the hot weather. Swimming has many benefits, and not only is it an important part of Australian culture, it’s an activity that can be fun all year round!
Swimming can often be a social activity if you go with family, friends or take part in a class. The health benefits are great too. According to the Victorian Government, doing some laps in the pool or open water is a low impact way to tone muscles, build cardiovascular fitness, and provide an all-over body workout as nearly all your muscle groups are used while swimming. Other benefits include reducing stress, increasing flexibility, improving coordination, balance and posture.
Swimming is a fantastic form of exercise for kids, because they won’t even notice it’s exercise and they’ll still get all the amazing health benefits! Outside of swimming lessons, your children can get active in the water by playing games, paddling around using the support of floaties, boards or noodles, or jumping around in the surf at the beach. When your children are in the water, make sure to always keep your eyes on them.
Let’s talk about safety. According to a report by Lifesaving Victoria, there were 45 fatal and 54 non-fatal drownings in in Victoria during the last year, which was a 20% increase on the 10 year average. Most Australian schools take part in a swimming program, but it’s still vital that children receive swimming lessons or at the very least learn some basic water safety skills. Men are more likely to drown than women, and there’s a higher risk for toddlers, the elderly and Australians from immigrant families, who might have had limited access to beaches or pools. You can find more information on the Play It Safe By The Water website.
Luckily, there are plenty of places to practise swimming! In the summer, beaches and rivers can be accessed for free. Just make sure you do your research to see that it’s a safe place to swim, and check the weather conditions. During all months of the year, there are many indoor and outdoor heated pools that you can swim in, no matter how cold it is outside! The YMCA has around 50 Aquatic and Recreation Centres across Victoria, so you and your family don’t have to miss out on the amazing health benefits of swimming once the colder months roll around.
During the month of April, the YMCA are offering 10 Visit Pass Cards for gym and pool access at our Aquatic & Recreation Centres to all Premier’s Active April
participants. Sign up for free
, as an individual or a family, and receive access to your local YMCA plus a bunch of other great offers!