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Swimming is great for your health and fitness – both physical and mental. PoolReviewer is a leading pool, spa, sauna and swimming research helping you to choose, safely use, get the most out of, and safely maintain your pool, spa and sauna for maximum enjoyment and safety

Swimming is one of the best exercises you can do for your body and mind. It’s a great cardiovascular workout that strengthens your muscles, joints and ligaments. Swimming also has many mental health benefits, such as stress reduction and improved mood. In this article, we will discuss the importance of swimming and the many health benefits it provides.

Health benefits of swimming

Swimming is a great way to get your heart rate up and improve your cardiovascular health. It is also an excellent workout for your muscles, joints and ligaments, creating an entire body workout. Swimming is low-impact and easy on the body, making it a great exercise for people of all ages and fitness levels. In addition to the physical benefits, swimming also has many mental health benefits. Swimming can help reduce stress and improve your mood. It is also a great way to get some fresh air and enjoy the great outdoors when swimming in natural water.

“Swimming is normal for me. I’m relaxed. I’m comfortable, and I know my surroundings. It’s my home.”

Michael Phelps

The importance of swimming for Cardiovascular exercise

Swimming is a great whole-body cardiovascular workout. It is low-impact and easy on the body, making it a great exercise for people of all ages. Swimming can help improve your cardiovascular health by strengthening your heart and lungs, and improving your overall stamina and endurance. It is also an excellent way to lower your blood pressure and cholesterol levels, and burn calories.

Just 30 minutes of moderate intensity swimming burns around 250 Calories, so its great for weight loss if that is a health goal for you.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), swimmers actually have about half the risk of death of inactive people.

Just two and a half hours per week of aerobic physical activity, such as swimming, bicycling, or running, can decrease the risk of chronic illnesses. This can also lead to improved health for people with diabetes and heart disease, Swimmers have about half the risk of death compared with inactive people”

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

The humid environment of indoor pools actually helps asthmatic people engage in cardiovascular exercise without significant irritation, however heavily chemically chlorinated heated indoor pools have been known to aggravate asthmatic conditions – saltwater chlorinated pools with lower temperatures are best.

importance of swimming
Just 30 minutes of moderate intensity swimming burns around 250 Calories

The importance of swimming for Muscle strength

Swimming is a great workout for your muscles. Swimming can help improve muscle strength by working all of the major muscle groups in your body, primarily your upper body, core and legs.

By alternating swimming styles, you can activate different muscle groups. For example, swimming breaststroke works your chest and shoulder muscles, freestyle swimming is great for arms and core, while swimming backstroke works your back and core muscles.

Swimming is a great way to tone your muscles!

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The importance of swimming for Joint health and flexibility

Swimming is a great workout for your joints, ligaments and overall flexibility. It is low-impact and easy on the body, making it a great exercise for people of all ages especially those who aren’t able to easily complete higher-impact exercises such as running or cycling due to arthritis or joint pain.

Swimming can help improve joint health and flexibility by moving and strengthening the muscles and ligaments around the joints, improving the use of arthritic joints without worsening symptoms. This can be helped by swimming in heated pools, where the warmth assists in muscle relaxation and easing joint stiffness.

It really cannot be understated how important swimming is for joint health, as the buoyancy of your body in the water takes the load off of your joints, which is perfect for those with arthritis or other joint pain, or those recovering from injuries and doing rehab programs.

importance of swimming
Make sure you always shower after swimming in chlorine so it doesn’t cause irritation

Health hazards of swimming

Swimming can present some unique health hazards for some people;

Health effects of swimming in chlorinated pools

Chlorinated swimming pools are a great way to stay cool in the summer and get your swim workout done in a safe, clean body of water. However, there are some health risks associated with swimming in overly chlorinated pools. Chlorine can irritate your eyes, skin and respiratory system. It is important to shower after swimming in a chlorinated pool to remove the chlorine from your body.

Swimming regularly in a well maintained chlorinated pool (whether salt water or chemical chlorinated) won’t usually result in any adverse health effects, especially if you are staying hydrated (yes you have to remember to drink when swimming) and showering after your swim.

Those with particularly sensitive skin such as eczema or psoriasis may find even moderately chlorinated pools can cause irritation. Turning down the chlorine level if possible, through showering afterward and application of moisturisers may be able to reduce symptoms.

You can read our article HERE on Swimming Pool Safety.

importance of swimming
Swimming is good for body and mind – it’s also an entire body workout

Swimming in natural water

Swimming in natural bodies of water, such as rivers, lakes and the ocean, can be incredibly peaceful and enjoyable, but it too has its own set of risks.

It is important to be aware of your surroundings and to avoid swimming alone in remote areas, where you may be at risk such as from ocean rips, predators such as sharks or dangerous stinging jellyfish. In these areas, local councils and government often provide a safe area to swim which may be netted or patrolled for your safety. It’s best to stick within the boundaries and set patrolled times, and follow all safety advice (i.e. the use of wetsuits to avoid stingers).

There can also be bacteria and other organisms in natural bodies of water that can cause skin infections. It is important to shower after swimming in natural water to remove any bacteria or other organisms from your body.

In general, if water is running that usually means it’s safer to swim in rather than still or stagnant water, but remember even fairly calm-looking freshwater creeks and rivers can have quite powerful flows. Be sure to check for signs of algal blooms and do your research before hopping in!

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Swimming under the influence of drugs or alcohol

This one should be pretty obvious, but swimming while under the influence of drugs or alcohol is extremely dangerous. Drugs and alcohol can impair your judgment, coordination and balance, as well as increase fatigue and cause muscle relaxation. All of these effects are amplified in the water, where you are at a greater risk of drowning or sustaining injuries.

importance of swimming
Always follow swimming pool safety precautions and remind kids of water safety too!

The Benefits of Swimming in Pools and Spas

Swimming is a great all round low-impact exercise for your body and mind. Swimming works out your muscles, joints and ligaments, and is also a fantastic aerobic exercise to get your heart rate and breathing up – you can go as hard or as gentle as you need.

So, next time you’re looking for a workout, consider heading to the pool. Your body and mind will thank you!

Do you have any tips on how to stay motivated when swimming? Share them with us in the comments below!

Happy swimming!

Always be careful around swimming pools and reduce hazards. Ensure that your pool complies with state laws and always supervise children to minimise risk. Owning a swimming pool is a huge responsibility so read on to find out the common hazards around a swimming pool and what you can do to ensure swimming pool safety.

Swimming Pool Safety

Swimming pools can be a source of great enjoyment for families, but they can also pose dangers to children and pets. The most effective way of avoiding accidents is to make sure that your pool has good fencing and self-locking gates. Each state has its own regulations when it comes to swimming pool construction and the best way to reduce risk is to ensure that your pool complies with state regulations. There are also other ways that you can reduce the risk to your family. There are a number of precautions you can take to minimise the hazards of swimming pools.

What are the hazards of a swimming pool?

Childhood drowning is the third most common cause of death for Australian children between the ages of 1 and 14. It takes less than 30 seconds for a child to drown and toddlers are most at risk. There are also large numbers of non-fatal drownings and almost half of them happen to children under 5.

Although there are national regulations when it comes to swimming pools and fencing, every state also has its own laws. They are all similar, but the details may vary. These laws specify the type of fencing and pool gates that are required.

Even if your backyard pool complies with government regulations regarding fencing and gates, there are still a number of hazards and safety measures that you need to think about, especially around swimming season.

swimming pool safety
It takes less than 30 seconds for a child to drown and toddlers are most at risk. Water safety awareness is key.

Solid pool covers

While solid pool covers have a number of advantages, such as reducing water loss and minimising the use of chlorine, they can pose a hazard to small children or pets. Water can collect on top of the cover and there could be enough water to be dangerous to small children or pets. It only takes a few centimetres of water for a child to drown. Another problem may arise if for some reason, there is a gap between your pool cover and the edge of the pool. It is possible for someone to fall into the water and be unable to get out.

Diving boards

The improper use of diving boards can result in serious injuries. The most common injuries related to diving are head and neck injuries. People can injure themselves if they hit the board during the dive and they can injure themselves or others by diving onto people who are in the pool.

Dangerous drains

Pool drains are an important part of your pool filtration system and help to keep your pool clean and safe. It is important to teach children about safe behaviour around drains as they use suction to filter things out of the water and they could become trapped. It is possible to get your body, hair, clothing or jewellery stuck in a drain.

Slippery surfaces

The areas around your pool are likely to get wet when people are playing in the pool. If the wrong materials are used around the pool, they can get very slippery. Algae can grow on wet surfaces making them even more slippery.

Chemical exposure

Although chemicals are essential for keeping your pool clean and safe, the chemicals are toxic to humans. Injuries can occur when the chemicals are inhaled or get onto your skin in large amounts. The water in your pool can hurt your eyes if there are too many chemicals. It is important to ensure that the right amount of chemicals are used. For more details about the kind of chemicals commonly found in pools, go to Know Your Pool.

Illness from swimming in contaminated water

Swimming in contaminated water can make you sick and there are some germs that are resistant to pool chemicals. Cryptosporidium is one of these chlorine-resistant microbes which may give you diarrhoea. Giardia is a parasite that is also resistant to chlorine. There are also many other diseases that may be found in your swimming pool if it is not properly maintained.

“Even at a supervised public pool, never take your eyes off children. Toddlers, in particular, have a natural attraction to water, and their sense of danger is under-developed. A lack of direct supervision by a parent or carer is believed to be a contributing factor in more than two-thirds of drowning deaths at public pools.”

RCH.org.au

What are the most important swimming pool safety precautions?

 To reduce the risk of accidents, it is important to take precautions.

Supervision of children

The most important thing you can do is to supervise your children at all times. It can take just 30 seconds for a child to drown. You can’t take your eyes off them at all. If you have to go back to the house for something, then you should bring your children with you.

swimming pool safety
Make sure everyone using your pool knows the pool rules! That includes rules regarding running and jumping around the pool.

Teach your children to swim or float

Children can learn to float from a very early age and although this doesn’t completely eliminate the risk of drowning, it does cut down the risk significantly. See kidsalive.com.au for more information about pool safety and teaching children to swim. Enrolling your child in swimming lessons from an early age is one of the best things you can do to teach them water safety.

swimming pool safety, swimming lessons,
Swimming lessons for your child is probably the most important thing you can do to ensure they have water safety awareness and adequate swimming skills

Adequate fencing

If you have a pool, you must ensure that there are adequate pool safety fences. Your pool fencing must comply with state regulations and should be high enough to keep pets and children out of the pool area. Swimming Pool and Spa Association, Australia has detailed information about the laws in each state.

swimming pool safety, pool fencing
It’s vital that you check the laws regarding pool fencing and gates, relevant to your state or territory

Childproof gates

As well as fencing, you should have a self-latching gate with a latching device that prevents the pool gate from opening. It is particularly important that small children cannot open the gates by themselves.

Non slip flooring

The area around your pool should have a non-slip surface. There are many companies that make flooring surfaces for pool areas. Even if your surface is non-slip you may still need to treat it for algae since the presence of algae can make the surface extra slippery.

Rules about diving in shallow water

It is important for all visitors to the pool to know where and how to dive into the pool. If you dive into water that is too shallow, you may run the risk of hitting your head on the bottom of the pool and damaging your spine. Make sure that your pool has signs to show where it is not deep enough to dive. It is probably best not to have a diving board unless your pool is quite large and deep.

Life vests and other flotation devices

Life vests are the best option for people who can’t swim. Many of the other flotation devices which are commonly seen in pools are designed to help children to swim more easily, but cannot save them in an emergency situation. Children should still be supervised even if they are wearing a flotation device. Many of these products come with warnings that they are not designed to prevent drowning.

Regular cleaning of the pool

You should clean your pool regularly in order to avoid illness and to avoid damage to your pool. If the water in your pool is not clean, it can mean that bacteria and parasites can grow in your pool and that may result in illness. Clogged drains may mean that the pump has to work harder and may even burn out and result in expensive repairs or even replacement of the pump. If your pool is not regularly cleaned it may develop algae and the water will be green and unpleasant to swim in. Getting rid of algae is time-consuming and requires a lot of toxic chemicals.

Regular testing of pool

Even if you keep your pool clean, you will still need to test it regularly to ensure that it is safe to swim in. As well as testing for algae and microbes, you need to test the chemical balance. Too few chemicals can mean you will get sick, but too many chemicals can be toxic to swimmers. For more details about why and how you should check your water quality, go to Better Health Channel, Victoria.

Posting of CPR charts

In Queensland and New South Wales, one of the requirements for a safe pool environment is to post a CPR chart in the pool area. This will give people information about what to do in case of an emergency situation. Even if you are not in one of these states it is a good idea to have one. It is also a good idea to do a CPR course as well.

Ladders and Steps

There should be either ladders or steps at either end of the pool. Ladders can be difficult for small children and pets to navigate. If you have a ladder, make sure that it is securely fixed to the side of the pool and be sure to keep the rungs of the ladder clean and free of algae which can make them very slippery.

swimming pool safety, ladders,
Ladders need to be securely fixed to the side of the pool. Steps need to ensure a safe exit/entry

Pool Alarms

Pool alarms are one way that parents can keep their children and pets safe around the swimming pool. If you have a pool alarm, it greatly reduces the risk of anyone drowning if they are around the pool unsupervised. For more information about the different types of pool alarms, go to Total Pool Safety Solutions.

What does Australian law say regarding Swimming Pool Safety?

Different states have different laws when it comes to pool safety. In order to ensure that your pool is safe and legal go to Swimming Pool Safety and the Law. To make your pool safe, you will need to follow the laws in your state. All of the states require appropriate fencing and gates. NSW and Queensland also require CPR signage, but it’s a good idea even if you are in another state.

Keeping children safe around water constitutes following the four key actions of Royal Life Saving’s Keep Watch Campaign:

Supervise. Actively supervise children around water

Restrict. Restrict children’s access to water

Teach. Teach children water safety skills

Respond. Learn how to respond in the case of an emergency

Royallifesaving.com.au

What are the key messages for kids surrounding Swimming Pool Safety?

There are a number of things that kids of all ages need to know about swimming pool use.

  • Never swim unsupervised. Ask an adult if you want to have a swim.
  • No running around the pool area
  • Never push anyone in the pool or around the pool
  • Swim lessons are important to teach swimming skills and water safety
  • Make sure all kids using the pool know and understand the pool rules
  • No diving in shallow pools
  • Diving boards are for diving and you should not play on them or do tricks, even if you are a good swimmer.
swimming pool safety
Supervise! Supervise! Supervise!

Swimming Pool Safety

Although there are a number of risks associated with home swimming pools, you can reduce those risks by taking steps to minimise hazards and by ensuring that all the people who use your pool know how to use it safely. The most important step you can take to protect your family is to never leave a child unattended around the pool. Children should never use the pool unsupervised even if they know how to swim. It only takes a matter of seconds for a drowning to occur. Make sure that your swimming pool is clean and safe and that everyone knows what to do in an emergency so that you can minimise the risks of owning a pool.