5 Tips to Show Children Swimming is Fun

swimming kids

Kids will enjoy swimming more if you build their confidence and help them overcome any fear of water that they may have. It isn’t always easy to teach a child that water is fun especially when it is their first experience but the best place to start is finding a suitable swimming program that will incorporate as many fun activities as possible. As you read on, you will find insights on fun activities to incorporate into your swimming program to allow little ones to enjoy their time in the water.

Here are 5 simple tips to help introduce your child to Swimming.

  1. Safety measures
  • Teach children about safety measures in their early stages of swimming. This will build their confidence and security.
  • Make sure that your child understands that they should always ask permission before going to swim if young always accompanied by an adult.
  • Be sure they wear lifejackets or safety devices in the water at all times.
  • Teach them to paddle both feet while holding onto the walls of the pool. This will help them if they find themselves deep in the water to prevent drowning.
  1. Easy games

Simple games will make swimming more fun for kids. Use water  toys to play different games with them such as:

  • Chase and play

Encourages kids to move about in the water. The game involves a child moving in the water and tagging another who then moves about to tag another in the proximity.

 

  • Talk to the fish

Involves blowing water bubbles and listening to pretend fish responses. This helps the children to control their breathing which is an essential step to swimming independently. Encourage your child to blow bubbles while his/her face is submerged in the water. When you do so yourself, you’ll need to come out of the water smiling as you don’t want to scare the kid.

  • A ride

While holding your child by their armpits and walking backwards in the water shout “motorboat go fast…go fast…slow…” This will develop their kicking strength in the water.

  1. Test the water
  • An effective and easy way to teach your child security in the water is by swimming with them. Actually you should be the first one to get into the water so that they can follow. When you are with them, you induce a sense of belonging and security and allowing them to swim freely and have fun.
  1. Splashing
  • Splashing is enjoyable for beginners especially little ones who just can’t help but spray everyone around them with water.  This is actually part of the learning experience by teaching them how to kick and move in the water.
  • You can also help by showing them how to float with his/her stomach on the pool water and head on your shoulder. In this position they can begin kicking and splashing giving them better balance in the water. In Toronto, swimming lessons for kids integrate these balancing and kicking aspects with safety measures.
  1. Taking a jump
  • First of all this should be done in the shallow end of the pool. It’s so important for your child to feel safe and trust that the teacher or parent will catch them. When they jump into the water and begin to kick it allows the process of staying above water and strengthening those swimming muscles.

Zodiac swim school in Toronto is one of the largest private swim schools in Canada.  It offers top-notch swimming lessons that will help develop aquatic skills and self- confidence to your children.   

 

The Dangers Of Swimming Everyone Should be Aware Of

danger of swimming

Summer is just around the corner and many folks–especially kids–are itching to get out of the house or the classroom to go swimming. Many parents are thinking about the best swimming programs for kids. While swimming is a fun activity that improves wellness and physical fitness, there are some dangers that parents should be aware of. Signing up for swimming programs will help to lessen the danger for children as they how to properly swim and respect the water. Please think closely about the following:

Dry drowning

We often think that drowning occurs when someone is physically in the water. Dramatic movies and TV shows add to that assumption. However, there is an equally treacherous and much less well-known situation called “dry drowning” or “secondary drowning.” It can occur a significant amount of time after a person has left the pool or the beach. A swimmer usually breathes water into his or her lungs. As the fluid builds up, it can cause respiratory problems. The most common symptom is difficulty breathing. While this condition often clears up on its own, it can cause death if untreated.

Dry drowning can happen to anyone, but it commonly occurs in children because of their lack of experience in the water. Enrolling children in swimming programs is one way to reduce the chance of this happening. In addition, keeping an eye on kids in the bathtub and other shallow pools of water is a good idea as well.

Pool Hazards

While swimming programs for kids may teach children the basics of maneuvering around a pool with skill, not all focus on the hazards that may be found in and around the pool itself. Slippery floors and ladders could cause falls resulting in head injuries. It’s important that everyone knows that while pools are a fun place to hang out, it is important to be cautious for the sake of the other swimmers. Walking and entering the pool slowly can go a long way to improve safety.

Another particularly dangerous hazard is the pool drain. The suction caused by the device can be so strong that a person can be pulled under the water and unable to return to the surface. This is much more common in children than in adults. Lifeguards at public pools are usually trained to recognize this event, but it’s still important to keep an eye on your child. If you have a pool at home, make sure that children cannot access it unsupervised.

Disease Outbreaks

There is a commonly held, but incorrect belief that “chlorine kills everything.” As a result, pools are sometimes seen as the cleanest place around. Unfortunately, chlorine cannot kill off every single pathogen that ends up in the water, and the pool’s filtration system may not get rid of it quickly enough.

It’s possible to be infected by E. coli by spending time in pools that are not cleaned as much as they should. To prevent you are anyone from your family getting sick in a pool:

  • Avoid drinking pool water
  • Shower before and after swimming
  • Do not urinate in a pool, and report anyone who does to a lifeguard

In addition, consider attending or enrolling your children in swimming programs at pools that supplement chlorine with other disinfectants.

Overexertion

When kids are having fun, they’re reluctant to admit that they’re tired. Sometimes swimming seems less physically demanding than running or cycling, but it is a sport and sometimes you need to take a break. Swimmers who are too tired can become sloppy and lose their form. This puts them at risk for drowning. Swimmers should always have someone else watching them who can recommend when it’s time to take a break.

Despite the warnings above, swimming is a safe and fun activity. Just keep these points in mind and have a great summer!

For more information on swimming lessons for children, contact Zodiac Kids. Options are offered for children of all ages to become better swimmers.

Don’t Fall for These Swimming Nutrition Myths

swimmingSwimming programs in this day and age are absolutely beneficial for health reasons and also for athletes. For an individual to be an effective and competitive swimmer, nutritional factors must be put into consideration i.e. what to and what not to eat, when to eat and how.  A swimmer (child or adult) needs energy for their muscles and a whole lot of nutrients for body and muscle repair.  

Now, there are a couple of nutrition myths that simply won’t die in as far as swimming programs for kids and even adults are concerned.  The fact is you can do just fine in your swimming program as long as your nutrition intake is sufficient and well balanced without necessarily following these myths and increase your performance as a swimmer.

Myth 1.  Reduce your intake on Carbohydrates and increase your intake on fat. Too much protein intake is quite unhealthy since it contains more than twice the amount of energy compared to carbs.  This means at the end of the day the swimmer will have consumed excessive calories and the body will just store the excess fat.

Myth 2.  You just need water.  Biologically, our bodies always demand for water when it needs it, that’s why we feel thirsty. However water is just meant for hydration. It does not add energy or repair muscles. Though adapting this for a swimmer is still okay i.e. water intake during and after swimming, it might also lower performance. Don’t fall for this! You need enough nutrient intake on top of water for excellent performance and for the repairing of broken tissues.

Myth 3.  Dehydration will cause cramps. It is totally not good for the swimmer to allow the body for Dehydration. Drinking enough water is a must for health and excellent physical results. Since muscle cramps are quite spontaneous and unpredictable, lab tests and research have not yet fully proven the fact that dehydration is to blame. There are other causes which if avoided by the swimmer, muscle cramps can be a non-issue. Continuous intake of fruits and vegetables, regular stretching and adjusting training intensity are some of the necessary habits for the swimmer in order to reverse the effects of cramps.

Myth 4. Swimmers are allowed to eat anything, anytime and any amount. This is absolutely not true. First off, too much of anything is extremely dangerous. If I were a swimmer, I would rather quality than quantity. Since swimming is one of the most energy consuming sports, eating too much or too little is not right. Too much sugar, sweets, snacks and fries is generally unhealthy and more so for a swimmer. Always consider quality food is on your plate (with enough calories), the time to eat (e.g. eat your food 30 min before you begin the swimming program or competition) and last but not least, the right amount.

Myth 5. During a taper swimmers must reduce their food intake. I don’t think this is reasonable because the swimmer’s body still needs nutrients for body repair and energy especially during the taper, since it is trying to adapt to the swimming program.

What a swimmers need to understand is that, doing the right thing the right way is key to their success. Eat well and be consistent in your training will definitely make your body adapt to the program and results will be tremendous.

Gain more access to quality training by visiting the Zodiac Kids swimming programs of Canada. You will find programs area available for all ages to learn or enhance swimming techniques.

Different Swimming Strokes And Their Benefits

swimming strokes

Swimming is a technique which allows anyone to stay afloat on water or to glide through using the limbs. The density of human body is relatively the same as water density, that is, 0.98. Hence, the body can support its own weight in water during swimming.

While you can manage to move around by simply thrashing your hands and feet in water for a while, you will soon realize that it not only takes a lot of effort to move a small distance and it makes you tired. Worse, it even makes your muscles ache badly once you are out of the water.

In order to be able to swim properly, you ought to learn different swimming strokes and their benefits. Toronto swimming lessons provides full range of swimming classes. It is never too late to take up swimming lessons, but it is always advisable to start at an early age. You will find many classes that help learn and even have fun. Red Cross Swim Kids is one such program that provides swimming lessons to kids of 5 years or more.

Breaststroke

Breaststroke is a basic swimming stroke technique. This will probably be the first technique taught if you register for Toronto Swimming Lessons or Red Cross Swim Kids classes, that is, if you are a beginner. In this technique, the swimmer is face down in water on his or her chest. This looks a lot similar to a frog swimming which requires the arms and legs to move inwards and then outwards. This is considered to be the easiest of all strokes as the head stays above water most part of the time and can be very comfortable in slow speed. However, if you need to gain speed, then this stroke requires a lot of endurance.

Freestyle

Freestyle too is face down and flat on your stomach, however the feet need to be straight and flutter to keep your body afloat. The arms on the other hand are used alternatively where you keep them straight in front of you above the water and rotate it till your hips and back. This technique is the fastest and the most efficient of all strokes. You can cover long distances using this stroke. However, since the head is submerged in water and is required to rotate sideways to be able to breath, this technique requires some practice to master it. Toronto Swimming lessons provide a stroke improvement program that is just for specialized aquatic programmers.

Butterfly

This stroke is considered to be the most difficult of all strokes and requires good strength and stamina. Even in this stroke you are required to rotate your arms, but they need to move in sync together. In this stroke, your arms do majority of work and pull your body forward while your legs move in a wave like motion. If you are looking for an intense workout, this swimming technique can prove to be the best exercise. It helps in speeding up your metabolism, and burns fat at a faster rate than any other strokes.

Backstroke

As the name suggests, this stroke, unlike any other, requires you to lie face up in water and swim on your back. The arms are rotated similar to freestyle in alternate motion and the legs too move alternatively in a motion called flutter kick. You can opt for this stroke when you want to relax after an intense regime. This stroke certainly strengthens your back and proves to be useful for those you face backache issues.

No matter which swimming technique you select, keep in mind that it always proves to be beneficial to include it in your fitness regime – be it for relaxation or intense workout.

It is never too late! Are you afraid to get into water or dealing with body pains that forbids you to exercise? Or even if you want to send your children to learn and have fun at the same time. Zodiac Kids can provide a number of training techniques for all ages when it comes to swimming programs.

The Benefits of Adventure Sports

Swimming School For Kids

Being involved in sports is a fun way for many children to get the quality of exercise needed for keeping growing bodies healthy. We all know that exercise is good for us, and that taking part in sports can be a great overall experience for many kids.

However, there is a new trend in sports for the young and old alike: adventure sports, also known as extreme sports! There are many different types of adventure sports; rock climbing, white water rafting, mountain climbing, parkour, BMX biking, or any other sport that may be considered risky and gives an adrenaline rush. When kids take up adventure sports, they may join a day camp or a swimming school for kids, a club, or any other type of sports related organization. So if adventure sports might be risky, why should children take part in them? Believe it or not, taking risks is part of the benefits of being involved in adventure sports. There are a lot of other benefits as well.

Some of the benefits of being involved in an adventure sport include inspiring confidence, self-discipline, and character building. In a world filled with negativity, a positive environment that helps to keep children healthy while inspiring confidence is something worth looking into. Not only is confidence an important trait, learning self-discipline is an extremely useful trait for kids that seems to be lacking in our modern world. Self-discipline also helps to build self-awareness, which can lead to a child better learning their limitations in their chosen sport. Self-discipline can also lead to better behavior overall.

While participating in adventure sports can help build a child’s self-esteem and confidence, it can also help a child learn that there are times we all fail. Starting off in a sport, it is expected to have some difficulties, maybe even some failures. Learning how to cope with failure from a younger age can make hard times easier to manage at all stages in life.

One of the biggest benefits of being involved in an adventure sport is getting over fears. This occurs by the inherent risks involved in some of the more extreme adventure sports. These risks will naturally cause some fears, but if a child decides to do the sport anyways, they can overcome these fears. Being taken out of one’s comfort zone can go a long way in getting over fears, and building character.

There are many types of places that children can go to take part in the benefits of adventure sports. This includes school clubs, church organizations, and kids’ summer camps. Joining an organization can have some benefits as well. One of the most profound benefits for joining something like a swimming school for kids is learning team building skills, social skills, and the bonds they can form with other children interested in the same adventure sports. The bonds formed in these camps can last a lifetime, giving children the opportunity to make forever friends.  Toddler swimming lessons, team building and social skills are something that is looked at greatly in the future lives of children; by schools and workplaces. These skills can help them grow as an individual, sprouting from little leaves to giant trees.

Between solid emotional and mental skill building to being physically active, adventure sports has benefits that can help any child grow into a well-rounded person. Can these skills be harnessed through less risky sport activities? The answer would be yes, to a degree, they can; but where is the risk, and the adventure? Part of what makes adventure sports exciting to younger people are the risks involved, and being able to test their own physical and mental endurance. After all, adventure is in the name of this genre of sports, and children are natural adventurers by heart.

Gain access to swimming programs for all age levels at Zodiac Swim Schools.

The Camp Experience: Lessons in Growing Up

Children's Camps

Children can learn valuable lessons in day camps and with the right day camp, your child’s camp experience will surely be fun and worthwhile.

The kinds of activities your kids will engage in depends on the camp they are enrolled in. For example, a science camp would focus on activities that are exploratory such as dissecting animals, completing science projects, and going on outings at science museums or fairs. A swimming school on the other hand will help children learn how to swim and instill in them discipline that they can use in their everyday life. Some day camps in Toronto offer swimming programs for kids. The valuable swimming lessons and skills that they will learn in swim schools will prepare and mold them to be better and responsible adults later.

Day camps always offer some kind of outdoor activity. Whether is sports such as baseball, football, dodgeball, cooperative games and fun water games. This is one of the best things about attending day camps. Kids can burn their energy, learn, and have fun, all at the same time.

Teamwork is a lesson that is also taught at most day camps for kids. The camp staff usually divides the campers into groups and ask them to work on a difficult project. Through this, children are able to understand what it means to work together in a respectful manner and how to achieve a common goal.

Sometimes, during day camp activities, children get inspired to pursue certain occupations after guest speakers talk with them about their careers. For instance, if a neurosurgeon visits a career-based day camp and discusses the most fascinating aspects of his career, some kids might entertain the idea of getting into the medical profession.

For kids, going to day camps also helps them make new friends and it allows them to enjoy new experiences outside the classroom and home. Day camps are also great for home schooled children because it gives them the chance to possibly meet other kids in the same situation.

At day camps, children also showcase their skills during events such as show and tell and talent shows. It gives them the chance to act silly and share their talents to others. Such day camp activities also help boost confidence in children.

Visits to venues around town are a part of summer camps. Your child might visit places such as sporting events, zoo, park, religious services, hospitals or free activities for kids at community centers. This lets kids learn about the cities they live in.

For boys in particular who are known for their infectious energy levels,  camp is an excellent option to avoid them running all over your house all summer long. It creates a different outlet for them by enrolling them in a sports-themed  camp. Your boys can spend hours running, jumping and throwing balls in a day camp.

Day camps are wonderful places where your children can socialize and expand their horizons. These camps provide lessons that will stay with your children for years to come and this enriches their intellectual development.

Before choosing a camp, research the reputation, activities and staff. Also talk to those who have attended the camp you’re interested in. First hand information from those who have already been to a specific summer camp will be very helpful for you. Also check online if  the summer camp has a website.

Zodiac Day Camps offer a wide array of activities and specialized courses, all geared towards a child’s physical, mental, and social development. For more information, click here.

 

Some Leading Causes for Child Obesity

obesity

“Childhood obesity has more than doubled in children and quadrupled in adolescents in the past 30 years.”   That’s according to the CDC.  The question is, why has child obesity become such an issue and why does it continue to increase? The main causes of obesity are quite similar in both adults and children.  Most of these causes are related to behavior and genetics.  Behavior includes dietary patterns, physical activity and use of medication, among other things.

Obesity is often linked to lack of exercise.  Specialists recommend that children have at least 60 minutes of physical activity per day, as seen on the Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans.  For a number of reasons children haven’t been getting enough exercise.  One of these reasons is safety.  Many communities don’t have access to safe places for kids to play at, like parks, day camps, and swimming programs, for example.

With today’s access to internet, video games, smartphones and tablets, kids are not stimulated to go outside and play as they were years ago.  According to the National Association for Sport and Physical Education, only one in three children are physically active on a daily basis.  Research also shows that children spend seven and half hours a day in front of a screen.

Having a good diet is also very important, as everyone probably knows by now.  A good diet should emphasize whole grains, fruits, vegetables, lean protein, low-fat and fat-free dairy products.  Also, one should drink around half a gallon of water every day.  So here is the problem:  in the U.S., even in schools, it’s very easy to have access to unhealthy food, such as french fries.  Some even have vending machines that sell soda, chips and cookies among others.

Another issue concerning diet is to find healthy food which is affordable.  In some cases, people just don’t have access to these foods due to their location or some people don’t have access due to financial reasons which reduces access to appropriate food products.  

The availability of high-energy-dense foods and sugar sweetened drinks is alarming and makes staying healthy even more difficult.  Consumption of high energy dense foods, or simply junk food, plays a big role in obesity and is often consumed with sugar sweetened drinks, like soda, which just makes things worse.

Not only is physical access to junk food a problem, but financial access may be an even bigger problem.  You can get a burger, fries and soda with unlimited refills for under $10 but if you wanted to choose the healthier option of a salad you are looking at the same cost if not a bit more.

Things get even worse when you join these issues – lack of physical activity and dietary problems, and they usually go hand in hand.  Eating healthy is very important and so is physical activity like swimming and outdoor play.  It is necessary to stimulate children to do some type of physical activity every day in order to improve statistics and consequently, society as a whole.  Better policies at schools, establishing more summer day camps and swimming schools, reduction of targeted advertisement of fast food and more stimuli to physical activities are some of things that can help better today’s problem with child obesity.

Zodiac swim schools offers a variety of swimming programs for kids. Their swimming programs are geared towards nurturing a child’s mind and body. For more information, click here.