From 6 months to 96 years old, no one is too young or too old to benefit from swimming lessons. Once your baby is six months old, they are eligible to take “parent and me” swimming lessons from most swim schools. When babies are between six months and several years, you or another guardian must be with the baby throughout the entire lesson for safety reasons. Even if babies can’t walk, they quickly adapt to moving in water, so familiarizing them early means more fun for everyone and keeps them from being afraid of water later on. It also helps with water safety and drowning prevention. As for adults and seniors, it’s never too late to start swimming. Knowing how to swim can not only save your life, it provides an impact-free way to safely exercise and keep muscles and joints limber. Swimming can even help relieve pain from chronic diseases like rheumatoid arthritis, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Most swimming schools offer group or private instruction, so if you’re shy about learning a new skill, you can do so one-on-one.
Swimming lessons have major health and safety benefits, not to mention the fact that swimming is really fun. Here are some of the many reasons swimming lessons are important:
- Life saving: Knowing how to swim can help you save your own life or the life of someone else. Prevent drowning by learning to swim.
- Improved health in seniors: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) states that water-based exercise can decrease disability and maintain bone density in seniors.
- Good mental health: Swimming can improve moods in both men and women, according to the CDC. Swimming can help with depression, can create bonds in families and can promote mental wellness in pregnant women.
- Arthritis relief: Water-based exercise can ease joint and other physical pain in people suffering from arthritis, osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.
- Whole-body workout: Swimming works all your muscles — without the impact of a sport like running.
- Water safety: It’s important for swimmers of all ages to learn about water safety. Swim lessons provide the proper pool and water etiquette to help keep everyone safe and having fun.
Most swimming instructors and swim schools offer infant swimming starting at six months. Although it is not formal swimming, the lessons familiarize your baby with moving in the water, and also teach you the basics of keeping your baby safe in the water. You or another guardian will stay with the baby in the water throughout the entire lesson.
The American Academy of Pediatrics does not recommend formal swim instruction until one year old, but taking your infant to regular swim class can be fun, safe and helpful for developing baby’s coordination and awareness of water. Experts urge parents not to become overconfident in their children’s water skills. Keep in mind that most children aren’t really able to swim on their own until they’re at least four years old. Even if they’ve had swim lessons, always watch younger children when they’re in the water and be ready to react in case of an emergency.
There are several steps you can take to prepare both yourself and your baby for the exciting adventure of infant swimming lessons. Start by introducing your baby to being in the water via the bathtub. There are no immunizations specific to swimming that your child needs before playing in a public pool, but do research to confirm the pool is well-maintained and has a clean bill of health. You’ll need the right swim gear; proper attire can include swim diapers and protective swim pants. Be prepared to check regularly and change soiled diapers as needed. The CDC warns against allowing your child in a public pool if they have any symptoms of diarrhea; swim diapers and swim pants can’t protect against transmission of germs in this case. For outdoor pools, apply water-resistant sunscreen to the delicate skin on your baby’s face and body approximately 30 minutes before pool time to prevent burns. For the health of your baby and other children, it’s important for your child to be in good health when attending swim lessons. If they have a cold or fever, it’s better to keep them home. Finally, be prepared to have fun.
Not only is swimming fun, but knowing how to swim can save your life by preventing drowning. The average national cost for swimming lessons ranges between $40 and $50. Swimming lessons can vary in price depending the type and length of lesson you select. Private swimming lessons, where you receive one-on-one coaching with a swim instructor, will cost more than group lessons. The longer the lesson, the more it will cost. Swimming lessons are available for people of all ages, so if you’re an adult just learning to swim there are beginners’ classes suitable for you. There are also advanced classes for adults who are training for races or want to hone their skills. Pricing can vary depending on where you live as well as the amenities offered by the pool. For example, a pool with private locker rooms and a hot tub may have higher rates than a basic swimming pool. Here are some examples of the average costs of adult swimming lessons:
- Private lessons for adults:
- 30-minute lesson: $35-$50.
- 60-minute lesson: $55-$80.
- Group lessons for adults:
- Ongoing 60-minute lessons: $90-$110 per month.
- 60-minute drop-in lesson: $25-$40 each.