Ridgewood YMCA Swim Programs Offer a Mix of Fun, Physical Activity and Safety

Posted: Tuesday, April 30, 2013

As swim season approaches, the Ridgewood YMCA encourages children and parents in the local community to explore the many benefits of swimming, while also keeping safety top of mind. In the Y’s swim programs, participants can enjoy water sports, enhance or learn new techniques, meet new friends, and develop confidence, while also learning safety skills that can save lives.

“Swimming is a fun and enjoyable activity for children and adults alike, and it’s an easy way to stay physically active and improve strength, flexibility and stamina,” said Janet Oliver, Aquatics Director at the Ridgewood YMCA. “The Y is committed to providing as many opportunities as possible for everyone to swim and learn water safety practices.”

As part of National Water Safety Month in May, the Ridgewood YMCA recommends children and adults practice the following safety tips when in and around the water:

• Only swim when and where there is a lifeguard on duty; never swim alone.
• Adults should constantly and actively watch their children.
• Inexperienced or non-swimmers should wear a Coast Guard-approved life jacket.
• Parents or guardians of young children should be within an arm’s reach.
• Children and adults should not engage in breath holding activities.

In addition to learning lifesaving water safety skills, children can increase their physical activity by swimming. Only 19 percent of U.S. children get 60 minutes of physical activity a day, according to the latest findings of the YMCA’s Family Health Snapshot – a survey that gauges children’s activity levels during the school year. Swimming also motivates children to strive for self-improvement, teaches goal orientation, and cultivates a positive mental attitude and high self-esteem. It also teaches life lessons of sport and sportsmanship, so that children can learn how to work well with teammates and coaches and how to deal with winning and losing.