27 Jan Swimming Make Your Child Smarter, Is It True?
You probably already know that exercise is essential for maintaining muscle strength, keeping the heart healthy, maintaining a healthy weight and preventing chronic illnesses, such as diabetes. But, that is the benefits for adults. So, how about children? Do you have any clue what benefits that swimming, in particular, brings to children?
Let we tell you, any type of movement is good for children, especially swimming. The biggest benefit that swimming brings to children is its positive influence on the brain. To be frankly, swimming impacts children’s brains, make them smarter, thinking more logically. And we can prove it by this following article.
Scammon’s Curves: Growth, Maturation and Physical Activity
The physical development of the body during childhood and adolescence is easily observed through the growth in standing height. This general curve also allows for the visualization of the four phases of growth which are described here.
Phase 1: At the same time of the rapid growth in the brain and nervous system, there is also rapid physical development in the first few years of life before it begins to slow into steady growth during mid-to-late childhood (Phase 2). This is easier to see on a growth velocity curve but the average rate of growth in height is about 5-6 cm or so (2+ inches) per year between the ages of 4-5 and the onset of the adolescent growth spurt (10 in girls and 12 in boys, on average). Some youngsters may experience a small mid-childhood growth spurt around age 7-8.
As you can see, the sooner you let the kids learn to swim, the better the growth in both quality and intelligence.
Benefits of swimming to the brain
A 2010 study in the journal Brain Research found that 9 and 10-year-olds who are more active have larger hippocampi. This is the area of the brain responsible for long-term and related memory (the ability to learn and remember relationships between unrelated things). These children performed higher on memory tests. Of course, let your child get active as soon as possible.
Another study published in Developmental Review in 2009 concluded that children in good physical form perform better intellectual activities. Research has also shown that different exercises have different benefits. For example, aerobic children perform more executive tests (EF, including the ability to decide, plan, organize and follow instructions) better than children do normal exercises.
Swimming is the same. First, swimming techniques also require the same tactical, adaptive and goal-oriented skills as the EF activity. They also require complex skills and activities under the control of the anterior prefrontal nerve vessels – the area that supports EF activity. In addition, swimming causes physiological changes in the brain, not just the neurochemical reactions, but also structural changes in the brain regions involved in learning.
Exercise also positively affects the child’s motor capacity. In 2012, a 20-month study from Perceptive Motor Skills was conducted on 400 children aged 3 to 5 years old. Children participate in one swimming lesson (45 minutes) per week, along with at least 20 minutes of exercise per day. The results showed that these children have better balance body, sensitivity, and coordination ability than children who only do one period of exercise per week. Many studies also show that children who exercise regularly have a higher IQ than children who sit in class all day.
When should children swim?
At any time you can also practice for your child to get used to the movement. In fact, studies have shown a link between movement and intelligence that begins at birth and that they affect each other’s development. The first movements of a child affect the ability to focus while crawling and walking is related to flexible thinking.
In developed countries, it has been popular for a long time to let babies learn to swim from birth. Many scientific studies show that babies from 1 week to 18 months of age are not afraid of water, because when they are still in the womb, they are used to living in water.
At birth, newborn babies are still hydrophilic, the swimming reflex is still present and latent until 18 months of age. Therefore, under 18 months of age can be considered as a “golden time” for children to learn to swim and create a thrust to develop in the future.
This time, children can learn to swim thanks to the natural instinct of the mammal (being able to open and close the trachea when the head is submerged in water, allowing the child to swim and open his mouth underwater without choking). If you do not reactivate it, then this precious instinct will automatically disappear.
However, if you miss the “golden time” above but still want to let your baby learn to swim, the time from 4 years old is also considered a suitable time for children to learn to swim. At this time, the child has a sense of and learns the lesson and can follow the teacher’s movements.
Through the above article, we can be sure of one thing. That is, swimming early will have a huge positive effect on children’s brains, making them smarter and more logical. You should not hesitate but train your child to love water and gradually adapt to water from now on.