“Teaching kids to swim is just as important as teaching them to walk,” Rowdy Gaines (three-time Olympic medallist).
Gaines also stated that there would be an 88% reduction in the risk of drowning risk as a consequence.
Swimming lessons are just so essential, given the fact that drowning is the second leading cause of death among children ages 1-14. According to the Centre for Disease Control, ten people die from drowning every day and most often the victims are 14-year-old and below children, and the way to minimise its risk is to teach everyone – not only children – to swim.
Aside from reducing health hazards, it is also a means for a healthy lifestyle, immunity booster, and muscle enhancer.
However, despite several advantages, some people hate swimming for many reasons as well. Let us see some.
Some of the Disadvantages include:
According to the 5-year survey by the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA), there were:
- 4.0 injuries per 1000 hours of training for men; and
- 3.78 injuries per 1000 hours of training for women.
This survey was conducted on elite swimmers. The most common of the injuries identified were shoulder injuries, with a prevalence rate between 40%- 91%.
With the upper and lower extremity strength exercises performed in swimming, shoulder injuries are prone in this sport. Four strokes of swimming commonly affect the shoulders including freestyle, butterfly, backstroke, and breaststroke. These strokes commonly affect the upper limb, knee, and spine, especially when swimming is done without exercise warm-ups.
One study also reported a rate of 34% members among 35 Canadian Olympiads in 1972, having knee injuries. This study also revealed that 33.3 % of butterfly swimmers and 22.2 % of breaststroke swimmers experienced spinal injuries. Among all these injuries, people hate swimming lessons for the effect of these injuries on their social health. Thus, they would never attend swimming class regularly.
According to a study from the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research published in March 2016, two-thirds of young swimmers were dehydrated. This study by the University of Kansas involved 46 swimmers, aged 8-17, from the AquaHawgs swimming team.
Urine samples from the swimmer were checked in the morning, and after their two-hour practice, the body weight and perceptions of thirst were measured.
The researchers found out that among the urine tests after a long day’s training, the urine colour darkened, and volume and urine specific gravity became low, indicating dehydration. The body mass of these swimmers also decreased.
To stay hydrated during swimming lessons drinking every 30 minutes of training is advised. This is why many swimming pool areas have water dispensers around.
Although used as a disinfecting agent in swimming pools, chlorine can – if levels are too high – also cause toxicity/or be an irritant to swimmers. According to the New York State Department of Health, exposure to too much chlorine can result in frostbite of the skin and eyes! It may also cause skin allergies and respiratory problems like asthma.
A study by the American Academy of Paediatrics (AAP) among 800 children in March 2019 found that even children without allergies or asthma were affected by prolonged exposures to chlorine. The AAP suggest that to decrease the toxicity of chlorine to swimmers, it is best to avoid chlorinated pools, if possible.
There are pools that are UV-disinfected rather than being chlorine disinfected. Further, the AAP also suggested using Vitamin C to help neutralise chlorine and undo the damage of chlorine exposure. There are also lotions being used to eliminate the level of chlorine on the skin.
A variety of people may use a swimming pool, and these can aid in the spread of diseases and illness.
Although chlorine may disinfect bacteria in the pool, if treated with insufficient levels, this may not be effective enough to remove bacteria such as Cryptosporidium. The most common diseases are diarrhoea caused by E. Coli and Cryptosporidium bacteria. Pools need three to four parts per million (ppm) to disinfect such bacteria.
There were unfortunate reports according to the CDC in 2014 of outbreaks of waterborne diseases occurring in hotel swimming pools, which led to a fatal illness. Even in properly maintained pools, Crypto bacteria is a tough bacteria able to survive despite disinfectants.
In this regard, the CDC encourages swimmers to protect themselves and encourage swimming pool owners to follow recommendations in the design and construction of recreational pools. It is also suggested that periodic monitoring of bacteria should be tested among these waters for the safety of the public.
Too Much of Everything Can Be Bad
It is a common phrase which applies to nearly everything. Whether swimming is taken as an exercise, it should be taken in balance. Some of the reasons that people hate swimming lessons may not be noted here, but the advantage is still greater than the cons. With this in mind, swimming lessons, as survival and practical exercise, is still essential when taken in moderation.
Special Force Aspirants
For those aspiring to join the Special Forces fraternity, knowing the above disadvantages can help improve your resilience in training and reduce ‘downtime’.