Swimming and the Big Splash

by The ASA. Swimming has many health and fitness benefits and is something that the whole family can enjoy.

Mother and baby in swimming pool


Many children say that swimming is their favourite family activity.

Not only is swimming something that the whole family can enjoy, but it also has excellent health and fitness benefits and is an essential lifesaving skill.

Take a look at our Top 10 swimming facts to find out why you and your child should take the plunge and enjoy some together time in the pool.

Top 10 swimming facts

3 million people take the plunge every week compared with 2million who play football and 1.8million who cycle.

There are over 5,000 pools throughout England, offering millions of people from every kind of background the opportunity to go swimming.

Even a gentle swim can burn up to 350 calories in half an hour and a fast front crawl can burn as many calories as an 8mph run.

1 in 3 children say swimming is their favourite family activity*.

Children who had taken baby swimming classes have been shown to do better in gripping, reaching and balance tests than non-swimming babies.

Drowning is the third most common cause of accidental death in children, yet 1 in 5 children leave school unable to swim.

Water is about 800 times denser than air, and so pool-based exercise results in high levels of energy expenditure with relatively little strain on the body.

At least one in six people in Britain suffer from depression at any one time – rhythmic and aerobic forms of exercise such as swimming have been shown to improve psychological wellbeing.

Swimming can support up to 90% of the body’s weight in the water, meaning that those with disabilities, injuries or illnesses like arthritis can take part in a comfortable and safe environment.

The support of the water for arthritis sufferers allows less painful movements in affected joints as well as toning up the supporting muscles. Swimming can also reduce the risk of arthritis by helping to retain normal muscle strength and joint structure.

* From YouGov survey carried out on behalf of British Gas February 2010. Based on 31% of 899 respondents choosing swimming from a selection of activities.

Ready to make a splash?

Big Splash

British Swimming and the BBC are inspiring the nation into the pool in the world’s biggest celebration of swimming called the Big Splash.

With over 1,000 Big Splash pools across the UK taking part, there’s plenty of exciting events taking place. With Big Splash swimming lessons for children and adults, Big Splash Aquafit taster sessions and lots of special offers, you’re sure to find a reason to take the plunge.

And once you’ve learnt to swim, you can keep yourself motivated with Swimfit programmes, devised by swimming experts at the ASA. The programmes provide you with workout sessions for your time in the pool. There’s even an online tool where you can log and track your progress. Find out more by visiting the Swimfit website.

You can learn more about Big Splash – and other swimming-related family activities – by visiting the websites listed on the right of this page.

Trunx 1k Family Challenge

If you would like to spend quality time in the pool with your family, why not follow the Trunx 1k Family Challenge?

Trunx the elephant is the Big Splash mascot and he just loves the water! The challenge is a great way to motivate your little ones and make swimming fun!

Join Trunx and his family in the pool and over 10 weeks you will swim up to a whole kilometre (40 lengths) as a family. You can download the challenge at bigsplash.co.uk and take it with you to your local pool. Good luck!

Swimathon Weekend 2012

There’s something for everyone at the Swimathon weekend!

You can take part in either the Big Splash Mile for Sport Relief individually or as a team, or if you fancy swimming a greater distance there’s Swimathon’s 2.5k and 5k individual and team challenges to raise money for Marie Curie Cancer Care.

The event takes place from 27-29 April 2012 but you can register your interest today.

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