As an all-round exercise, swimming – the subject of this blog – is hard to beat. Suitable for all ages and abilities, swimming is a fun activity that can aid health and well-being. Being able to swim can even save your life.
As the qualifying window for the British Summer Championships is now under way (11 March – 30 May inclusive), with the championships themselves taking place from 26 to 31 July at Ponds Forge in Sheffield, we thought this would be a good time to look at some of the benefits of swimming and where to take part in our local area of Kirklees.
Anyone can learn to swim, from babies to the elderly. Many people can enjoy swimming who, for various reasons, might struggle to take part in exercise classes or work out with a personal trainer.
Swimming has many health benefits including:
- Facilitating weight loss
- Developing muscle tone
- Increasing flexibility
- Improving heart rate and blood flow
- Relieving symptoms of asthma
- Helping those recovering from injury back to health
- Allowing those who are obese to start exercising safely
When it comes to well-being, swimming is good for:
- Boosting endorphins
- Promoting relaxation and meditation
- Increasing confidence
- Improving mental health
WHERE CAN I SWIM IN KIRKLEES?
While the British Summer Championships are aimed at “increasing and supporting junior talent on the journey towards senior medal-winning performance”, most people swim as an enjoyable pastime.
In Kirklees, West Yorkshire, a total of nine pools (and 14 leisure centres) are run for the local community by Kirklees Active Leisure (KAL; www.kalswim.co.uk), a non-profit organisation providing leisure facilities for Kirklees Council.
Operated as a charitable leisure trust, KAL won the Amateur Swimming Association’s Facility Operator of the Year (up to 22 wet sites) in November 2015, recognising KAL’s outstanding programmes, performance and partnerships.
By introducing new programmes and timetables at its pools, KAL has attracted 100,000 more swimmers, including those visiting the state-of-the-art new Huddersfield Leisure Centre. Meanwhile, the KAL swim academy has helped more than 6,500 people, including children, learn to swim, and KAL’s Swim Performance programme is training future swimming stars.
Moving forward, the “Let’s Get Swimming” project aims to open up opportunities for those with disabilities.
Swimming can benefit a wide cross-section of society, from young people hoping to take part in competitions like the British Summer Championships to elderly people wanting to keep fit, and from those with disabilities to people struggling with mental health issues.
If you can’t swim, it’s never too late to learn, so why not pop down to your local KAL centre and book on a course today.