There are a few core skills that most people would likely agree everyone should have – how to walk, talk, read and write, for example. But aside from the typical gross and fine motor skills that we learn growing up, there are a few others that are just as important to master. We’ll give you one – how to swim.

Young girl learning how to swim.

Mecklenburg County hosts the World’s Largest Swim Lesson at the newly renovated Double Oaks Family Aquatic Center in 2017.

Even if you don’t aspire to be an Olympic swimmer, here are five reasons why you should make the effort to learn (courtesy of our professional aquatic staff).

  1. It could save your life (and someone else’s, too). Accidents happen (did you know that drowning is still one of the most common causes of accidental death in children?), and there’s always a chance that you could wind up in the water even when you weren’t planning to. Knowing how to swim is one of the best ways to ensure that you can keep yourself and others safe if an unexpected situation were to arise.
  2. It’s a total body workout. You don’t have to spend hours in the gym to achieve your fitness goals. Swimming requires you to use many muscle groups (it’s basically a high intensity, cardio workout!), and can result in increased flexibility, coordination, and better posture.
  3. Talk about heart and lung health! The more you swim, the more your heart works. As a result, your lung capacity could improve by spending more time in the water. Imagine that – not only is swimming a way to have fun, but it can strengthen your heart and lungs while you’re at it!
  4. It can help you relieve your stress. Swimming doesn’t just benefit your physical health – it can also benefit your mental health. Just floating in the water alone can help relax both your body and mind! According to our aquatic experts, being submerged dulls the amount of sensory information your body takes on, so being in the water can help you feel calmer and more relaxed.
  5. It opens the door for other activities. Did you know that the earth is made up of over 71% water? There are tons of ways to enjoy the water other than swimming (water sports, anyone?), but before you can try out anything else, you need to know how to be comfortable in it.

Swim Lessons in Mecklenburg County

Now that you know why it’s important for everyone to know how to swim, it’s time to talk about where you can go to learn. We have good news: Park and Rec offers swim lessons for people of all ages and skill levels!

Paid swim lessons for ages 3m – adult are available year-round at the Marion Diehl Recreation Center and the Mecklenburg County Aquatic Center. FREE swim lessons (yes, free!), are typically available at both of our outdoor pools (Cordelia and the Double Oaks Family Aquatic Center) in the summer, and at Rays Splash Planet year-round. All lessons are 30-45 minutes in length depending on age, and a session usually includes 6-8 lessons.

For immediate access to information about upcoming swim lesson registration events, be sure to connect with Park and Rec on Facebook and Twitter!

Alright, now what are you waiting for? Go ahead, start swimming!