My 9 year old daughter was so excited to find out that she would be taking swimming lesson this summer. I wanted her to learn how to swim and be physically active, so that when she gets older exercise will not be a shock to her system. When your kids enjoy video games, it’s hard to convince them that other things can be more fun, so you have to pull them from in front of the television so they can interact with “real people” and develop their social skills.
The reason I chose swimming over gymnastics, cheer leading or ballet classes is because of two reasons. Number one, swimming lessons are more affordable and requires no special uniform aside from a swimming suit and goggles, and reason number two: I remember when I was a child growing up in Detroit, Michigan there was an island a few miles away called Belle Isle and they used to offer private canoe rides in the early 80′s. One time my family went out for this canoe ride and my mother went to adjust her seat in the boat… well, the entire canoe flipped over. I was 5 years old when this happened and I remember to this day how I almost drowned. I did not want an incident like that to happen to my daughter, an incident where she would be around deep water but too afraid to jump in or to fall in and drown.
I recently read in USA Today that nearly 60% of African-American children can’t swim almost twice the figure for white children.  USA Swimming surveyed 1,772 children aged 6 to 16 in six cities — two-thirds of them black or Hispanic — to gauge what factors contributed most to the minority swimming gap. The study found that 31% of the white respondents could not swim safely, compared to 58% of the blacks. The non-swimming rate for Hispanic children was almost as high — 56% — although more than twice as many Hispanics as blacks are now USA Swimming members.
I was more than happy to see  Cullen Jones, Anthony Ervin and Lia Neal on the London Olympic swimming squad, the United States will have more blacks wearing red, white and blue at the Summer Games in history!
There are many health benefits of swimming.  Regular swimming builds endurance, muscle strength and cardio-vascular fitness. It can serve as a cross-training element to your regular workouts. Before a dry-land workout, you can use the pool for a warm-up session. Swimming with increasing effort to gradually increase your heart rate and stimulate your muscle activity is easily accomplished in the water. After a land workout, swimming a few laps can help you cool-down, move blood through your muscles to help them recover, and help you relax as you glide through the water.
Many parents do not allow their children to swim because they, themselves are very afraid of the water and do not want their children to get hurt. I strongly recommend that you take swimming lessons yourself if you feel this way. Swimming is an important skill for you and your children to learn, plus it is good for your health and extremely fun to do. So let go of your fears, get out there and SWIM, you just might enjoy it!