The benefits of swimming is recognised as one of the
best forms of therapy for the disabled. From the
sensation of floating in water for the most severely
disabled to actually learning to swim for the
more able. Also movement of the body gives a sense
of freedom for those who can't move properly and
can be used as a physiotherapy session. Overall
the health benefits and fun factor, swimming helps
raises confidence and self-esteem in the child.
The Benefits of Swimming
is an excellent recreational, competitive and
therapeutic activity that can be enjoyed indoors
or outdoors. Aquatic exercise and therapy are
used to treat and prevent several physical ailments.
In addition to swimming's therapeutic role, several
aquatic activities are very popular for recreational
purposes. An individual's ability to swim and
feel comfortable in the water creates opportunities
to become involved in other water sports such
as kayaking, canoeing, sailing and water skiing.
2. Benefits of Swimming and Aquatic Exercise
form of aerobic exercise which increases cardiovascular
buoyancy reduces stress on joints.
individualís weight while in the water is only
about 10% of normal weight. Water provides resistance,
which improves muscle strength.
balance and agility.
confidence and comfort in and around water.
3. Competitive Swimming
is very important that swimmers train under the
supervision of a qualified coach. A coach who
understands stroke mechanics can easily make special
stroke adaptations. Professional Swimming teams
are an excellent place to find a coach. Swimmers
with disabilities can be easily integrated into
existing clubs for training and meet experience.
With a few exceptions, swimmers are expected to
perform strokes according to the rules of non-disabled
swimming. The most elite swimmers compete in the
Paralympic Games every four years.
is a summary of the sport classification system
used for swimmers with physical disabilities:
are classified between S1 and S15.
through S10 are determined by functional level.
through S13 are for swimmers who are blind or
have visual impairments.
is for swimmers with mental disabilities such
as mental retardation, severe learning disabilities
is for swimmers who are deaf.
4. Pool Access
products are available for accessing the water.
Stair Systems and Pool Lifts are available for
5. Outdoor Access
are several manufacturers of all-terrain wheelchairs
for access to natural bodies of water. In addition,
temporary accessible walkways are available to
provide a smooth surface over sand or grass for
6. Prosthetics for Swimming
prosthetic devices have a folding wing designed
to reduce resistance in the water during the recovery
portion of a swimming stroke. At least one is
designed specifically for the backstroke. Prosthetic
devices are not permitted in sanctioned swim events.
7. Flotation Devices
devices help stabilize individuals in the water.
Swimming ability, buoyancy and experience should
be considered when choosing a flotation device.
There are several types of flotation devices available
for various swimming styles.
8. For More Information