From infancy to retirement, swimming is a sport for everyone.
Whether you’re a beginner or a more advanced and looking to improve your technique, the Sanford Wellness Center offers people of all ages the opportunity to spend some time in the water through various lessons, training programs and water exercise classes.
American Red Cross Swimming Lessons and private lessons are available for children as young as 6-months-old up to adults. The four-week sessions are offered to members and non-members multiple times throughout the year at both Sanford Wellness Center Sioux Falls locations.
Kathy Grady, Aquatics Supervisor at the Sanford Wellness Center at 49th and Oxbow in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, says for children in particular, the earlier they start, the better.
“Teaching them the basic rescue skills, how to flip over on their back, how to get to the wall and the safety around the pool is important because for children at a young age, water is such an attraction,” she said.
While Grady suggests getting children in the water as early as possible, it’s also important to remember that it’s never too late to learn how to swim, either.
“Everyone can learn to swim, and we start at all levels,” she said. “Swimming is very technique driven. It’s a great thing to do swimming lessons because just having someone to point out a few things to you is going to help tremendously.”
Masters Swim Program and triathlon training
Additional programs are offered to more serious swimmers looking for an organized workout or training for a triathlon. Grady teaches the Masters Swim Program and Sanford Triathlon Training Program.
Both are typically offered to adults 18 and over, although a Youth Triathlon Training Program is also available. Grady says the Masters program is made up of people of all ages, her oldest being 68.
“Swimming honestly can be boring,” Grady said with a laugh. “I know that because I’ve been swimming since I was 11. These programs are great because you get the health benefit of exercise and also the social aspect.”
The Masters Swim Program is an organized workout in the lap pool designed for people who already know how to swim. The one-hour class meets twice a week, with the goal of freestyle swimming between 50 to 60 laps in that hour. Swimmers also have the opportunity to compete in pool meets or open water swims.
Kathy Grady (second from left) and students from her adult triathlon training program.
Every stage of life
The Sanford Wellness Center offers the following aquatics programming to both children and adults:
Parents and children: 6-36 months
Swimming lessons available for parents with young children ages 6 months through 3 years old. The parent-child class gives many kids their first interaction with water and helps them get more comfortable with it.
Preschoolers: 3-6 years old
The child’s first class without mom and dad. Will not be able to swim alone, but will begin learning basic swimming movements.
Elementary and middle school students: 6 years old+
Children should now be able to swim on their own without assistance from a teacher. They will work on different types of floats, safety skills, treading water, and mastering a variety of strokes and styles.
Adults: 13 years old+
Whether you’re a beginner or just looking to improve your form and skills, swimming lessons instructors will work with individuals to help them achieve their personal goals.
Open swim, lap swim, and water exercise classes such as water walking, aerobics, BOGA and more are available to adults looking to stay active and healthy or enjoy exercising in a more social setting.
Adult stroke technique classes: 18 years old+
For adult swimmers looking to improve stroke technique and endurance to help improve their efficiency in the water.
From laps to water exercise to rehabilitation, Grady says swimming is one of the best ways to work your entire muscle group, and is especially good for your cardiovascular system and endurance. The buoyancy of water also puts less stress on your muscles and joints.
“It’s just so easy on your body,” she said. “Overall it just makes you feel so much better.”
Young or old, beginner or expert, anyone can get in the water.
“Even people who can’t swim or are scared of the water can still do shallow water classes” Grady said. “It all depends on what their goals are. Swimming is all-inclusive. Just have a swimming suit and a desire to get in the pool.”
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