15 Solid Reasons Why Adult Non-swimmers Must Learn Swimming

by | May 21, 2024 | Swimming, Swimming and Calisthenics | 0 comments

It’s not just a British problem-globally, one in three adults lacks the basic life-saving skill of swimming. This is a startling statistic that highlights a widespread issue of non swimmers: why are so many people missing out on a skill that could save their lives? 

These statistics are even more concerning in low—and middle-income countries, where the majority of people, particularly women, lack basic swimming skills. In fact, two in three women in these countries are non-swimmers, making women the larger portion of the non-swimmer population. 

Now, the question arises: Why should non-swimmers learn to swim? Let’s dive together to find the answer. But before that, let me explain why learning to swim is so important.

Non Swimmers – Learn this Life-saving Skill:

Do you know that according to WHO, every year, 236,000 people lose their life in drowning incidents globally aged between 1-24? 

Drowning is the third most common cause of unintentional injury mortality, accounting for 7% of all injury-related deaths.

So, to avoid any unpleasant incident, you must learn to swim. It is a life-saving skill; if you know how to swim, you can save your life and others. This empowerment, this control over your safety, is a powerful feeling that comes with learning to swim.

You Can Save Yourselves Emergency Situations, Non-Swimmers!

In emergencies like natural disasters, boating accidents, or heavy rains and flooding, which occur suddenly and with immense force, sweeping people away and submerging homes and streets, skills like swimming can help you save yourself and others from traumatic situations. 

In case of boating incidents that may occur due to bad weather or equipment failure, swimming can help you stay afloat and reach rescue boats or shore.

This capability improves personal safety and contributes to the community’s welfare, making swimming an essential survival skill in unexpected situations.

Adult Non-swimmers Learn Swimming

Participating Confidently In Water Activities:

Being able to swim enables you to participate in water-related activities with confidence and satisfaction. Whether it’s boating, fishing, or swimming at the beach, having swimming skills eliminates the fear of drowning and allows you a richer experience. It’s about the joy and freedom that comes with being in the water, a feeling that can’t be replicated elsewhere. 

For instance, snorkelling opens a world of underwater exploration, revealing vibrant marine life that would otherwise remain unseen. Boating trips become more relaxing and enjoyable when you know you can handle unexpected situations in the water. Even fishing, often done near or on the water, becomes safer and more enjoyable with swimming proficiency. 

Additionally, swimming enhances social opportunities, allowing individuals to join in on pool parties, beach outings, and other aquatic events without hesitation. Swimming enriches leisure time and promotes freedom and self-assurance in water environments.

Health Benefits:

Swimming is such a beautiful exercise that it is suitable for all ages. It is a low-impact exercise that puts minimum pressure on joints. The buoyancy of water lowers the stress on the joints, reducing the risk of injury. However, it still provides an effective workout, so adults or older adults with joint issues and injuries can also benefit from it. 

Swimming has various other remarkable health benefits. It is a whole-body workout, utilising all the muscles of your body to glide through water. Swimming increases flexibility and endurance, strengthening and toning your muscles.

Swimming is an aerobic exercise which increases heart rate and compels your lungs to take in more oxygen. As a result, it improves heart health and lung capacity. Swimming also helps regulate blood pressure and adequate blood circulation without putting any specific body part under stress.

 Rhythmic breathing is integral to swimming because it improves lung function and helps with muscle development. Swimming can improve your respiratory health by improving lung capacity, lowering airway resistance, and strengthening respiratory muscles. 

Inactivity and Immobility due to age and stressful professional responsibilities lead to body pains. So, if you are up for diving, it will help you reduce your body aches. Water, a natural cooling agent, relieves discomfort while moving tight joints and aching muscles.

Swimming is the best exercise for older adults, pregnant women, and those with partial disabilities.

Adult Non-swimmers  Learn Swimming

Mental Health Benefits:

Swimming freely in water and smashing it around is the most pleasurable way to unwind after a long, challenging, and exhausting day. Swimming is a contemplative treatment that relieves the tension you bear throughout the day. Only a 30-minute swim can relieve tension and improve concentration. After a short water exercise, you may fall asleep soundly and relax.

Furthermore, swimming has been proven to reduce depression and anxiety. According to a study conducted in 2018, swimming in open water led to improved mood and a reduction in the symptoms of depression and anxiety. Sustained swimming episodes even lead to cessation of medications.

From Non-Swimmers to Swimmer: Strengthening Bonds Through Aquatic Activities:

Learning to swim opens the door to valuable social and family interactions centred around water-based activities. Whether it’s a leisurely day at the pool or an exciting beach outing, adults who can swim can actively participate in these shared experiences with their loved ones.

Family gatherings at the pool become opportunities for bonding and creating cherished memories, as you may join your parents and children in swimming games and aquatic fun.

Similarly, swimming outings with your friends offer chances for laughter, camaraderie, and friendly competition in the water. 

Moreover, swimming together fosters a sense of unity and teamwork, strengthening relationships and building trust among family members and friends. By embracing aquatic activities, you enhance their social lives and cultivate deeper connections with those they care about, making swimming an enriching aspect of social interaction. It’s about the sense of community and belonging that comes with being part of a swimming group or club.

Enjoy Vacations while travelling and exploring water activities:

Being proficient in swimming broadens the horizons of travel experiences, particularly those involving water activities.

 Imagine the joy of embarking on beach vacations where you may fully immerse yourself in the refreshing ocean waters, bask in the sun, and confidently ride the waves. 

Additionally, the ability to swim unlocks exciting opportunities for exploring underwater ecosystems through activities like snorkelling and scuba diving. 

From vibrant coral reefs teeming with marine life to serene lagoons with crystal-clear waters, these aquatic adventures become accessible and unforgettable, enriching travel experiences and creating lasting memories of exploration and discovery.

15 Solid Reasons Why Adult Non-swimmers Must Learn Swimming

Best Community Engaging Activity:

Swimming serves as a barrier to engaging more people in community activities. Joining swimming clubs and participating in pool-related group activities allows one to meet like-minded people and fosters a sense of companionship.

Community pools usually offer physical fitness classes, swim meetups, and weight loss programs, which allow people to interact socially and make new and old friends.

These settings promote physical health and build a supportive network of friends and acquaintances. Participating in these community-based aquatic activities may enhance your social lives, stay active, and cultivate a strong sense of belonging within your local community.

Barriers To Learning Swimming as an Adult:

After discussing the benefits of swimming, let’s find out why adult non-swimmers need to learn to swim.

Non-Swimmers Fear Of Water:

People usually develop a fear of water, called aquaphobia. They may experience intense nervousness or fear when thinking about or seeing water, and they may avoid locations with water, such as swimming pools or lakes.

People may develop aquaphobia due to negative past experiences such as near-drowning incidents, traumatic water-related events, or being pushed into water unexpectedly.

Lack of exposure and not learning to swim as a child can also contribute to this fear, as unfamiliarity breeds anxiety. Additionally, hearing about water accidents or seeing distressing scenes involving water can reinforce this fear.

Addressing the fear of water involves gradual exposure and positive reinforcement.

Start with shallow water and practise simple exercises like splashing and floating to help build confidence. 

Taking swimming lessons with a supportive instructor may provide professional guidance and encouragement. 

Breathing exercises and relaxation techniques may also reduce anxiety. 

Progressing comfortably and celebrating your small achievements is essential to build a positive association with water.

Feeling Embarrassed and Feeling Too Old to Learn:

You may feel embarrassed or believe you are too old to learn to swim, which can deter you from taking the plunge. This embarrassment often stems from the fear of looking foolish in front of others or struggling with skills that children seem to master effortlessly. 

Additionally, societal expectations and personal insecurities about learning new physical activities later in life may contribute to this reluctance. 

It’s important to remember that learning has no age limit and that many adults face the same challenge to overcome these feelings. 

Joining adult swim classes, where everyone is in the same boat, may provide a supportive environment and boost your confidence.

Adult Non-swimmers

Inaccessible Swimming Classes:

Many adults need help learning to swim due to the unavailability of suitable swim classes and private lessons. 

In some areas, swim programs may primarily focus on children, leaving few options for adult beginners. Additionally, if available, private lessons can be costly and difficult to schedule around busy work and family commitments. This lack of accessible learning opportunities can discourage adults from pursuing swimming education. 

To address this, communities must recognise the demand for adult swim programs and invest in creating affordable, flexible class options. Encouraging local pools and fitness centres to offer more adult-oriented swim lessons can make learning to swim more accessible for everyone.

Mustering Up Courage:

Hearing personal stories and testimonials from adults who successfully learned to swim later in life can be incredibly motivating. 

Many individuals overcome their fears and embrace swimming, often sharing how it has positively impacted their lives. 

For instance, a 50-year-old who conquered a lifelong fear of water may describe the newfound freedom and joy they experience at the beach with their grandchildren. 

For someone else, the health benefits and sense of accomplishment they felt after completing their first swim class may be their real win.

These success stories are powerful reminders that it’s always possible to learn, inspiring others to take the plunge and start their swimming journey.

Practical Steps to Start Learning Swimming:

Finding a suitable swim class is essential for adult beginners like you. Look for classes designed for adults, ensuring they cater to adult learning needs. 

Choose classes with experienced instructors who are patient and skilled at teaching adults. Check reviews and testimonials to gauge the class’s effectiveness. Visit local community centres, gyms, and pools to explore their offerings. 

Private lessons can provide personalised attention, while group classes offer social interaction and mutual encouragement. 

Ensure the class schedule fits your availability and the class size allows for adequate individual attention. These tips will help you find a supportive and effective learning environment.

Setting Realistic Goals:

Setting realistic goals is crucial for adult beginners learning to swim. Start with small, achievable milestones to build confidence and ensure steady progress.

For example, begin by focusing on simple tasks like floating, treading water, and mastering basic strokes. Each small success reinforces your ability and encourages you to keep going. 

Avoid setting overly ambitious goals that can lead to frustration or burnout. Instead, break down the learning process into manageable steps, celebrating each accomplishment. This approach enhances your skills gradually and maintains motivation, making the overall learning experience positive and rewarding.

Consistency and Practice:

Consistency and practice are vital for adults learning to swim. Regular practice helps build muscle memory, improve technique, and boost confidence in the water. Consistency ensures steady progress and reinforced skills over time. 

For example, practising swimming at least a few times a week can significantly enhance your comfort and ability in the water. Even when faced with challenges, persistent effort leads to gradual improvement and mastery of swimming skills. 

Remember, every practice session is a step closer to becoming a proficient swimmer. Stay committed, be patient, and celebrate your progress along the way.


The importance of adults learning to swim cannot be overstated.

With frightening data demonstrating high proportions of non-swimmers worldwide, it’s vital to recognise the numerous benefits swimming provides. 

Swimming enriches lives in multiple ways. It is a crucial life-saving skill in emergencies, enhances social interactions, promotes physical and mental health, and fosters community engagement. 

Overcoming barriers such as fear, embarrassment, and accessibility issues requires courage, support, and practical steps like finding suitable classes and setting achievable goals. 

With consistency and practice, you may conquer your fears, develop essential swimming skills, and enjoy the myriad rewards of swimming, making it a valuable investment in your well-being and quality of life. And you can always contct us for more info!


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