Teaching your kids to swim offers a tremendous amount of benefits. Not only does it build confidence and improve co-ordination, but it is a great cardiovascular workout. A new study has revealed that getting your little ones into the pool earlier may also help them to reach some of their cognitive, physical, and language developmental milestones earlier than their peers.

For their study, which has been called the world's most comprehensive study on kids and swimming, a team of experts from the Griffith Institute for Educational Research, interviewed parents of kids aged 5 and under from New Zealand, Australia, and the United States, over a three year period. Researchers gave parents an inclusive list of milestones and asked them to identify their child's achievements.

To remove the chance of parental bias, the scientists also observed the 180 children aged 3 to 5 who participated in intensive testing.

Lead researcher, Professor Robyn Jorgensen, noted that children who were taught to swim when they were young were able to learn a variety of skills before other children in their age group. "Many of these skills are those that help young children into the transition into formal learning contexts such as pre-school or school."

Water exercise boosts endurance in COPD

Water workouts may be the best type of exercise for people with chronic lung disease and other health problems, according to a small study.

Australian researchers found that exercising in a pool boosted physical endurance and energy levels in people with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and physical comorbidities such as obesity or back pain.

What the study found

"Participants in the water-based exercise training group reported an improvement in many functional aspects of their daily life such as improved stamina and ability to complete tasks such as walking long distances when shopping," said Renae McNamara, a physical therapist at The Prince of Wales Hospital in Randwick.