The Benefits of Swimming for the Disabled

The ability to swim is something that many of us take for granted. Perhaps we wanted to take lessons when we were younger, or perhaps, as in most cases, we were ‘made’ to learn.

Whether a trip to the pool was encouraged or enforced, the fact is that swimming is a fantastic life skill to have and enjoy. Much like riding your bike, it’s something that you never forget.

The nature of aquatic activities means that it is a sport or leisure activity that can be enjoyed regardless of most mental or physical challenges.

Here are some of the brilliant benefits of swimming for the disabled.

Plain and Simple

paralympic swimmers

Paralympic swimmers get ready to inspire millions around the world.
Image source and credit

The difficulty of dealing with a mental or physical condition is always difficult, no matter what the circumstances are.First and foremost, the simplicity of learning to swim and having it as a pastime is a fantastic way to boost confidence, self-esteem and motivation.

Working towards a goal like learning to swim, or even becoming more advanced, is a fantastic thing for anyone to achieve regardless of their capabilities. As well as the great sense of accomplishment, swimming is simply great fun!

Heading to the pool is a fantastic way to spend a few hours, and a great opportunity for those with a disability to enjoy their time in the water with friends, family or carers. Swimming is a fantastic way to bring you closer to your loved ones, and provides a great activity to share together.

A Different World

The wonderful thing about water activity is that in most cases, mobility issues as a result of a disability are often hugely reduced, sometimes almost completely eradicated.

The increased freedom of movement is a fantastic experience for anyone who struggles with mobility on solid ground. There is nothing like taking those difficult steps to the water and feeling the weight of your limbs lifted as you wade into the pool. Going for a swim is something that those who are able bodied would take for granted, but for someone with limited movement it is indeed like stepping into an entirely different world.

Often for an individual with a mental or physical disability, exercise is a challenging topic. Swimming is not only fun and rewarding, but a great way to keep fit and healthy despite challenges you would normally find with outdoor exercise, or in a gym environment.


wheelchair access pool

Here, a pool is pictured with special wheelchair access all the way into the water.
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Almost all swimming pools today have disabled access and a wonderful wealth of resources.

There are specialist sessions where those with any kind of handicap can come, accompanied by a carer if necessary, to learn to swim at their leisure. There are brilliant physical resources available too, which means that any physical challenge can be overcome, and a great time can be had by all attending.

Flotation devices and trained instructors are always on hand to make sure your experience is enjoyable and you have as much freedom as possible, right from the entrance to the water to the bottom of the pool.

A local pool near you will have wheelchair access throughout the building, and a friendly environment that is tailor-made for all abilities. Facility prices are always modest, and a great way to enjoy your day without breaking the bank.

Today, thanks to modern technology and excellent trained staff, there are great systems in place to help the blind or hard of hearing too.


Swimming brings so many benefits to people of all ages and capabilities, regardless of disability. There are many different types of activities available, and whether you’re learning for the first time, or simply looking for a new way to enjoy precious time with your family, swimming is the way to go.

It’s time to shed the shackles of disability, and step into an underwater world where freedom, fun and movement come by the pool-full.


Bio: Tom is a keen swimmer and works with Mail Sports UK and advises on swimming goggles.