Wellness & Self Care

Using the pool for wellness and self-care | Part 1

To start 2020 off to a good start we are featuring a blog post from the lovely Jo Ball about our water fitness sessions. Thank you Jo for letting us share it here 🙂

January is sometimes a tricky month. After the joys of Christmas and New Year, it can feel incredibly long, truly entrenched in the winter weather and dark mornings coupled with early evenings can mean we feel sluggish and unmotivated.

So this January, the beginning of a new year, indeed a whole new decade, it’s time to prioritise you.  We spend Christmas giving to others and now is the time to reel it back in –   In order to be the best parent, colleague, friend, you need to start with being the best you.

2020 is a great time to start new things, try new things. Build new routines and new priorities.  Why not build in fun, sociable exercise into your wellness regime for 2020?

We offer 4 different Aquatic Fitness classes – there is one for everyone!

Aqua4Life – Tuesday’s & Fridays @ Woolland

Aqua4Rehab – Thursday’s @ Gorcombe 

Aqua4Hiit – Fridays @ Milton Abbey


Towards the end of last year we were able to share our latest water therapy with some very special people and it was a resounding success.

What is AquaStretch™?

AquaStretch™ is a hands-on, holistic, myofascial release technique using buoyancy and weighted resistance. It is a clinically proven, ground-breaking technique that can quickly restore flexibility lost after an accident or surgery.  It can significantly and immediately reduce chronic pain, create profound relaxation, improve sleep or be used in athletic conditioning to reduce training time and improve performance.

Assisted Stretching

Unlike many treatments, in AquaStretch™ you are not passive, but you are participating in your own experience and treatment.  You need to allow your body to move intuitively, in whichever way you feel would assist your stretch.

AquaStretch™ works on the whole body, however, unlike many treatments, it targets your connective tissue which works as the glue that connects as well as separates, everything within the body.  These connective tissues (known a fascia) can get tight and knotted like muscles and needs to be released.

How are massage and AquaStretch™ different?

Massage focuses on the muscles, AquaStretch™ focused on the fascia. In the “tissue sandwich”, massage moves fascial adhesions in circles from vertical pressure, AquaStretch™ stretches horizontally. AquaStretch™ is generally more effective than massage (and OMT), and lasts 3 to 4 times longer.

Why does AquaStretch ™ work?

  • In water, you can stretch into positions not possible, and hold stretches much longer, than on land
  • In water muscles float, allowing you to identify and stretch fascial restrictions more effectively
  • AquaStretch accents the body’s natural “stretch reflex”, that itself is freer and more dynamic without gravity

What can AquaStretch™ help with?

  1. Lower back, neck, joint or muscle pain (including arthritis, headaches, fibromyalgia)
  2. Idiopathic pain or nerve dysfunction (i.e. ovarian pain, plantar fasciitis)
  3. Soft tissue prep, for synergy with massage, chiropractic, and cranial work
  4. Post-surgical rehabilitation:  ACL, meniscus, hip and knee replacement, postnatal
  5. Pain management programs, including accidents, combat, and sports injuries
  6. Scoliosis and other spinal deformities, including degenerative or herniated disks
  7. Psychological: May reduce anxiety & PMS emotions. May increase mental clarity
  8. Sleep problems

People who respond to AquaStretch™ usually experience significant pain relief and/or restored flexibility in their first session.  Because AquaStretch™ seems to be immediate and create relatively permanent changes in the soft tissue, most people only need intermittent sessions to maintain their health improvements.

Words and images courtesy of Jo Ball at http://www.jbaquatictherapy.com/

Summer sessions 2019


  • Intensive swimming lessons – small group
  • Private swimming lessons 1:1
  • Mermaid Swim Club
  • Lane swimming
  • Water fitness
  • Merfitness

WEEK 1 – 29th July – 2nd August – Milton Abbey pool from 10.30am – 12

WEEK 2 – 19th – 23rd August – Milton Abbey pool from 10.30am – 12

Small group swimming lessons and individual 1:1s lessons are available for anyone who wishes to gain confidence, learn a new stroke or polish up on an existing one.

Mermaid swim club / lessons with our Certified Mermaid Instructors.  Daily from 11am

Lane swimming every day during the two weeks, from 10.30am

Water Fitness at Gorcombe

Thursday 10am from 25th July – 29th August

Water Fitness / Mermaid Fitness at Milton Abbey

Wednesday 6.30pm 24th July – 28th August


maria@justaddwaterswimschool.co.uk / 07721 011461



Fun Swim Week – end of term activities

Play is the work of the childOnce again, end of term has come around and we are looking forward to our final week Fun Swim Week which we know all of our swimmers really enjoy 🙂  – the opportunity to swim and play in the water with their grown ups and siblings.   We encourage family swimming all year round anyway – but this is an extra special opportunity for families to swim and play together.

So for every swimming lesson in this final week of term, its fun all the way.

Why do we build in so much play into our lessons? And why do we encourage this ‘Free Play’ style of swimming at least once per term?

The value of play in incredibly important and we know that play is an essential activity of early childhood as it conmtributes to the cgnitvie, social and emotional development of the child.

        Play is the Work of the Child.

A time for our swimmers to relax and enjoy the water without the structure of the lesson and without the activities being adult lead. A time for them to lead the activities being supported by their adult if required. To show off what they have learned.

Without fail, every time we do this we see swimmers who push themselves further, to try to do something they thought they could not …  to have a go.  And more often than not we see beams of pride at what they CAN do – and more importantly, that they ENJOYED the doing of it!

We invite you to join us ………..



Design your swim hat in this competition from STA and Speedo

A creative project for you over half term.

Competition courtesy of STA and Speedo

This is your chance to design and win a new swim hat for you and your whole class. Using this template, design your hat using no more than 4 colours, scan and send to maria@justaddwaterswimschool.co.uk before Midnight on Friday 22nd February for onwards submission to STA by Sunday 24th February. If our swim school is lucky enough to have the winning design, you and your whole class will get a FREE swim hat with your design on it.

Terms and Conditions
•Competition is open to UK residents aged 4-12 years (with parent / carer permission)
•Competition begins 3pm Friday 15th February 2019
•Competition ends midnight on Friday 22nd February 2019 (for onwards submission to STA by Sunday 24th February)
•One winner to have their design custom printed onto a Speedo swim cap (please note that production can take between 6-8 weeks)
•The winner’s swim school will receive a £50 voucher to spend at STA Swim-Shop
•The winning design will be judged by STA and announced within 7 days of the competition closing
•The winner’s parent / carer must agree for the winner to be photographed with his / her swim cap for promotional purposes
•Our decision is final, prize is non-transferable and no cash alternative offered
•Not associated with Facebook in any way

What to do in bad weather …

What to do if the weather is bad

Well, despite it being forecast, the weather still managed to surprise us yesterday and we had lots of swimmers sadly miss their lesson last night …. and one teacher end up in a ditch on the way home …..  all ok though, thank goodness.

So, let me tell you what we aim to do when things get really bad weather wise.

As far as is safely possible, our intention is to keep all sessions running at all venues.  This means that on the morning of any bad weather event the team have to decide if we can get to the venues ourselves – and also check that the venue is open.  If we can get to the venue – the sessions will be ON.  As our team travel from a variety of locations and distances, it may mean that not all the right teachers are in the right places – but we will do our best to provide a lesson for you.

If the roads are so bad that we cannot get at least two teachers to a venue – or the venue is closed, the session will be cancelled.

This decision is normally made in the morning, rarely the night before.  It will be posted immediately on Facebook, on our website and as soon as possible by email to everyone.  Some of you prefer text messages or What’s App communication.  We will do our best to get a timely broadcast message out by those means too.

Thank you

Small Business Saturday

Samll Business Saturday

What being a local small business means to us …….

As your local, community, independent swim school, this small business relies on you, our lovely swimmers and families to support us, recommend us and help to keep us alive and able to do what we do best.

Our very small swim classes, our focus on fun, safety and progression is only possible with your support.

The fees you pay go directly to our professional swim teachers and support team, pool hire fees, professional training and development to keep us all at our best, equipment for your lessons and insurances … with much of this staying in the local community.

We really do a ‘happy dance’ when new swimmers join us. We love welcoming more and more of you to be with us, people with whom we already have a connection – as well as those new to us or the area.We take your trust in us seriously and strive to do a good job for you and for our swimmers.We have so many fantastic outcomes and delighted swimmers. You talk to us on poolside and our inbox is full of praise. Do we always get it right? Do we suit everyone? … no .. but we take our commitment to you seriously and to heart. For us, it’s personal. We will always try to make it right if we can. We aim to be better all the time. We listen.Thank you for supporting THIS local small business. Please help us even more by recommending us to others as we start our bookings for the new year. Maybe you can share this post or pass on our contact details.Maria@justaddwaterswimschool.co.uk
07721 011461

Aqua Bumps with Aqua Sensory®

AquaBumps at Just Add Water incorporating Aqua Sensory® and Birthlight Aqua Yoga

The more time I spend researching and digging deeper into the world of Aqua Sensory® for our little babies for their water time, the more I realise that the principles of tuning into yourself and your surroundings apply to all of us.

When I lead classes of grown ups in their aqua exercise and we use the various bits of children’s equipment and play games – the more I see them relax and rediscover their inner child, having fun and losing themselves in the moment.

And so it seems to me that everyone, of all ages, needs a bit of ME time.  Time to slow down and FEEL – not necessarily DO; LISTEN not just HEAR; RELAX and just BE…….. Continue reading “Aqua Bumps with Aqua Sensory®”

Swimathon – Wareham Lions style

14.10.17  Brilliant day today at Purbeck pool with a Just Add Water swim team raising funds for Wareham Lions and Abbey Swimming Club / Just Add Water Swim School.  The Swimathon is an annual event organsied by Wareham Lions to raise money for their charitable works.   It is incredible fun and always has amazing support from the various local groups of all sorts.  25% of all funds raised goes to the Lions with 75% going to our cause or charity.  Thank you Wareham Lions for all that you do

A whopping 80 laps (160 lengths – 4,000m) was swum in 55 mins from this super team of swimmers, teachers and parents raising hundreds of £££ for Wareham Lions to do their good works and also for us to spend on new equipment for our swimming lessons.

Thank you to all our sponsors for your support and to Harry, Joseph, Toby, Rob, Jack, Lucy, Guy, Jo, Tim and Cate for such a fantastic effort

We already have the makings of probably three teams for next year 🙂



Can my child wear goggles in lessons?

Can my child wear goggles in their lesson?

The subject of goggles can be a very contentious issue but here at Just Add Water Swim School we are very clear about what we prefer.

We discourage use of goggles in the very early stages of learning to swim in line with the STA / ASA Swimming Forum guidelines.  See document here.  In essence we want to make sure that your child is confident and happy when getting their faces splashed and be able to put their face under water calmly and confidently before the introduction of goggles. This is to make sure that they will not have unnecessary need to panic should they find themselves without them.  Also wearing goggles can be dangerous especially if not put on correctly.    Swimmers should only be allowed to wear goggles when they are able to put them on and adjust them themselves.    Teachers will not be responsible for putting on goggles.

Swimmers who constantly take goggles off and on again during a lesson cause unnecessary disruption and will be asked to remove them altogether.

However goggles are positively encouraged for improver swimmers to enable focussed work on stroke development.