FEATURE — Summer is nearing an end and parents may find themselves with a little extra time while their kids are in school, even finding time for themselves. Swimming laps is one of the best activities you can do for yourself, and although staring at that tiled blue line at the bottom of the pool hardly sounds like an ideal way to spend some of your precious time, the benefits of swimming are unlimited.
Swimming lowers stress levels, increases muscle tone and strength, increases flexibility, and improves heart and lung health, not to mention it is low impact and great on your joints. Swimming burns 500-600 calories for every hour of swimming (depending on the intensity of your workout). Swimming is a sport for both novice swimmers and top notch athletes. Whether you’re looking to recover from an injury or preparing for an event, there is a place in the pool for you.
Several studies show that swimming improves joint mobility and flexibility for people suffering from arthritis or other joint related pains. Swimming does not place as great a demand on the heart as other exercises, yet can greatly improve overall heart health.
In a study involving almost 46,000 people at Harvard University those who were swimming rather than not exercising at all showed greater improvements in blood pressure, cholesterol levels, maximum energy output, and other measures of cardiovascular health. That Harvard study involved people from 20-90 years old, proving that its never too late to get in the water.
With a versatile exercise that doctors prescribe to patients for anything from injury recovery to weight loss or muscle toning, and world class coaches use as cross training or conditioning, how could one go wrong?
Gyms, public venues and community centers in the area offer a variety of swimming programs and aquatic workouts.
Washington City Community Center’s indoor aquatic center includes a competition lap pool, see fall 2014 lap lane schedule here. The City of St. George’s Sand Hollow Aquatic Center offers a a 25 meter by 25 yard competition and diving pool, see schedule here, and water aerobics, master and lap swimming schedule here.
The swim S.T.E.P.S. Club at the Summit Athletic Club is coached by Lily Sunderland-Lusk and Shawn King, with a combined 13 years experience. They have created the S.T.E.P.S. program for all abilities, to be enjoyed in the largest outdoor lap pool in the area (voted the number one gym in Southern Utah). Summit has both an outdoor and indoor lap pool, see schedule here.
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Written by Lily Sunderland-Lusk and Derek Visser for St. George Health & Wellness magazine and St. George News.
Copyright St. George News, StGeorgeUtah.com Inc., and St. George Health and Wellness magazine, 2014, all rights reserved.