View Full Version : How does swimming help you- Please reply!

February 11th, 2003, 09:00 AM
I'm an Indiana University student who is an avid swimmer and a swim coach. I'm writing an article for a journalism class on masters swimming and why swimming is such a good exercise especially for anyone over the age of 60. If you are over around that age could give me your own personal opinions as to why swimming help you? Thanks!

February 11th, 2003, 12:16 PM
well I'm not over sixty yet--in my 50's
For me swimming, first of all, is fun, it gets me out of the house or away from the office. My time at the pool is a time to relax, forget about home and work responsibilities for a bit and concentrate on swimming. Its a time to challenge myself physically and mentally; to do something for me; and recently others have been asking me for advice with their swimming, so it is becoming a time to share with and help others. Its a time to socialize with others at the pool who share the same interests and to make new friends. It is also a sensual experience--there isn't anything quite like the feel of gliding through the water, the cool water against warm muscles; feeling close to weightless; swimming hard, pushing yourself and being out of breath. Those advantages alone are enough to keep me swimming, but of course I've benefited from swimming in other ways too. It helps control my weight and cholestrol; forces me to eat a sensible diet (although at times I do use Atkins to drop a few excess pounds that seem to slip on.) It helps me to maintain a good blood pressure and low heart rate. I am also far more flexable and stronger now that I've started swimming. I'm not feeling as many little age related aches and pains any more, and headaches are almost unheard of now. It must be reducing my stress level, or it has increased my fitness to a level that allows me to resist headache triggers. I sleep better (if I don't over do the workouts--too much keeps me awake at night) and I'm not as tired as I use to be.

Did I say I just plain enjoy it?

February 20th, 2003, 01:43 PM
I am 47 and have been swimming again for the last 3 or 4 years. I started because I did not feel that I was in good enough shape to do my job which requires that I work 12 hours shifts standing. one meal only per day. one bathroom break, and making important decisions every 2 minutes.

I also was very concerned about the aging process and the attending health problems that inevitably accompany old age. In the time I have been swimming my resting heart rate has decreased, my lung capacity has increased, my strength has increased, my happiness has improved, and my spelling has gotten worse.

I enjoy the water gliding over my body when my stroke is on but also become frustrated when my stroke is not allowing the water to flow over my body. It is a great feeling to have the water glide over you and one can always find ways to improve.

During my pool time I feel free and can be in my own little world with no cares except myself and stroke. I am able to carry this feeling home with me and it makes for a much better night at my house. My wife, best wife in the world, has told me she can tell
a difference in my mental and coping ablities after I swim. I guess that I get that endorphin rush that comes with exercise and accomplishment and it generally will last into the next day.

Swimming has made me much stronger than I was and allows me to my chores around the house without fatigue. Even though I do not have a team to practice with swimming gives me a place to be and a sense of belonging to something besides work etc.

Have a great day


jean sterling
February 20th, 2003, 04:01 PM
I was at the doctor's yesterday, and he was very impressed with my "numbers" - excellent blood pressure, wonderful chloresterol, resting heart rate of 64. Some of this is no doubt due to good genes, but he said that some of it was probably due to my swimming, which he termed a wonderful exercise.

From a personal standpoint, I am 66 and feel great. Swimming helps my physical condition and gives me energy. Feeling good helps my disposition too. I also look better as a result of my swimming - except for my swimmer's hair. :)

February 20th, 2003, 07:21 PM
I was an avid runner all through my school years and young adulthood. At my peak I ran 40 miles a week. Eventually the strain on my joints caught up with me, and I had to give it up for good. (I am now 41.) When I came off crutches for the last time, I realized that I had gained 25 pounds in the 3 years that I had been on the sidelines with injuries to both knees, one foot and one hip. I started swimming (along with a sensible eating plan) in order to lose the added weight and to fill my need for regular exercise. I had never swum before (except for compulsory swim class in school), so it was a real challenge to get started. I'm still a really lousy swimmer, but all of the extra pounds are off, the injuries have pretty much healed, and I'm feeling terrific. My doctor tells me that my vital stats are outstanding. One of my inspirations in this process was the excellent book by Dr. Phil Whitten, "The Complete Book of Swimming." You might look there since your project overlaps Dr. Phil's research interests.

February 21st, 2003, 09:46 AM
I am 61 and swimming definitely improves my life. I love working out with friends of all ages. My outlook of life stays younger through these friendships.

At 50, I first noticed a difference in my approach to life and my peers who do not exercise. Many started focusing on what was wrong with them, not what they could do and how much pleasure you get from exercise.

Since 50, I have had numerous health issues (reflux, asthma, atrial fib). Because of swimming and my desire to compete, I have been very aggressive in seeking solutions, not just learning to live with it. Reflux was repaired and asthma is under control. I take medication for atrial fib but am scheduled for a procedure in March to correct this (here's hoping). Through this, my times have slowed, but my placing within my age group has stayed the same or improved.

Best of all, I feel good. There is very little I can not do. I may be slower, but I can do it.

Betsy Durrant

February 22nd, 2003, 05:12 PM
Paul Krup, 84, a World Record holder from Cleveland, Ohio was quoted in the Sept. 16, 2002 issue of Sports Illustrated as saying, "“I got up this morning and just felt lousy ...
My back hurt, my leg hurt, I didn’t have an appetite. Then at one o’clock I went to the outdoor pool. I put on a bathing cap
and swam a little over a mile, using all strokes. I came out feeling like a million bucks. It’s like that every day. I feel lousy all
day until I get in the water and swim."