a swimmer staring at the water

Swimming is a life skill, great exercise and a challenging sport. The Y is here to support you in making swimming a lifelong pursuit for healthy living. 


We all know that aerobic exercise – also referred to as “cardio” – results in oxygenated blood pumping to the heart and delivering oxygen to your muscles. Workouts in the pool achieve just that and boost your heart health over time! According to a study published by the American Journal of Cardiology, swimming reduced blood pressure in adults 50 years of age and older who were previously sedentary. 


The many reasons to take a dip outweigh any excuses not to. Between the water’s resistance and the kicking and pulling your body does, calories will be burned in the pool. Different swimming strokes also burn different amounts of calories. On average, a 154-pound person who swims slow freestyle laps burns around 255 calories in HALF AN HOUR! In a study by the journal Metabolism, swimming even beat walking for long-term weight loss and produced improvements in body fat distribution.


Did you know that swimming can work up to 48 muscles at once? The water provides a full-body workout that helps you burn fat, tone muscles and increase your overall strength! No matter which stroke you choose to swim, all of your body’s muscles will be targeted. 


Exercising in the water is easy on your joints and bones. The support your body receives from the water lasts through adulthood. Swimming even leads to overall improvements in health that could extend your lifespan! The British Journal of Sports Medicine tracked over 80,000 adults for 20 years, finding that those who swam reduced their risk of dying of heart disease by 41 percent and of any cause by 28 percent, compared to those who did not swim.

The Y continues to be of the most accessible community resource to swimming, water safety, and encouraging a lifelong enjoyment of swimming. There are 21 branches in the Gateway Region YMCA association with pools. Stop by a branch today to experience all of these health benefits and more!

Sources: LIVESTRONG Foundation