Every year, adults all over the country take up swimming for different reasons. Some do it to participate in a sport that their children love, some want to learn a new skill, while others are seeking out the social benefits that come with joining a sport as an adult.
And with over half of the American adult population stating that they can't swim, the more people that take up the sport, the better. Whatever your reasons are for seeking out swim training later in life, one thing is for sure - you are getting fit and taking a step towards your health. And that is a positive thing!
Unfortunately, recent numbers by the National Center for Health Statistics show that more women in the U.S. are becoming obese, with 40% of adult females seriously overweight. And the stats for men aren't much better with 35% of the U.S. male population in the obese category.
To combat these statistics, starting swim training as an adult is one of the smartest things that you can do for your health. Swimming is a great form of exercise and is easy on your joints compared to other sports like running or aerobics. And while it's gentle on your joints, it still burns between 500-700 calories per hour, depending on how fast you're going and what stroke you're doing while in the pool.
In addition to staying lean and fit because of your swim training, this popular form of exercise can also help you to prevent injuries as you age. Dryland swim training, like some of the exercises found on the U.S. Masters Swimming site, can build and strengthen the muscles around your joint area. Swimming practice, cool downs, and other supporting workouts can help improve balance, strengthen hips, and give your body the power to avoid slips and falls, which become more common as we get older.
But getting older is an opportunity to make a positive change for your overall health. As trainer Chris Ritter discusses in the U.S. Masters Swimming article, "The Decade of Transition", taking up swimming in your 50s is an "opportunity for you to be intentional about strength-training—a healthy way to stay younger than your actual age. If you’re serious about your fitness and longevity, your 50s are the decade to really focus in on it and set the stage for subsequent decades."1 And it's true! Many of the champion Masters swimmers who use our P2Life products are swimming better now than they did in college.
While staying fit and avoiding injuries are great reasons to take up swimming, many adults do it for the social reasons. Some adults say that the camaraderie is the thing that keeps them coming to practice every day, while some adults do it with the whole family and join clubs to keep up with their children.
If you're looking for a swim club near you, check out the U.S. Masters swimming site where you can find swimming clubs in your area. Pay them a visit and see what one is right for you. Or consider joining your local gym and take advantage of their pool and any classes that they offer. Wherever you're looking for, there's sure to be something that fits with your schedule and fitness level.
Did you know that every day 8 people die from unintentional drowning and that this is the 5th leading cause of unintentional death in the United States2? Don't become one of these startling statistics. And even if you or your loved ones survive a water accident or possible drowning, many times accident victims end up having lasting symptoms of memory loss and brain damage. Learning how to swim as an adult can help with the safety of those around you and prevent accidental death by drowning.
With all of these reasons, there's no excuse why you shouldn't consider swimming as an adult. If you need some extra motivation, read about Masters swimmer Laura Val, who is breaking records in her 60s, or our P2Life founder Tim Shead, who is performing better now than he did in his 20s!
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