A new study has found that regular swimming decreases the risk of dying prematurely by 50%! Over the last 32 years, researchers have been monitoring the medical and physical activity data of over 40,000 men between the ages of 20-90 in a study called the Aerobics Center Longitudinal Study.
This study evaluated many types of physical activity and compared the impact of each type of exercise on health and longevity. At the study’s conclusion, the researchers determined that regular swimmers enjoyed better cardiovascular health and longevity than sedentary men, walkers and even runners.
Some time ago, I took a trip to Puerto Rico, and while there I took a dip in the ocean…
While floating in the ocean, I decided to go for a swim to get some cardiovascular activity. With great faith in my cardiovascular health and tons of youthful energy I began confidently paddling away. After approximately 1 minute of swimming I was completely wiped out!
I was totally blown away by my poor cardiovascular performance and it was then that I realized just why Phelps is so revered as an athlete! Swimming is tough and uses practically every muscle in the body! No wonder the swimmers in this study had better cardiovascular health than practically anyone else in the study including runners.
I can go on a brisk run for an hour on end but conked out within one minute of swimming. I do have one concern with swimming, however…
My concern has to do with the exposure to chlorine. In this study, it appears that regular exposure to chlorine did not do the body harm but I can’t help worrying about regular exposure to such a caustic compound. With that said, this study does lay to rest some of those concerns. I will make one more note about the study, a good bit of the research dollars for this study did come from the National Swimming Pool Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting aquatic based fitness, this could pose a potential conflict of interest.