The short answer to this question is “yes.” The long answer is a little bit more complicated but I truly believe everyone can enjoy this ageless sport. Swimming is a lifelong activity that uses techniques and skills that may continue to be improved upon and strengthened at any age. Whether you are a first time swimmer, a seasoned veteran or floating somewhere in between, swimming can greatly improve your overall physical as well as mental health.
The most common statement I come across from the beginner or novice swimmer is, “I don’t know how to swim!” My response to this is always the same; “Yes, you do….you just don’t know it yet.” Everyone is built with the ability to swim. But more often than not, they haven’t been shown or instructed in the proper way to swim nor has anyone given them the encouragement to give it a try. The instruction is very similar for the young swimmer as it is for a boomer wanting to take the plunge into swimming. The techniques involved, while challenging to the muscles, are easily digestible to the brain.
Still need more motivation? Here are a few notable reasons to dive into this form of fitness:
• Swimming requires the use of your entire body to resist the water yet is does not impact your body.
• Improves endurance with every lap.
• It has been proven that swimming may also improve flexibility, balance and coordination.
• Got flab? Swimming may increase muscle tone and help you maintain a healthy weight.
• Swimming is a low-cost workout that can benefit a multitude of fitness levels.
• Swimmers report feeling less stressed and peaceful when they are moving in the water.
• Warm water loosens stiff joints and benefits those suffering from arthritis.
• Swimming improves lung capacity.
As with any sport, it is important to stretch before and after your swim session. Free lift weights will assist you in building strength in and out of the water. Another of the many benefits of taking the plunge, is meeting new people. I highly suggest joining a group class or getting to know the person in the lane next to you. One of my biggest joys as a swim instructor is when a swimmer of any level comes to me wanting to either learn to swim or learn a new stroke or technique. They surprise themselves with how quickly they are able to conquer something new. From that point on, you have created a swimmer for life. There is something to “suit” everyone, all you have to do is jump in.