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Lane 4 Aquatics - 2nd World War Memorial Aquatic Centre

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Swimming voted best all-round exercise for lowering risk of diabetes!

Date: 1 October 2013

According to Professor Robert A. Robergs of Charles Sturt University, “Swimming is a good, whole-body exercise that has low impact for people with arthritis, musculoskeletal, or weight limitations.” Studies show that the water’s buoyancy cushions fragile bones, stiff joints and other injuries which may have resulted from strenuous, high impact land based activity.

When the body is immersed to the waist, your body bears just 50% of its land weight; immersed to the chest, it's 25%-35%; and to the neck, just 10%. For this reason, swimming plays an important role in rehabilitation programs for almost all injured athletes. Not only does swimming recruit all the major muscle groups (shoulders, back, legs, abdominals, hips, and glutes), the water affords 12 times the resistance as air in every direction, making it a great strength building activity!

Although we have been aware of the health benefits of swimming for decades, it is only recently the true extent of these benefits have been unveiled. A recent study referred to by Dr. Karyn Leible, showed that the risk of life-threatening diseases, such as diabetes, is decreased by up to 6% with every 500 calories burnt doing an aerobic exercise such as swimming.

Love your heart? Then here’s another reason to ‘don those Speedo’s….. It’s unanimous – aerobic exercise such as swimming strengthens the heart, reducing the risk of coronary heart disease and inflammation. Swimming has also been shown to increase HDL cholesterol levels (the good cholesterol), lower LDL cholesterol (the bad boys) and keep arteries flexible. Every minute with an elevated heart rate is time well spent.

Studies have shown that not only can swimming be great for the musculoskeletal system; it can help reduce anxiety and increase mental stability. Group water fitness classes can be especially beneficial, as they promote socialization and camaraderie. However, if a dip on your lonesome is the only option, you’ll be pleased to know that doing a solo lap still releases endorphins. These guys can be relaxing and turn a trip to the pool into a meditative experience. What more do you need? Grab those goggles and jump in!

Caption Athletes exercise at the Southside Facility
Rockhampton Regional Council