Swimming in a Fountain of Youth

Can Swimming be The Fountain of Youth? We all know that swimming is one of the best forms of exercise. But did you also know that as a natural swimmer, providing you swim both regularly and with plenty of zeal, swimming can help to keep you feeling and looking younger? Well, according to research recently carried out at Indiana University Bloomington's (IUB) Councilman Center for the Science of Swimming, that’s exactly what they’ve found.

New Research into Optimal Aging

The new research into the subject of “optimal aging” has been carried out using slightly different parameters to the norm. Whereas previous research into aging has focused on what was considered to be a general sample of the aging population, (a sample including individuals carrying disease and other age-related conditions), the new research has been carried out on a more physically active sample of the senior population.

Being a Natural Swimmer Can Promote Anti Aging Circumstances

The results show quite conclusively that being a natural swimmer, especially one who has swum competitively, does seem to promote an anti aging phenomenon.

Elite Swimmers Age Markers are Significantly Lower

The tests carried out by the IUB’s research team were enacted on an elite band of swimmers. Each one was a natural swimmer who was entered into either the 2004 US championships, and/or the 2006 FINA world Championships that were held in Stanford. The research looked at what are called “age markers” which normally decline by between 0.5% and 1% per annum starting on or around the age of 35. The data recorded from this elite group of athletes was then compared to similar data from that of the general public.

Age Markers Explained

Age markers include such things as blood pressure, the blood itself, muscle tone, telomere length and heart function. Amongst the natural swimmers from the elite group, who admittedly subjected themselves to intensive swimming as part of their competitive training, the deterioration in all of the age markers mentioned was substantially lower than that seen in the general public.

Regular Physical Activity Extends Physiological Ability

Joel Stager, director of the IUB Councilman Center’s Science of Swimming is reported as stating that much of the decline in age markers is due to a reduction in activity, rather than the advancing of age, as such. This suggests that regular physical activity serves to extend physiological ability.

Younger Fitter People Can Stave off Aging

This new research suggests that younger, fitter people can stave off some of the symptoms of aging with intense physical activity. So a natural swimmer who is able to swim 3500 to 5000 meters 2 or 3 times per week will reap the benefits, but what about those people who are already approaching their senior years?

Swimming is Still the Best Fountain of Youth for the Elderly

Even though it may be too late for many senior persons to be able to take advantage of the anti aging circumstances that regular intense sessions of swimming can bring about, indulging in a program of light swimming, pool or open water, is still beneficial. Because it’s a low impact activity it is kinder to aged joints. Not only that, but it helps increase mobility in those joints too, so being a natural swimmer is an excellent antidote for conditions like arthritis.


Today’s Daily Fountain of Youth Swimming Workout

Warm-up:  500 freestyle, 100 breaststroke kick no board, 200 Individual Medley, 100 kick butterfly-on-back, 100 side kick freestyle

400 IM as 25 kick, 75 swim each swim stroke

8 x 75 alternating freestyle and backstroke

Pull 5 x 100 as 25 breaststroke, 75 freestyle

Hand-paddles still on: 200 backstroke, 200 breaststroke, 200 freestyle

Swim 100 IM

4 x 200 alternating backstroke and freestyle

2 x 150 as 75 IM, 75 freestyle

Warm-down:  8 x 25 alternating butterfly and freestyle

Total:  4500 meters or yards depending on pool length

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