As we reflect back on fond memories of our youth, most of us can remember fun filled days in a pool, lake or ocean. Some may also remember the hours of practice we put in for swim team and the excitement of community or high school swim meets. Then we grow up and take on new sports or activities that seem better suited to our young “adult” lifestyle. For some reason, most of us have associated swimming as a kids sport but, thankfully, that trend is quickly changing. Swimming is a perfect fit for every age … literally from infancy through our golden years.
Asked about the benefits of swimming at any age, Joanna Rennie of the Summerhill Recreation Club, says, “Swimming is great exercise, of course, and we know that adults and kids alike benefit with extracurricular activity. Swimming, specifically, helps us train for other sports, especially with endurance.” Swimming is one of the most physically demanding sports. It burns a lot of calories and offers a workout that benefits cardio, strength, flexibility and agility. It is also very safe and boasts a low injury level in comparison to many other sports.
So you didn’t join the swim team growing up? Don’t worry, most of the indoor swim facilities in Athens offer masters swimming programs which are designed for people older than 18. John Krzyzaniak of the Athens YMCA, explains. “Many adults take masters classes as they train for sports like triathlons, so our classes concentrate on drills to gain strength and improve their strokes.” The Bulldog Swim Club even has a Masters swim team for those who want to get a great workout while still enjoying the thrill of competing.
“Swimming can also be adapted to different age groups’ needs and abilities,” says Krzyzaniak. Indoor swimming facilities in the Athens area offer a wide variety of classes for every age and skill level. One can find swim classes for parents and children together from infancy through two years. Of course, there are several levels of swim classes for children/youth, but there are also beginning adult classes for grownups who have never learned to swim. Hydrobics classes – aerobics in the water – are available in deep and shallow water, and offer a fun yet challenging workout that is especially good for those with arthritis or orthopedic injuries.
Whoever you are, whatever your age or circumstance, there is a swimming program that’s perfect for you. To find yours, visit the following websites for information and get started swimming for a lifetime!
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