Masters swimmers certainly buy into the notion that regular exercise greatly improves health. A New York Times article, “The Benefits of Middle-Age Fitness,” brings up some important nuances about the effects of exercise on aging:
- It isn’t too late. “Being or becoming fit in middle age, even if you haven’t previously bothered with exercise, appears to reshape the landscape of aging.”
- Improved quality of life. Chronic illnesses seem to develop later in life. “Maladies appeared significantly later in life than for the less fit. Typically, the most aerobically fit people lived with chronic illnesses in the final five years of their lives, instead of the final 10, 15 or even 20 years.”
Since it is low impact and generally less affected by injuries, swimming is a great exercise for people just starting out (or rediscovering) the joys of regular, planned exercise. And one of the best ways to swim is to connect with a local USMS program, so you can receive optimized workouts, technical instruction and connect with other like-minded adults.