Akron Area YMCA on swimming for health – LIVING WELL Magazine


Courtesy Akron Area YMCA, Akron LIVING WELL Magazine

What compares to a cold splash of water on your face in the morning or a vigorous swim in the afternoon? Water is an essential part of life! Every living and breathing thing needs water in order to survive. As a species dependent upon it, we know how to play and enjoy the water. It is not just a resource for life, but also a source for exercise and enjoyment.

Swimming is by no means a recent discovery. However, swimming to increase health benefits is a relatively new arena—and one with a lot of promise and potential, says Paul Thompson, aquatics director at the Akron Area YMCA. We work with members of all ages and levels from beginner to competitive swimmers through toning and stretching and arthritis programs. Many people incorporate lap swimming into their regular workout routines, which can help improve endurance, muscle strength and cardiovascular fitness.

It is well known that staying active is one of the keys to a longer and healthier life. Aquatic exercise provides an environment conducive to living longer by reducing impact on joints, bones and muscles. Unlike running or weight lifting, aquatic exercise places no jarring demands on the body. This enables the body’s energy to effectively increase heart rate, improve flexibility and help you to feel better physically and emotionally. Additionally, warmth from the water can aid in the body’s healing process of arthritis, fibromyalgia and other chronic ailments, as well as injury rehabilitation.

Consider swimming. It’s not only fun, it is one of the best workouts for maintaining your overall fitness level as well as for relaxing your mind.

The Akron Area YMCA supports your health and wellness goals through five convenient branches that offer a variety of programs supervised by knowledgeable and approachable staff. The Y is dedicated to helping you reach your goals by offering classes specific to your areas of interest and level of fitness. Financial assistance may be available to those who qualify. Contact Y Aquatics Director, Paul Thompson, at 330-899-9622 or visit akronymca.org for Y locations and programs.