The City of Long Branch Opens a Community Pool and Promotes Swimming for Health and Fitness
On June 30th, the City of Long Branch held a ribbon-cutting for our brand-new community pool! This large public pool and children’s splash area provide an additional, much- welcomed recreational opportunity for our residents to have fun, exercise and cool off during our hot Jersey Shore!
In July, the Long Branch Board of Education, partnering with our local YMCA (located in Red Bank) will be offering free swimming lessons to 50 local students. Since swimming has all three of the physical activity elements recommended to keep kids healthy – endurance, strength, and flexibility – it’s an important activity to help combat the childhood obesity rates. Studies report that swimming regularly can provide kids with the tools, skills, and dedication to maintain healthier lives as adults. Eventually, the City will offer water exercise classes for adults.
As well as being fun and providing a pleasant way to relax and cool down on a hot day, recreational swimming is a great low-impact activity with many physical and mental health benefits. It’s a great sport for all age groups, ability and fitness levels, and one of the best and most gentle ways to get an aerobic full-body workout.
Let’s dive right into all the health benefits that swimming provides! Swimming is a good all-round activity because it:
- keeps your heart rate up but takes some of the impact stress off your body, and is easy on your joints
- builds endurance, muscle strength and cardiovascular fitness while burning up calories at a higher rate than many other types of exercise
- may improve arthritis symptoms, and helps your joints stay flexible
- reduces inflammation and improves heart health
- helps maintain a healthy weight, healthy heart and lungs
- tones and defines muscles and builds strength and balance
- provides an all-over body workout, as nearly all of your muscles are used during swimming
Regular swimming can delay the effects of aging by reducing blood pressure, increasing muscle mass, improving oxygen and blood flow to the brain, and increasing cardiovascular health. It’s also good for mental health; in general, exercise reduces stress and helps relieve anxiety and depression — and that includes swimming. Another perk: you can swim every day! Swimming is gentle enough on the body that you can swim at a fairly high intensity (heart rate-wise) every day without risking injury. Of course, rest days are always recommended.
Some general tips for swimming before you dive in:
- Warm up and stretch your muscles and joints before entering the water
- Have plenty of fluids on hand and drink regularly
- Wear waterproof sunscreen if you are swimming outside
- Don’t overdo it if you’re just starting out
- See your doctor if you haven’t exercised for a long time
Any form of exercise has benefits, but swimming is special and one of the best choices for health and longevity. It’s a healthy activity that you can continue for a lifetime and it’s never too early or too late to start. It truly is the perfect exercise. From stress reduction to a potentially longer life, swimming can help you long after you’ve left the pool. Your life, health, and well being depend on it. Why not jump in?
About the Grantee
The Long Branch Health Department provides a comprehensive program of public health and other services to the community. For more information, please visit https://www.longbranch.org/departments/Health