Cookie policy: This site uses cookies (small files stored on your computer) to simplify and improve your experience of this website. Cookies are small text files stored on the device you are using to access this website. For more information please take a look at our terms and conditions. Some parts of the site may not work properly if you choose not to accept cookies.

Join

Subscribe or Register

Existing user? Login

Another health benefit of taking up swimming

  • Print
  • Share
  • Comment
  • Save
  • Print Friendly Version of this pagePrint Get a PDF version of this webpagePDF

As a regular swimmer who aims to swim 50 lengths at least three times a week, I was interested in recent research suggesting that swimming could improve vascular function and reduce blood pressure.

This US study involved 43 sedentary adults between the ages of 50 and 80 years who were randomly assigned for 12 weeks to supervised regular swimming (three or four times a week) or to supervised relaxation exercises. All participants had a systolic blood pressure of 120–159mmHg at the start.

Adherence to the swimming sessions exceeded 99 per cent and the distance swum increased from a mean of 550m a day in the first week to 1,417m a day in the final week. After 12 weeks of swimming, systolic blood pressure decreased significantly from a mean of 133mmHg at baseline to 122mmHg, but there was no change in blood pressure in the relaxation group. Diastolic blood pressure fell from 76 to 72mmHg in the swimming group but this change was not statistically significant. Swimming also produced a 21 per cent increase in arterial compliance, a 12 per cent decrease in aortic stiffness and a significant improvement in flow mediate dilation.

If confirmed in further studies, such improvements in vascular function and blood pressure would appear to be worthwhile and could possibly reduce the need for antihypertensive medication — for those who enjoy ploughing up and down a pool three or four times a week.

Have your say

For commenting, please login or register as a user and agree to our Community Guidelines. You will be re-directed back to this page where you will have the ability to comment.

  • Print
  • Share
  • Comment
  • Save
  • Print Friendly Version of this pagePrint Get a PDF version of this webpagePDF

From: Beyond pharmacy blog

Take a look here for thoughts and musings beyond the pharmacy realm

Newsletter Sign-up

Want to keep up with the latest news, comment and CPD articles in pharmacy and science? Subscribe to our free alerts.