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New research shows that swimmers live longer than walkers and runners. Not just a little bit longer. In a study of more than 40,000 men ages 20-90, who were followed for 32 years, swimmers were 50 percent less likely to die during the study period than were walkers or runners.

 

Steven Blair, exercise science professor at University of South Carolina, said, “I was surprised that the swimmers had a statistically significant lower death rate than the runners, but they did.”

 

Swimming is highly aerobic. It can be done year-round, and it is low impact, meaning it doesn’t strain your lower joints as intensely as running and walking. Blair also said, “One might speculate that swimmers are less prone to lower-extremity injuries.”

 

“If you like to swim, this is just one more reason to dive in. People who can’t walk or run because of physical limitations, like arthritis, can reap all the health benefits of an exercise program by swimming.” (AARP magazine, July-August 2009, page 17, “Lap It Up,” Gabrielle deGroot Redford.)

 

Debbie Jones, a physical therapist at MHHS, said, “A swimming pool would provide a way for those suffering from arthritis to participate in low impact exercises without putting stress on the joints. The heat can also provide pain relief and is beneficial in relaxing tight muscles, which is common with those people who have high muscle tone due to strokes and cerebral palsy.”

 

If you do not know how to swim, it is reassuring to know that water exercises are done in shallow water or with new safety equipment. A county pool would renew an opportunity for improved health that has been available on a limited basis in the past. The Lights On! program sponsored a water fitness class that met at Glenville State College. Participants were transported by school bus to the pool for an hour of exercise. This was a successful program, with several people enrolling each semester.

 

When the Grantsville Pool was in operation, there were classes for all ages. Little children would be playing water games and there would be a period each hour for adult swimmers to do their laps. Teenagers would have a period to do their dives. It provided recreation for the whole family.

 

We encourage all Calhouners to support the drive for a pool. The first pool was built with only local money, raised by civic groups and youth organizations. We are a determined bunch of people. If we want a pool, we will have a pool!

 

Attend the meeting at Arnoldsburg Community Building on Tuesday, Sept. 1, at 6 p.m.

 

*          *          *          *          *

Danielle Bartlett, 10, was diagnosed with a Germinoma brain tumor on June 10. The tumor shrank with chemo and she is in her second of five weeks of radiation. She loves to receive cards and her parents are hoping that she receives enough to be included in a category in the Guinness Book of World Records. Her address is 260 Country Club Road, Richwood, WV 26261. You can learn more about her at www.caringbridge.org/visit/daniellebartlett.

 

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