As most people know, swimming is an excellent form of aerobic exercise. Whether its performing distance training in the pool (or even taking a Strictly Swimming London lesson), it helps strengthen the heart by increasing blood flow and helping it to even increase in size.
Swimming is also one of the best forms of exercise when it comes to increasing efficiency of the heart in pumping blood around the body. This increase of good blood flow has a fantastic impact on reducing bad cholesterol on both men and women adult swimmers.
What is cholesterol?
Cholesterol is a fatty, waxy substance which is vital for your body to function day to day. A small amount of cholesterol is healthy, as it forms part of the cell walls and is also necessary to create hormones.
What are the two different types of cholesterol?
There are two main types of cholesterol – LDL (Low Density Lipoprotein) or ‘bad’ cholesterol and HDL (High Density Lipoprotein) or ‘good’ cholesterol. HDL cholesterol is beneficial to the body. As adults, through our diets and lifestyles, LDL cholesterol can build up and fatty deposits can develop along the walls of arteries. Over time this causes the arteries to become narrow and blocked, reducing blood supply to the heart.
This process is called atherosclerosis and can eventually cause symptoms of angina or even result in a heart attack or stroke. One cause of high LDL cholesterol is a diet high in saturated fat. The fat in the food that we eat is then digested and taken to the liver, where it is metabolised into cholesterol.
HDL cholesterol, however, helps remove other forms of cholesterol from your bloodstream and are associated with a lower risk of heart disease. HDL picks up excess cholesterol in your blood and takes it back to your liver where it's broken down and removed from your body.
Benefits of Swimming on your Cholesterol
If you're already a swimmer or participate in triathlons, you've will have discovered the benefits of swimming already. If you aren't, it's never too late to learn how to swim or to brush up on strokes that you learned as a kid. Our Strictly Swimming London coaches can even tailor your lesson to develop aerobic swim training during your lesson.
As an adult who may be concerned about cholesterol, just remember swimming ultimately prevents heart disease!!!
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Paul started competing in swimming from the age of 8 and eventually went on to represent his country all over the world. During his time at University, Paul specialised in Aquatics and the Biomechanics of Swimming and produced numerous theses on swimming performance.