When most people think of trying to get fit and starting exercise, most start running or lifting weights. While these are undoubtedly tried and true methods that yield great results, swimming may have them both beat, as far as long term benefits and effectiveness.

Silver Sharks Administrative Head Coach Lexi Sidorenko explained one huge benefit of swimming is that it's great for the joints.

"With running you have gravity pulling down on you and you are forcing your body against gravity as you're running, but swimming you're in that 0 gravity effect, so you don't have that extra pressure pushing down on you. You're not rubbing bone on bone with that extra pressure, just being in that suspension can really like allow your muscles to build without the stress on your joints," she said.

While most forms of exercise increase lung capacity, swimming works particularly well for this as you have to regulate your breathing and learn how to maximize inhaling vs exhaling.

"That little extra element of swimming by holding your breath like breathing every 3 freestyle strokes, it's just going to improve that lung capacity. When you have that strong lung capacity, even if you're not a competitive swimmer, it's going to help you outside of the pool to reduce lung disease and build endurance and all that good stuff."

Swimming, like most skills or activities, is also great for kids or younger people to build confidence. However, Sidorenko once again believes swimming has the upper hand over other activities as swimming is particularly great for body positivity, as you're very rarely fully clothed while swimming, barring a wetsuit.

"Just being in your body and embracing the situation you're in and focusing on you will really build your self-confidence because sometimes you just gotta say 'this is me world, now I'm going to go workout and it's going to be ok.'"

There's plenty of other benefits to swimming too that fall under the general category of the benefits of exercising, like increased muscle strength, decrease risk of illness, and more. 

If you're interested in swimming, Sidorenko encourages people of all ages to join the Silver Sharks, as she said they have a category for all.

"We (Sidorenko and her sister) have been through the club and we've made friendships and bonds that are still going on and we've been a part of the club for 13 years, so it's such a great way to meet people and connect and be around a good group of people." 

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