Splashing around in the pool and doing a few laps with your kiddos might not seem like work, but research shows swimming is a great exercise to lower your cholesterol. Research published in 2010 in Metabolism demonstrated swimming worked more effectively than walking to reduce waist circumference and LDL cholesterol. Within the study, women aged 50-70 were assigned the task of walking or swimming for one year. The study stated that after the year was up, the swimmers had significantly lower cholesterol, even after adjustment for changes in weight and alcohol consumption.
Additionally, a 2008 study in the International Journal of Aquatic Research and Education found about 50% lower mortality risk in swimmers than in those who were sedentary, runners, or walkers. The study followed more than 40,000 men aged 20-90 from 1971-2003. The study also noted that “adjustment for baseline prevalent diseases did not change the inverse association between different activities and all-cause mortality.” So, no matter how you look at it, swimming is a great exercise to get your blood pumping and your cholesterol numbers down.
You don’t have to hit the gym and swim laps, either. Trying water jogging or hitting an aqua aerobics class could be fun. You might find that synchronized swimming is more your jam. It’s time to grab your goggles and head to your nearest swimming pool.