UVA’s Fountain of Youth
January 19, 2018
By Stefan Woodson
Class of 2020
What can make a seventy-year-old professor slow down the aging process? Not something crazy or complicated, just a nice swim three times a week.
Not only has this professor felt younger and fresher after swimming, he’s also experiencing long-term relief from his arthritis. He jokes that the pool is the only place where he doesn’t feel old.
James Todd is a politics professor at the University of Virginia. Over the last 9 years, Professor Todd established a regular visit to the Aquatic & Fitness Center where he swims around 2,000 yards each day.
As it turns out, science confirms Professor Todd’s youthful feelings. Swimming improves your breathing, sharpens your mental health and helps tone your muscles. Since swimming engages all of your muscles at once, you burn more calories than any other exercise.
If that’s not enough, swimming does all that without heavy impact on joints leaving you feeling refreshed instead of exhausted. Swimming also helps you to work on breathing techniques improving your respiratory system getting oxygen to organs more efficiently. These incremental improvements add up over time taking significant pressure off your heart.
Swimming is very relaxing. Like many exercises, it helps release serotonin – the happy neurotransmitter that regulates mood, appetite and sleeping. Take your stress management to the next level and try the hot tub. The hot water relieves stress by smoothing muscle tension and stimulating blood flow. Did you know the AFC has one of the biggest hot tubs on the East Coast?
After working with my professor on this story, I thought I should take a swim at the North Ground Recreational Center. I have to admit that it was quite relaxing and fun. I didn’t do 2,000, but I did take a few laps. Afterwards I felt fresh and rejuvenated. I also slept extremely well that night.
I hope you will join me in making swimming a more regular part of your life. The youthful feelings are sustainable, the IM-Rec Sports facilities are impeccable and the benefits are undeniable.
If you're looking to improve your strokes, IM-Rec Sports offers a wide variety of swim lessons for both youth and adults. Have a look now!