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J Sports Med. 1975 Jan-Feb;3(1):35-9.

Swimming and cardiovascular fitness in the older age group.


Coronary artery disease is an extraordinarily common and devastating disorder of middle aged and even young men in the United States and Western Europe. An increasing risk of developing the disease is associated with such factors as high blood pressure, obesity, high levels of cholesterol in the blood serum, cigarette smoking, certain behavioral patterns, decreased vital capacity and a low level of physical activity. There is much evidence to indicate that exercise may well help prevent heart attacks through such mechanisms as increasing heart efficiency, decreasing the level of serum cholesterol, decreasing obesity, decreasing high blood pressure and promoting psychic well-being. It is necessary, however, that the exercise be continued throughout life. Athletic activity in high school or college is of no help in later years. The exercise must be part of a regular scheduled year-round activity. It is suggested that swimming has many unique advantages for such an endeavor. The Amateur Athletic Union of the United States has developed competition in older age groups as a motivating force for the continuance of a regular training program of a healthful nature.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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