Swim England

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Swimming helps over 45s stay active

More people aged over 45 are swimming regularly, according to statistics released today by Sport England.

Each week, over 2.5 million adults head to the pool to take part in a range of swimming activities, of which 47 per cent are aged 45 and over.

As well as helping to stay physically active, for many it is an important way of getting out of the house and meeting new people.

The findings coincide with a new report released today by the government’s chief medical officer, Dame Sally Davies, which talks about the need for the ‘baby boomer generation’ to stay active when they retire.

Now in their 50s to 70s, the report finds that many are not meeting the recommended 30 minutes of activity five times a week.

Dame Sally said: “People are living longer than ever and so retirement presents a real opportunity for baby boomers to be more active than ever before. I think it’s very important people realise it’s never too late to try and increase activity and make sure the lifestyle is a healthy one”.

Staying socially and intellectually active is also known to ward off the risk of dementia, while keeping physically active reduces the chance of cancer and heart disease, as well as fighting obesity.

The range of activities people can do in the pool, from aquafit classes to social swimming, relaxation classes and Swimfit, means that there is something for everyone.

Programmes such as the ASA’s Dementia Friendly Swimming Project also help to ensure that people who are living with conditions such as dementia are able to swim in a safe and supportive environment.