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A Healthier Heart

Swimming is a strenuous activity that will make you more heart-healthy.

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In addition to toning visible muscles like pectorals, triceps and quads, swimming also helps improve the most important muscle in our bodies: the heart.

Because swimming is an aerobic exercise, it serves to strengthen the heart, not only helping it to become larger, but making it more efficient in pumping -- which leads to better blood flow throughout your body. Research also shows that aerobic exercise can combat the body's inflammatory response as well -- a key link in the chain that can lead to heart disease [source: Columbia University Medical Center].

If that's not enough to get you moving in the pool, the American Heart Association reports that just 30 minutes of exercise per day, such as swimming, can reduce coronary heart disease in women by 30 to 40 percent. Additionally, an analysis by the Annals of Internal Medicine showed that regular aerobic exercise could reduce blood pressure [source: Bobalik].

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