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Posts Tagged ‘Sports’

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Hindustan Times reports: Swimming, racquet sports and aerobics are associated with the best odds of staving off death, and in particular of reducing the risk of dying from heart disease or stroke, scientists said…

… research, published in the British Journal and Sports Medicine …analysed data from 11 annual health surveys for England and Scotland carried out between 1994 and 2008, covering 80,306 adults with an average age of 52. Participants were asked about what type and how much exercise they had done in the preceding four weeks, and whether it had been enough to make them breathless and sweaty.

Exercise included heavy domestic chores and gardening; walking; cycling; swimming; aerobics, gymnastics or dance; running; football or rugby; and badminton, tennis or squash. The survival of each participant was tracked for an average of nine years, during which time 8,790 of them died from all causes and 1,909 from heart disease or stroke.

In death from heart disease and stroke, the study found racquet sports players had a 56% lower risk, with 41% for swimming and 36% for aerobics, compared with those who did not participate in these sports.

Chico said …“I will continue to tell my patients that regular physical activity… is more effective in reducing their risk of heart disease than any drug I can prescribe.”

Despite the benefits of swimming the number of participants in the UK continues to drop.

Discover the full story: Hung Out to Dry Swimming and British Culture

 

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EUobserver reports: Copenhagen is one of the only cities in Europe where the harbour water is again clean enough to swim in.

The city has built three popular harbour baths – a new type of city-beach for people to swim, sunbathe, and cool off on hot summer days.

A 2-kilometre race in the canals around the Danish parliament in August saw a record 3,600 participants this year.

During the last decade, the harbour baths have also become popular with tourists. They are the most visible result of a deliberate decision in the municipality to move polluting industry out of the harbour, and to clean all waste water before it reaches the sea.

The harbour baths are open 24/7 and many people living in the city centre have taken up the habit of a morning swim before heading to work.

There is no entry fee. Anyone is free to jump in and to enjoy the feeling of pumping blood, tickling skin and the salty taste of sea water.

Swimming around parliament

A 2-kilometre race in the canals around the Danish parliament in August saw a record 3,600 participants this year. Some 230 came from abroad to take part.

For swimmers, the race offers a very different perspective of the city and its old parliament building, Christiansborg. For tourists, who gathered on the city’s bridges and wharfs, clapping and photographing, it offers the unusual sight of swimmers splashing in city canals.

“The water is really clean, I saw streams of small fish and jellyfish when passing Knippelsbridge,” Julia Winklewski told EUobserver…

The water temperature is 20C in August, but in winter the harbour can be covered by ice.

Despite freezing temperatures, winter swimming is a popular activity among Danes. Some 11,000 people are registered members of winter swimming clubs around the country, with many more on waiting lists. Swimming is believed to improve people’s health and their quality of life. Read more…

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Indy Star reports: Would you use a beach on the White River?

Would you set up an umbrella and sun yourself on a sandy area on the urban waterway that flows through Indianapolis? The one plagued for years with pollution issues?

Yes, that’s a serious question — because it seriously could happen.

“It would be a missed opportunity if we didn’t develop the banks of the White River.” said Chris Gahl, vice president of Visit Indy, the city’s tourism agency. “Why not think big? Why not think progressively? If we don’t think big, we’ll get passed by.”

So Visit Indy is thinking big  and long term. The prospect of a beach along the banks of the White River Downtown came out of its first tourism master plan, launched in 2015 with a goal of attracting 5 million more visitors to Indianapolis by 2025. In the past 18 months, Visit Indy researched the needs and wants of state residents, business owners, community leaders and elected officials and identified areas to target to reach that goal.

“Our research shows people are attracted to water,” Gahl said. “(The White River) is an underutilized attractant in the city. People would gravitate to it.” More…

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The Daily Echo reports: As Hampshire feels the chill of an Arctic blast taking a dip in a freezing lake is furthest from most people’s minds. But for a host of athletes visiting the county this week we are enjoying the ideal weather for their sport. They are competitors in the first ever UK’s ice swimming contest.

The National Ice Swimming Championships, the Great Britain 1km Open, will draw in crowds to the Andark Lake in Swanwick this weekend to watch plucky athletes brave the icy waters in the new sport.

But residents will also be able to see if they have what it takes.

Run under the IISA (International Ice Swimming Association) rules, ice swimmers must take to water of 5 degrees Celsius or less wearing only a regular swimming costume, a pair of goggles and swim hat to stay warm.

This Saturday’s elite class – who have to undergo strict medical tests and qualifying swims before competing – will race the kilometre in a bid to qualify for a place in the world championships in Germany later this year.

The following day residents can head down to the lake to try the sport for themselves. more…

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This is the question I asked and I believe I have found the answer in Switzerland…

 

 

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Attitudes are improving but still leaning towards the negative…

Get Reading reports:

Summer is (hopefully) coming – and warm weather brings the dangerous temptation to cool off in rivers, warns the Environment Agency (EA).

With the school holidays approaching, the EA is reminding people not to take risks and make sure family and friends stay safe.

River water can contain hazards, particularly in and around structures such as bridges, locks and flood channels.

Unexpectedly cold water or strong currents can catch bathers off guard. The winter floods have also moved a lot of debris around the channels, which remain hidden beneath the surface.

Rivers are great places to have fun and get close to nature and spend time with friends and family, but vigilance can save lives and water-related accidents can be avoided by knowing how to stay safe.

Russell Robson, technical team leader for the Environment Agency, said: “The summer is a great time on our rivers, and we expect the River Thames to be a focal point for a lot of people’s leisure time.

“Not only do people boat, fish and walk by our rivers, they spend weekends camping and just lazing by the waters.

“We would like people to enjoy the water but to remember some basic safety points when out having fun.

“Over the last few years we have worked hard to get the safety message out to children and parents, stressing that people stay away from the edge, that children must be accompanied by an adult and swimming should be confined to recognised swimming areas, pools and lidos.

“We often see youngsters jumping off bridges, and swimming, along many of the rivers in the South East and, while this can be great fun, there are hidden dangers in the water that could cause them to get into difficulties. We are urging parents to supervise their children closely in and around water and make sure they do not enter the water alone.

“Come and enjoy the river and all that is going on around it, but please remember to bring your common sense with you as well.”

The Environment Agency has provided some information to consider when planning your days out and holidays, whilst still having fun and being safe:

Top tips from the EA include:

– Don’t jump or dive in as the depth may vary and there can be unseen hazards.

– Don’t go in near weirs, locks, pipes and sluices – these and some other water features are often linked with strong currents.

– Inland waters can be very cold no matter how warm the weather – leading to cramp and breathing difficulties.

Parents and guardians can help keep children safe by teaching them to swim, warning them not to go into water alone or unsupervised, ensuring they know where the children are and what they are doing and supervising them closely when near any open water.

Drowning can happen very quickly, even in shallow water, and the key to keeping safe is to take all necessary precautions to avoid getting into difficulty in the first place.

 

 

Swim Smart

Educating people about Wild Swimming water safety:

Adults and teenagers: http://hungouttodry.co.uk/page3.htm

Parents and Children: http://hungouttodry.co.uk/page9.htm

Drowning riak and Wild Swimming: http://hungouttodry.co.uk/page31.htm

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Malcolm Tozer Reviews: Hung Out to Dry: Swimming and British Culture, in the Spring Edition of Physical Education Matters.

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It was by chance that your reviewer came across this privately published social history of swimming and the evident enthusiasm of its author – devotee of outdoor bathing and self-taught historian – prompted the request for a copy. Chris Ayriss’s idiosyncratic approach is as refreshing as the waters he loves and the ebb and flow of his story matches that of meandering stream; you never know what is round the next bend.

The Blue Lagoon Bristol 1937

The book spans ancient and modern, from the Roman occupation of Britain right up to the health-and-safety madness of present times. On the journey we meet bathing to satisfy superstitious, ritualistic, religious, medical, sensual, sexual, naturist, hygienic and escapist needs – amongst others – sometimes with the active approval of society, sometimes not. It would seem that skinny-dipping just for fun was never as simple as that.

Henleaze Lake Bristol 1932

Bathing’s real boom began in the mid-Victorian period when Thomas Cook introduced cheap rail excursions to seaside resorts; week-long factory closures saw whole towns decamp to Skeggie or Clacton; Billy Butlin’s promise of a week’s holiday for a week’s wage led to the popularity of holiday camps; major resorts competed for the biggest lidos and the highest diving boards; and inland cities provided their own riverside beaches and swimming lakes. Some marvellous photographs show packed crowds on Blackpool beach in 1949, with no room to swing a spade; sand-castle building in the shadow of London’s Tower Bridge in 1939; a sardine-jammed lido in Bristol in 1937; and fantastic multiple diving platforms at Henleaze and Weston-super-Mare.

London-on-Sea 1939

The demise from the 1960s was sudden: it came with the introduction of cheap flights to Mediterranean beaches; the delights of sun and sangria; the building of corporation indoor swimming complexes; riverside landowners denying right of access; health concerns about polluted rivers, canals and lakes; and safety worries over unsupervised bathing. Recent evidence from my outlook in Cornwall suggests that a partial recovery is underway – helped by the economic recession, the popularity of ‘staycations’, and the ready availability of wetsuits. Is the bucket-and-spade holiday back in fashion?

Wild Swimming

All this is told in a jaunty style. A bevy of blurred boys’ bare bottoms may see the book banned from school libraries, but there is much here to inform and entertain all who have ever delighted in a midnight skinny-dip – outdoors, of course.

Hung Out to Dry: Swimming and British Culture, by Chris Ayriss, Lulu.com, 2012, £14.50, ISBN 978-0-557-12428-2

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