This article from the Virgin Islands Daily News is a follow-up to previous articles in which John Klein (president of the Virgin Islands Swimming Federation) broached the topic of why Virgin Islanders don’t swim. Here, he underlines all the benefits of swimming in the Caribbean Sea. (Sitting here in the northeastern US, waiting for the next snowstorm, I don’t need much convincing…sigh.) Here are excerpts with a link to the full article below:
There are many places people can swim in the Virgin Islands but the easiest place for any of us to swim is in the beautiful Caribbean Sea. This works to our advantage because as islanders, we are surrounded by water – anywhere you look. You can’t leave our islands without somehow crossing seawater.
[. . .] Now, let’s talk about the best seawater, our gift of the Caribbean Sea. Seawater contains vital elements, vitamins and minerals. Seawater also has other trace elements such as amino acids and positive living microorganisms that can produce antibiotic and antibacterial effects that can help promote a healthy immune system. All of these vital elements are absorbed by your body when you are swimming in the sea.
There is a fascinating study by Maureen Jenkins, the director of clinical services of the charity Allergy UK. She has found that people who live by and swim in the sea tend to have a healthier respiratory system. Further studies have shown that seawater is a cleanser and it mimics the body’s own fluid in the lining of the airways and therefore doesn’t irritate them. Not only does that mean that it can help wash away some of your respiratory issues but it also acts as an antiseptic. Therefore, seawater can help many wounds heal faster. It’s also a fact that a good sea breeze brings cleaner, pollen-free air.
Additionally, swimming in seawater or a swimming pool may help facilitate better blood circulation in your body. Your circulatory system, heart, capillaries, arteries, and veins all carry oxygen-rich blood from your heart to your body and then returns the blood to your heart again. Moreover, continuous movement in the water for just short periods of time reduces the inflammation of joints and muscles.
When we say swim to live, we mean that swimming can activate the body’s healing mechanisms to fight conditions like asthma, arthritis, bronchitis and other inflammatory diseases. This is because it reduces inflammation of joints and muscles and helps to calm down and sometimes eliminate many common ailments.
Magnesium-rich seawater can also relax your muscles, reduce stress, help you sleep and increase your libido.
So, if we haven’t given you enough good reasons already to start swimming, here is one more: Swimming in seawater on a regular basis has anti-aging properties – and don’t we all want to look and feel young?