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Swim Yourself Slim This Summer With AXA PPP Healthcare's Nutrition and Fitness Expert Guide

Expert Advice on Getting the Most Out of Swimming

GLASGOW, Scotland, June 10 /PRNewswire/ -- Swimming is officially the most popular participation sport in the country*, and with new national initiatives 'Learn to Swim' and 'Free Swimming', there has never been a better time for people to visit their local pool and get fit for free. With this in mind, top personal trainer Lucy Wyndham-Read and behavioural psychologist Judi James, resident experts at AXA PPP Healthcare's Nutrition and Fitness website ( have compiled their guide to taking the plunge with a series of water-based workouts and motivational exercises.

Lucy Wyndham-Read recommends swimming as a form of regular physical activity for people of all ages and fitness levels.

"Whether you're an absolute beginner or a fitness fanatic, swimming is an excellent way to tone up, improve your cardiovascular health, lower your blood pressure and leave you feeling fighting fit."

Judi James adds, "Swimming is naturally enjoyable for most people, and if you enjoy something you're far more likely to stick to it."

How swimming can help:

  • Helps combat stress and beat the blues as it releases endorphins (the body's natural 'feel good' chemicals)
  • Safe - Low impact putting less pressure on the joints, unlike exercises such as aerobics and running
  • Swimming tones your entire body and water keeps you cool, meaning you can work out for longer

Set up as part of the government's 'Be Active, Be Healthy' strategy designed to get 2 million people more active by 2012, adults who are 60 or over and under-16s can now swim for free in over a thousand swimming pools run by almost 300 local councils. Free lessons are also being offered in some areas to help the one in five adults who can't swim learn.

AXA PPP Healthcare's Nutrition and Fitness website is the definitive one-stop resource for information and advice on topical healthy living issues featuring articles, exercises, recipes and videos compiled by the UK's leading specialists. For more exercises from Lucy Wyndham-Read, advice from Judi James, as well as healthy eating news, recipes and features visit

Notes to Editors:

1. Further information on the free swimming initiative, including councils participating and their funding allocations, as well as other Olympic legacy schemes is available on the Department for Culture, Media and Sport website.

2. The free swimming initiative is jointly funded by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport, Department of Health, Department for Work and Pensions, the Department for Children, Schools and Families and the Department for Communities and Local Government.

* Sport England's Active People Survey 2007/08 showed that 3.2m people - 1 in 14 of the adult population - swam for at least 30 minutes a week. That was more than 1m more than the next most popular - football.

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