Diseases of the heart and circulatory system are among the biggest killers in Europe
. In Germany alone, 300,000 people die from strokes, heart attacks and the consequences of high blood pressure each year. According to the World Heart Federation (WHF) around 80 per cent of these deaths are preventable with a healthy lifestyle.
Medics also see it this way: Dr. Wolfgang Kurbjuhn from Hamelin, Germany, is convinced that: “Many cardiovascular diseases can be prevented with moderate physical exercise.” Statistics prove him right: According to the German Heart Foundation, just ten minutes’ brisk walking a day lowers a person’s risk of cardiovascular disease by around 20 per cent.
Swimming as a sport is heart-healthy because it offers effective training, whilst also protecting the heart muscle. The water pressure causes the blood vessels on the skin’s surface to constrict, which forces blood back into the chest cavity, thereby making the heart pump harder. Eventually, the heart adapts to this extra load and becomes more efficient.