Recent research by the European Journal of Applied Physiology suggests health benefits from swimming for post-menopausal women. The study found that 24 weeks of pool exercise contributed to a 15 percent decrease in body fat and an 8 percent drop in blood pressure. Women surveyed also found they could complete an average 28 more abdominal crunches after this regimen.

Another study, released by Canadian doctor Mathieu Belanger, found that participation in sports (such as swimming) can help ease the activity decline experienced as children move into their teen years. Comparing teens active in organized sports to those who were not over a five-year period, researchers found that while both groups’ activity rates declined annually by about 8 percent, the former group’s level remained substantially higher. The conclusion: Those active in early adolescence are more likely to retain their proclivity for sports, staving off health issues.