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Five Reasons to Swim for Exercise

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(608) 265-8350, ext. 1

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Pool Resources

Lap Pool Schedule (PDF)

Lap Swimming Guidelines

Warm Water Pool Schedule (PDF)

The UW Health Sports Medicine Fitness Center in Madison, Wisconsin offers a wide range of exercise/physical activity options, including swimming.


Swimming for Exercise
Why should you swim? Here are five good reasons:
  • Swimming is an amazing total body aerobic workout. Swimming forces you to use your entire body to propel yourself through the water. Not only do your arms and legs work to perform the "obvious" propulsion, but your core muscles (abdominals, back, butt) are constantly working. The core muscle involvement becomes an essential component of more efficient swimmers.
  • Swimming has minimal impact on your joints. Swimming is a nonimpact sport that will not put any stress on your knees, hips, feet or other weight-bearing joints. Swimming allows you to build muscular strength and endurance while getting a great cardiovascular workout, all of this without any further wear and tear on your joints.
  • UW Health Sports Medicine Fitness Center swim instructor and student in poolYou control the intensity of your workout. You can increase or decrease your pace, use different strokes and perform special sets (e.g., kicking) to customize your workout to meet the desired intensity.
  • Swimming is a life skill. Swimming is an activity that you will be able to perform throughout your life regardless of your age. If you spend time near water, swimming should be considered a vital skill as well.
  • Swimming is fun. Many activities incorporate swimming (boating, beach days, pool visits, water games, triathlons, etc.). Swimming will allow you to participate in any water environment recreation without reservation. Swimming more efficiently and confidently will make these activities more enjoyable than ever.

Our Swimming Programs


Whether you're a novice swimmer acclimating to the water and learning the basics or you're looking to compete in your first triathlon, UW Health Sports Medicine's Aquatic Center has a program to help you meet your goal.

  • Swimming Lessons: Whether you are a beginner looking to learn the basics, or an advanced competitor in search of improved technique/stroke refinement, our experienced instructors can take you to the next level of swimming efficiency.
  • Swim 101: Swim 101 is the perfect small class environment for improving your individual swim stroke. Each participant receives individual assessment of their stroke strengths and weaknesses.
  • Masters Swim Class: Our experienced coaches will challenge you with creative workouts while your classmates will motivate you to be your best.
  • Swim Fit Independent Lap Swimming: Swim Fit is the opportunity to swim laps during select times during the week. Optional sample workouts are available to help swimmers improve performance and stay motivated.