Swimming is great exercise: it’s easy on the joints and good for the heart. And if you join a local masters swim team program, like the one in this Fit Life column, you benefit from the community aspect of the sport.

Recent dips in South Florida temperatures might have you wondering if you should wait until the summer months to swim. But fear not. The masters swim program at Aqua Crest pool (2503 Seacrest Blvd., Delray Beach) is thriving. During winter months, water temperatures at this community pool are heated so it stays at a comfortable 80 degrees.

Suzanne Easey, known better as Coach Suzy, coaches Aqua Crest master's program. She says swimmers of any level can join.

Practice sessions are Monday through Friday, from 6 to 8 a.m. and Saturday 7:30 to 9 a.m. There’s a nighttime option for practicing, too, from 6:15 to 7:15 p.m., Monday through Thursday.

Masters swim team members pay $70 a month to practice three times a week and $90 monthly for unlimited sessions.

“We get all levels of participants from adults who are only swimming for fitness to those who compete,” she says. “Some know all the strokes. Others are more than willing to learn and all to improve.”

Coach Suzy says swimming helps people lose weight and tone up. It boosts metabolism, increases flexibility, endurance and more.

“I… try to keep each workout different – improving drills, techniques, speed, endurance, lung capacity, etc.,” she says. “Keeping swimming fun is a huge factor in whether or not people stick with it.”

There are other perks of swimming in the masters program. If you want to set a goal, you can join Coach Suzy and her swimmers when they enter swim meets. And joining the masters program is a great way to make new friends.

“All of my swimmers are close and attend breakfasts and swimming events together,” she says. “They also cheer each other on and congratulate each other during practice, which can boost confidence greatly.”

To find out more, go to www.FLAswim.com or call 954/468-5590.

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About Lisette
Lisette Hilton, president of Words Come Alive, has had the luxury of reporting on health, fitness and other hot topics for more than 23 years. The longtime Boca Raton resident, University of Florida graduate and fitness buff writes for local, regional and national publications and websites. Find out more on www.wordscomealive.com.