Jerome Smith Doesn’t Let Heart Problems Stop Him From Swimming

Courtesy and written by Anne Artley

After suffering a heart attack six years ago, Jerome Smith’s heart only pumps at 34 percent of a healthy one. But that hasn’t kept the 73-year-old from blasting away at SCAQ Masters swim workouts. And now he plans to compete in his first swim meet in 15 years.

Smith said he is looking forward to completing a goal, as well as the experience of swimming against himself and the clock.

After his 2009 heart attack in Bikram Yoga, Smith’s pulse stopped for three minutes. But one week later he was back in the water.

And his healthy lifestyle will go far in keeping him out of the ambulance; a Mayo Clinic study showed that only by moving at your VO2 max (the maximum volume of oxygen that an athlete can use) does your body generate certain metabolic enzymes and hormones that are so beneficial to health and longevity. It goes back to our genetics for survival: we needed something extra to escape the lions and tigers and bears. Oh my!

“It’s so good for you,” Smith said. “But it only happens when you push yourself to the max. Anyway, it seems to be working well for me. God knows I hate doing anything at a slow, plodding pace.”

So get out and get moving today! Start the blood pumping for healthy heart. You can join Jerome at one of his regular workouts at Southern California Aquatics. We hold workouts all over the L.A. area including the Westside, the Valley, South Bay and downtown. Come out for a swim today! Swim.net, [email protected]

About Anne Artley

I am a former middle-distance freestyler turned Masters swimmer. Currently, I am the Communications Director at Southern California Aquatics (SCAQ) Masters swim club. When I am not in the water, I enjoy curling up with a good book and trying different coffee places.

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