By Desiree Johnson

Killeen Daily Herald

Summer in Texas means sweltering heat. Most Texans have learned to escape the suffering with trips to the nearest air-conditioned location.

Swimming is one fun activity that never fails to cool off even the sweatiest Texan, and it's more healthy than most people may think.

"Swimming is a full-body workout," said Robert Stanley, a personal trainer at Gold's Gym in Killeen. "It works your arms, legs, back and creates counter resistance."

Not convinced?

Try swimming laps, and even the healthiest person can start to feel the effects of a great workout. There are even items like water weights, that can enhance an aquatic workout for anyone.

"We have a water aerobics class and it's always busy. The group of ladies in the class are always having fun, too," Stanley said. "Swimming is something that can benefit anyone, and it's a great workout either way."

While everyone seems to be rushing off to the nearest backyard or public swimming pool when the weather warms up, Scott & White Trauma Center reminds people that while swimming and diving can be healthy, not paying attention to safety around the pool can turn your workout into a hazard.

When it comes to diving, keeping in mind common-sense safety tips is key to not allowing "cooling off" to turn into a hospital visit.

First, know the depth of the water before you dive. Walk into the water the first time to make sure the water is deep enough for diving (a recommended 11 feet for diving pool side and 12 feet for diving from a board).

Always dive straight ahead from a diving board – not from the side – and never dive into unknown open water like lakes and rivers. Water depths can be affected by droughts and floods, and there can be unseen underwater debris.

According to the National Injury Prevention Foundation, more than half of all serious diving accidents occur when the diver has been drinking, so never drink and dive.

Always follow posted water safety rules, and the pool can be just as safe as it is cool this summer.

For more information on water safety, contact the Trauma Center at (254) 724-8202 or go to

Contact Desiree Johnson at or (254) 501-7559.

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