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Admiral Mark Heinrich

Benefits of Swimming for Older Adults

Benefits of Swimming for Older Adults

Swimming provides a unique set of health benefits that other physical activities cannot. Swimming is great for people of all ages, but also features some additional benefits for older adults.

Increases Heart Health
Swimming is an amazing exercise for the cardiovascular system. While swimming, your blood flows more quickly and your heart beats faster. This improves circulation, lowers blood pressure and reduces your risk for a heart attack. Once your heart is healthier and the cardiovascular system is reducing its effort, everyday tasks become easier. For instance, walking up stairs will become easier.

Increases Flexibility

Swimming increases flexibility by causing the swimmer to make use of their muscles. Once your flexibility is increases, it will be easier to reach down and scoop something off the floor or reach to the very back of the cupboard. Without physical activity, older adults become still and less nimble. With the addition of swimming, everyday mobility becomes easier and easier.

Increases Mental Health
As adults age, they are prone to experience stress, anxiety or depression. One of the most effective ways to combat these is through both exercise and socializing. Luckily, swimming provides both! Because exercising causes the release of hormones that trigger feelings of happiness, stress and anxiety levels fall. Couple this with the fact that there are typically other swimmers in the pool, there is also an abundant opportunity to socialize. Many organizations offer swim classes, which is another great way to meet new people!

Easy on the Joints

As adults age, they typically experience stiffness and pain in their joints. Swimming eliminates much of this discomfort because it is not a land-based activity. Therefore, it is not weight-bearing at all. Swimming makes your body buoyant, therefore eliminating any pressure or strain on your joints.

Swimming is a wonderful option for older adults. The benefits are vast but the most important benefits are the betterment of your heart and mental health, flexibility and joint health!

San Francisco Day Trips

San Francisco Day Trips

Are you looking to escape San Francisco for a day trip? The following day trip locations are less than an hour outside of the city, but will make you feel like you’re a world away.


About thirty minutes outside of San Francisco, Sausalito is known for being a hotspot for early morning endurance athletes but it also serves as a wonderful day trip. What can you do once you arrive? There are plenty of options! There are routes for running and biking as well as kayaking, rowing and sailing clubs. The Trident and Fred’s Place are two of the most popular restaurants in the town.


Oakland is popular for its First Friday Festival, among many other attractions. Located just thirty minutes from the city, Oakland, is a great place to get away and de-stress. With its wide selection of food, music and art, Oakland will provide the relaxation you are looking for. Weekend events include lots of farmer’s markets, like the Jack London Square Farmers Market and Temescal Farmers Market, as well as the highly anticipated Bacon and Beer Festival.

Stinson Beach

If you are looking for a longer trip, Stinson Beach is a very popular destination located just about an hour from San Francisco. Once you arrive via the California 1 Highway, you can head straight to the beach and dip your toes in the Pacific Ocean. Breaker’s Cafe is known for their mouth watering breakfast specials like the “Phat Auggies.” If you’re not looking to sit on the beach, there are hiking trails along Mt. Tam that offer beautiful views of the mountains!

Napa Valley

Perhaps you are looking for a wine-tasting adventure. Luckily, Napa Valley is only an hour outside of San Francisco. The world-famous wine producing region with hundreds of wineries and beautiful vineyards. From extravagant Opus One Winery to the more casual V. Sattui Winery with its grassy picnic area, Napa offers the perfect winery experience.

Whether you are looking for a relaxing day by the beach, an adventurous day of hiking or a day full of wine tasting, there is a place for you less than an hour from San Francisco. From Oakland to Napa Valley to Stinson Beach, there are plenty of day trip options from San Francisco!

How to Ease Your Child’s Fear of Swimming

How to Ease Your Child’s Fear of Swimming

Learning to swim is an important skill that should be learned at an early age. This is great for parents of eager swimmers but what do you do if your child is fearful of the water? The following tips can help ease your child into the water.

Take your Child’s Fears Seriously

Children need empathy and support when they are facing a fearful situation, such as swimming. Listen to your child’s fears about the water and make them feel understood. When a child feels like he can express his fears to you, he will become more open and explicit about what it is that scares him about swimming. Perhaps it is a fear of drowning, a fear of getting water in his ears or something that you had never even thought of, until you asked. Once you know what is scaring your child about the water, you can better work to remedy that fear.

Use Water aids—for a while

It is perfectly acceptable to use whatever toys or equipment it takes to get over a fear, but it’s important that your child practice swimming without goggles and floaties too. If a child becomes too dependent upon these devices, accidental drowning can occur if they fall in without their water aids and panic. Implement water aids when needed, but be careful not to let your child become too dependent upon them.

Create Small Goals

Meet your child where they are. If they are afraid to even get wet at all, make putting their feet in the water a goal. Once they feel comfortable sitting on the side with their feet in the water, make the next goal standing in the water up to their waist. Small, incremental goals will help your child build the confidence necessary to begin to swim.

Know When to Take a Break

Once your child shows disinterest in the situation, allow her to take a break. Especially for a child who is already unsure of the water, there is no reason to push it too far. This may be a good time to have a snack, take a short nap, or or play a game out of the water.  By making each and every experience around the water positive, your child will likely come to love the water!


In teaching a fearful child how to swim, there are several methods you can use. First off, acknowledge their fear and let them know that you understand. Allow them to use water aids at first, but don’t allow them to become dependent upon them. Create small goals and move forward, and lastly, know when it’s time to take a break.


markheinrich-profileRetired Navy Admiral Mark Heinrich is a dynamic leader in the global supply chain industry who is devoted to a number of exciting hobbies. As a longtime member of the Navy, he is a dedicated athlete and still remains very focused on health and fitness after more than three decades in the service.

Mark has a long history as a swimmer, spanning about 35 years. He swam in high school and in college, and for all four years of his college career he placed in the top 25 backstroke swimmers in the country. He was also the captain of his swimming team in 1979. Since then he has competed as a master swimmer and has been a member of multiple fantastic teams around the country.

Admiral Mark Heinrich is a former member of nonprofit organization U.S. Masters Swimming (USMS) in the Gold Coast of Florida. He holds a pool relay record and has achieved All American Honors in long distance and pool swims. One of Mark’s favorite experiences is when he swam the Maui Channel.

Nowadays, although everyone in his age group tends to swim for fitness alone, Mark continues to have the competitive spirit that inspired him to join the navy and made him stand out from the start. He swims every morning with the Fort Lauderdale Swim Team, and what truly motivates Mark to swim is the sense of camaraderie. He enjoys working with teams, spending time with like-minded athletes, and learning improvement techniques from others.

“Drive and discipline are the most important part of becoming a master swimmer,” Mark explains. The sport requires the motivation to prioritize and, plain and simple, get started early in the morning. Mark enjoys seeing the sun rise every day as he swims laps.

In addition to swimming, Mark is passionate about numerous nonprofits which help people succeed and pursue their careers. He is a volunteer for Mission: Readiness, a national security nonprofit which encourages physical activity, reduces violent crime, and improves the quality of of education (and thus graduation rates) for young people. He is also a former member of the Committee for Purchase from People Who Are Blind or Severely Disabled, an agency which administers the AbilityOne employment program.

Admiral Mark Heinrich prides himself on being able to give back to the community which has already given him so much. The only way anyone can truly make a difference is by standing beside someone else, for it is only together that long lasting and meaningful change can be instituted in our perpetually changing world. Mark believes this change is rooted in education, for is education that will allow individuals to better their own lives, to depend on themselves instead of others, and to ultimately take charge of their own destiny. It was this understanding and the ensuing discipline that came as a result that has helped elevate Mark to where he is today.

Mark also uses his logistical background to support financial programs for current and former Navy members through the Navy Federal Credit Union. He is passionate about making lifetime financial services accessible to all Navy veterans.