This year Dr. Julie Voss along with her husband, Karl, will be swimming 2.5 miles across the Dardanelles (historically known as the Hellespont) to celebrate her upcoming 50th birthday.

Beginning 25 years ago to commemorate the final Turkish victory during their 1922 war for independence against the Greeks, the Turkish Victory Day Swim is held in the Dardanelles, a narrow strait that connects the Aegean Sea to the Sea of Marmara. Most that participate in the swim share a love and passion for the sport of swimming and Dr. Voss is no exception.

Her passion for swimming stems from it being a great form of exercise while providing several important health benefits at the same time. Having been an avid swimmer since her early childhood, she received an athletic scholarship for swimming at the collegiate level. Today, Dr. Voss continues to compete with the Puget Sound Masters (PSM) in such Seattle area events like the Fat Salmon Race, a 3.2 mile open water race on Lake Washington, the Lake Tye Olympic Triathlon in Monroe just last week, and numerous charities like Swim for Life, Swim Across America, and Park to Park Swim.


So many of us are aware that swimming is an excellent form of cardio and can help build and tone muscles, but it has also proven effective in providing a few ear, nose, & throat (ENT) benefits as well.

A study published in Respirology a few years ago found that swimming can also increase lung volume, teach proper breathing, and even improve asthma symptoms.

Because working out in moist air can help to avoid exercise-induced symptoms, which typically occur in a gym setting, swimming allows for an effective alternative for those who otherwise struggle with respiratory issues. The study found that swimming improved several ENT issues such as snoring, mouth breathing, and asthma symptom severity. These results continued to last for an entire year even after the swimming experiment.

Even open water swimming, such as the events that Dr. Voss participates in, has been linked to benefits of its own. Seawater contains magnesium and has been proven to help hydrate and improve the appearance of skin.

Swimming the annual Turkish Victory Day Swim across the Dardanelles is Dr. Voss’ next big challenge. What’s your next big challenge? Share your story with us.