The Benefits of Swimming for Seniors
Regular exercise is important for seniors. It keeps you strong and limber — plus, it lowers your risk for many diseases and disorders both physical and mental.
Exercise also reduces your chance of injuring yourself while doing daily activities.
There’s an abundance of forms of exercise you can choose from, but one of the most beneficial for seniors is swimming. Getting in the pool on a regular basis helps seniors to get in better shape and strengthen their body without additional stress.
Swimming’s Health Benefits for Seniors
Many land-based exercises carry risks of injury for seniors due to impact (such as running) or loading the joints (such as weight lifting).
Thanks to the water, swimming carries little injury risk and is low impact — making it a great exercise for seniors.
Here are some of the many benefits seniors can experience when swimming.
Swimming is excellent aerobic exercise, strengthening your heart as well as reducing your chances of heart and lung disease. Other areas of cardiovascular function that swimming helps in include blood pressure and circulation.
Swimming is very low-impact, making it a joint-friendly exercise for seniors. If you find many forms of exercise on land to cause pain in joints such as the hips and knees, swimming might be great for you. You can get a rigorous workout in while keeping pressure of your spine and joints.
Water provides natural resistance against your movements — while you swim, you’re working nearly every muscle in the body at once.
By building lean muscle through swimming, you’ll improve your day-to-day confidence and lower your risk of injury.
The movements you must make to perform different swimming strokes can improve flexibility in critical areas like the hips, legs, and neck. Because of this, swimming can also relieve pain in various areas such as the back.
Swimming benefits your mental health in several ways.
The exercise swimming provides relieves stress and improves brain function. The endorphins released also boost your mood.
Swimming also provides you with a new hobby at which you can improve. Having a skill to work on adds purpose and fun to your life.
Plus, swimming can be an opportunity to socialize. You can hit the pool with friends and acquaintances and work out together.
On top of all of this, just floating in the pool can be quite relaxing.
What Kinds of Water Exercises Can I Do?
The water provides many forms of safe and enjoyable exercise.
Basic swimming benefits covers many of your bases when it comes to exercise. Not only does it train all the muscles in your body, but you get a great aerobic workout in as well.
If you haven’t swam in a while, consider taking a few lessons to nail the technique. Once you get your form down, you can practice regularly and work your way up to longer swimming sessions.
Taking a water aerobics class is a fun way to improve your health and fitness. These classes — usually tailored to seniors — have you perform typical land-based aerobic exercises in the water. This could be dancing, walking, jogging, and other exercises.
You can apply typical land-based resistance movements to the water, using the water alone as resistance. Some water resistance exercises include arm curls, calf raises, and leg swings.
Water relaxation exercises can relieve stress and slightly improve flexibility. These types of exercises are typically performed in warmer water to increase relaxation. Some exercises include water yoga and water pilates.