Why Swimming is a Great Form of Exercise for Seniors
Author: Lifeline Canada
Date: 28 September 2023
Exercise is proven to be a great way to protect seniors from falling or being injured from falls.
As we age, certain physical activities become more difficult, if not impossible. All too often, when it gets too difficult, people just stop trying. However, swimming is a great way to get active, keep active, and remain safe. If your loved one has given up most activities, take them to the pool.
Easy on the Joints
High-impact activities are very jarring on the joints but activity in the water keeps the weight off your joints. Even water aerobics is much easier as you are buoyant in the water and there is next to no pressure on any joints. Water activity is ideal for those with mobility limitations, arthritis, or other types of chronic pain that keep them from doing other types of activities. It’s perfect for everyone.
Swimming or water exercise is great for your heart and lungs. Increased heart rate helps keep your heart healthy is a great way to avoid heart problems down the road. It helps removes fatty deposits from your arteries and makes other activities in your daily life much easier.
We lose muscle strength as we age and swimming is a great way to maintain and build it back. The resistance of moving through the water takes more strength and power but you often don’t realize it. Swimming builds your arms, back muscles, legs, core, and chest.
Swimming or water activity builds strength, agility and flexibility. This all helps you maintain balance and strength in everything you do. Your core plays a big part in keeping you centered, so swimming can help keep you more steady on your feet during other activities, protecting you from falls or injury.
The resistance of the water makes you work a bit harder than you would with some other types of low-impact exercise. This helps to maintain or lose weight as you age. Even just walking or moving through water helps to build strength, tone your muscles, and burn calories. Keeping your weight under control keeps your heart and lungs healthier.
Swimming is a fun activity and keeps your mood elevated. Who doesn’t love to splash around in the water? A water aerobics class, or a swim group with friends or family can bring people together for a great time shared together. It’s a fun activity that you can do alone, in a group, and you can go every day without the worry of strain or aching muscles afterward.
If you are worried about getting in the water, then start in the shallow end first. Choose a pool with lifeguards and support staff. Find one that has a class or program just for seniors, as that may be quieter and more comfortable for you.
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