What Are the Health Benefits of Swimming for Seniors?
Exercise is important for the body at all ages. We can never be too healthy; it is a daily commitment. One exercise that is good for older adults is swimming. Swimming can help build your endurance, tone your muscles, strengthen your heart and lungs and give you the body you didn’t think you could have again. As with any other exercise, it is always best to consult your doctor for clearance to go ahead.
Who is helped by swimming? People who suffer from arthritis, knee problems, are overweight or have other physical ailments can learn to swim (if they don’t know already) and change their lives.
Swimming involves several muscle groups of the body. It engages the muscles of the arms. They have to move back and forth through the water to propel you forward. The abdominals get a fair amount of work, too. Keeping the stomach sucked in allows you to maneuver through the water just like a fish.
Then, there is your heart and lungs. Swimming improves circulation and oxygenation in the lungs and the blood. You may even find that you have more energy because of the increased oxygen intake.
In water, your body seems lighter. You are moving against a fluid object so you have to exert force. The difference here is that you don’t even know you are working hard until you decide to exit the pool. You can perform water aerobics and swim to improve your health.
Swimming is not jarring and not weight-bearing. Bones and muscles get stronger with each lap. Before you know it you have swum for thirty minutes or even an hour. For seniors, your bones get stronger and resist breaks. You build muscle tissue instead of losing it.
Other benefits include stress relief. Exercise helps us to take the focus off of us and place it on what we are doing at that moment. And, because you are moving through the water, you don’t know how much force you are exerting to push the water out of the way. What you more than likely will feel is a sense of well-being, courtesy of the endorphins secreted by your body.
Swimming is an enjoyable exercise that the entire family can do together including the grandparents. It is a way to meet new people and get in shape at the same time.