Why Swimming for Seniors is So Beneficial
Senior Living | 07/24/18
Physical fitness is an important aspect of a person’s overall wellness, but sometimes we have restrictions in our lives – sore muscles, bad joints, poor balance, or a lack of energy – that get in our way. However, that does not mean that exercise is out of the question altogether. Heading to the pool for water exercise is a great way to maintain an active lifestyle without putting a strain on the body.
6 Health Benefits of Swimming
Swimming exercises are great for all ages, but seniors can experience even more benefits to their health. Here are six specific benefits swimming offers to seniors:
- A boost to your mental health. First of all, exercise is not just about physical health, but also mental health. When you exercise your body releases endorphins and in turn those endorphins make you feel happy – essentially, exercise is an all-natural mood booster. Not to mention, exercise is a great way to reduce your stress levels, increase brain function, and enjoy social interactions with others.
- A stronger heart. Swimming exercises, like all physical activity, make your heart stronger and healthier through cardiovascular endurance. Additionally, you will lower your blood pressure and increase blood circulation, ultimately reducing your risk of heart and lung disease.
- Reduced joint pain. While senior exercise should be safe, it should also be effective, and swimming offers you both benefits. You’ll get a full-body workout while keeping pressure off sensitive joints, making it a great way to get in some exercise even if you experience joint pain in your hips or knees. Swimming helps keeps you fit with a lower risk of sustaining an injury.
- Helps prevent osteoporosis. Swimming can improve bone mineral density, which helps fight and prevent osteoporosis. This is important because one-third of women and one-fifth of men over the age of 50 experience a bone fracture due to osteoporosis.
- Better flexibility. When exercising in the water, you experience resistance as you move, whether you’re swimming or doing water aerobics. This helps improve the flexibility in the hips, legs, arms, and neck. That sensation of the water tugging or slowing you down is the resistance and this works very similarly to stretching before and after a workout.
- Builds muscle strength. When you move through the water you can immediately feel that resistance mentioned above, which offers a great way to improve your muscle strength – no weights required! The best part is that the more you’re in the water, the more lean and toned muscles you’ll build.
Types of Swimming Exercises for Seniors
Not a swimmer? Don’t worry! There are a variety of water exercises beyond swimming laps, such as water aerobics, water resistance training, and water relaxation that allow you to experience all the health benefits listed above.
Water aerobics typically includes water walking, dancing, and other traditional land-based aerobic exercises. Water resistance exercises might have participants do arm curls, leg swings, and calf raises while in the pool. Then, water relaxation exercises can assist with lowering heart rate, blood pressure and stress.
Overall, swimming exercises are great for anyone and everyone, but they’re specifically valuable for seniors to incorporate into their routines. So, improve your quality of life by hitting your local pool and joining a class. But before you do that, as with any new exercise routine, make sure you consult your doctor first.
A Healthy Lifestyle at Crestwood Manor
At Crestwood Manor, we have daily aquatic exercise classes offered through our LivWell program, and they’re quite a hit! Residents enjoy the convenience of our on site, heated, indoor swimming pool, where they can swim laps, take a class, all without stepping foot off campus. Learn more about the engaging activities and vibrant living options offered at our continuing care retirement community in Whiting, New Jersey by contacting us today.