There’s nothing nicer than taking a cool dip on a hot day. However, you don’t have to limit your swimming to the summer months. The benefits of swimming for seniors are available year-round, so don’t miss out.
Benefits of Swimming for Seniors
What comes to mind when you think of swimming? Maybe you imagine a day at the beach, or Olympic athletes racing for the gold. But did you ever think of making swimming a daily activity? Many rec centers and gyms offer special swimming classes just for seniors, and they tend to be popular for a reason. What are the benefits of swimming for seniors?
Swimming Is Easy on Your Body (But You’ll Still Get a Good Workout)
One of the things that often stops seniors from getting the workout they want is the realities of living in a senior body: the aches and pains, the risks of falling, and more. Fortunately, swimming sidesteps many of those issues by allowing seniors to work out to the fullest in a low-impact environment. Since bodies are essentially weightless in water, they don’t experience the impact caused by their body weight when participating in traditional exercise. This makes exercise less painful and a lot more fun.
Swimming Alleviates Joint and Back Pain
Has a physical therapist ever told you that “motion is lotion” when it comes to joint pain? The soothing effects of swimming will continue for your body long after you leave the water. Swimming can help ease joint and back pain by allowing more vigorous exercise than is possible outside of the water, which will keep your joints lubricated and flexible. Consistent swimming will even build up the muscles that support your joints, which will help alleviate pressure and pain in the long run.
Swimming Reduces Your Fall Risk
Since losing core strength can affect your balance, many doctors recommend exercises that strengthen your core and legs as a way to avoid falls. Unfortunately, if you already lack strength in those areas, figuring out how to build it back up can be hard. Luckily, swimming naturally strengthens those areas of your body. Some doctors even say swimming is the best exercise available to mitigate fall risk.
Swimming Is Good for Your Heart
If someone told you that you could lower your risk of heart disease by up to 30 percent by doing one thing every day, you’d probably do it, right? Good news: swimming 30 minutes a day will do exactly that. Swimming raises your levels of good cholesterol and strengthens your cardiovascular system. A couple of laps in the pool can add up to better cholesterol numbers and lower blood pressure at your next annual physical.
Swimming Improves Flexibility and Mobility
One of the many advantages of exercising in the water is that without the impact caused by gravity on joints, seniors are able to move more easily. Seniors who swim often find they have an improved range of motion in the water. Regularly stretching your joints to their full range of motion can help your body become more flexible, which can improve your range of motion on land as well.
Swimming Is Social, Stimulating, and Fun
Aside from all the physical benefits, there’s one especially important reason that seniors should swim: it’s fun! Studies have found that seniors appreciate the mental and emotional benefits of swimming just as much as the physical ones. Most senior swim classes are group exercise classes, which are great places to meet friends. Even if you don’t end up becoming a social butterfly, seniors that exercise regularly still have higher happiness and energy levels than those that don’t. Exercise is a proven mood-booster, and doing it regularly will lead to less stress and more joy in your day-to-day life.
Now that you know the benefits of swimming for seniors, don’t miss out on the fun. Call your local gym or rec center and see if they provide swimming classes for seniors. You might discover a new favorite hobby.
The Shores of Lake Phalen is an assisted living community in a quiet, peaceful environment in Maplewood, Minnesota. We offer numerous health and safety amenities, fun events and activities, a friendly and accommodating staff, and so much more. Schedule a tour of the community to explore our spacious apartments, elegant dining room, and more. We look forward to hearing from you!