Senior Fitness: Swimming for Seniors
Staying physically active as you age is extremely beneficial in so many different ways. Exercise helps improve your heart health, can enhance your mood and mental acuity, and keep you more flexible and steady on your feet, helping to reduce your risk of a debilitating fall. There are a variety of safe exercises seniors can take part in daily, with swimming being at the top of the recommended senior fitness workouts.
Health Benefits Swimming offers to Seniors
The health benefits offered by swimming for seniors are numerous, according to a wide variety of studies. The Journal of National Health and Aging reports that seniors who swim on a regular basis have better hand-eye coordination and balance. Plus, swimming can lower blood pressure and improve cognition.
Swimming is a low impact workout, so it presents little risk of injury to seniors. Water exercises work all the muscles in the body so it’s a complete, ideal workout for the elderly. Some of the other benefits swimming provides seniors include:
• Fights osteoporosis. Swimming can improve bone mineral density (BMD), which will help reduce the risk of osteoporosis. This is very important especially for women; a third of women over the age of 50 and a fifth of men experience a bone fracture due to osteoporosis.
• Increases muscle strength and tone. Swimming is a great form of resistance training and can help improve your muscle strength- and you’ll also see long, lean muscle tone forming the more you do it! It might not seem like it, but every time you move in the water, you’re putting every muscle group to work.
• Improves posture and flexibility. Swimming can help alleviate back pain and improve your posture, helping with mobility. Also, swimming can also help increase your flexibility in your hips, legs, arm and neck, just like stretching before and after a workout.
• Boosts mental health. Swimming for seniors is a great way to reduce stress levels, increase brain function and boost your mood. Also, because swimming can be a social activity, you’ll avoid the feelings of social isolation and loneliness that can lead to depression in seniors.
• Enhances heart health. Swimming makes your heart stronger, larger and improves your cardiovascular health and endurance. It will also lower your blood pressure, improve your circulation and help reduce the risk of heart and lung disease.
• Easy on the joints. If a senior suffers from chronic joint pain, certain exercises can be difficult and cause pain or discomfort. Because swimming is not weight-bearing, it’s gentle on the joints. It’s a full-body workout that keeps the pressure off your hips, knees and spine.
The Best Water Exercises for Seniors
There are a variety of water exercises for seniors to enjoy when they have access to a pool. One of the most popular is water aerobics, which usually entails water walking, dancing or other land-based aerobic exercises. Seniors can also take part in water resistance exercises, doing arm and leg curls, calf raises, etc. by using the water as resistance instead of typical equipment like weights or machines. Basic swimming, of course, is one of the most beneficial forms of physical senior fitness.
Galloway Ridge offers aqua classes daily in our amazing Duke Center for Living, whether residents are beginners or veteran swimmers. Plus, seniors are welcome to swim in the pool when classes are not in session, too. Find out more about the services and amenities offered at Galloway Ridge by clicking here.