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The Life in Bloom Blog

Swimming and Senior Health

Senior Living | 07/24/18


Swimming and Senior Health

Most of us are well aware that exercise is important to overall health. Remaining active as you age provides many health benefits, like a stronger heart, improved cognition, increased longevity and a lower risk of injury. There are a variety of exercises to choose from, but of the many forms available, swimming is considered a top option for seniors.

Health Benefits of Swimming for Seniors

Many studies have been conducted on the numerous health benefits of swimming. These studies show improvements in heart health, balance, mental acuity and enhanced mood. Swimming can also increase your steadiness, decreasing your chances of a life-altering fall. As a low-impact exercise, swimming presents a lower risk of injury to seniors, yet still works all the muscles in the body to provide a well-rounded workout. Seniors who incorporate swimming into their regular exercise routine can expect the following health benefits:

Strengthened heart

Swimming is considered an aerobic activity, much like running and aerobic classes, that increases your heart strength over time. Incorporating swimming into your regular workout schedule encourages your heart to become stronger and more efficient at pumping blood to vital parts of your body, such as your brain and extremities.

Boosted mental health

Not only does swimming help maintain our hearts, it keeps us young at heart! Swimming is fun and can be enjoyed by all, allowing seniors to share their enjoyment of swimming with all ages, from peers to grandkids. Along with relationship building, swimming exercises also provide better blood flow and an increase in oxygen getting to the brain. Both of these benefits boost our mental health and encourage a healthier, happier outlook on life.

Less joint pain

Water-based workouts increase your buoyancy, reducing the pressure put on your joints as you exercise. The water also offers resistance as you exercise, which decreases the jarring joint movements usually associated with exercises such as running and weightlifting.

Fights risk of osteoporosis

One issue seniors deal with as they age is the loss of bone density and strength, especially in women. Studies have shown that swimming exercises can reduce the progression of osteoporosis and help maintain bone strength. Water exercises are a great way to keep your bones and joints healthy and happy.

Enhanced muscle strength and tone

Water provides natural resistance, increasing your muscle strength and tone, similar to the benefits of weight training. Each time you swim a lap, you engage all of your muscle groups and as you continue to do this over time, long, lean muscle is formed.

Increased flexibility and improved posture

Remaining flexible as you age can lower your risk of back and neck issues and help prevent injuries. Water’s buoyancy and resistance help increase flexibility and joint movement. Swimming and water exercises have also been known to improve posture, helping to alleviate back pain and boost mobility.

Water Exercises for Seniors

A variety of water-based exercises exist to keep you active and improve your health, including water aerobics. Water aerobics works much like regular aerobics, where participants engage in walking, dancing and other aerobic moves to get their heart rates up and blood pumping. Seniors can also engage in resistance training in the water, engaging muscle groups such as the shoulders or calves by doing presses and lifts using the natural resistance provided by water. Of course, basic swimming can be the most beneficial water exercise, engaging all muscles groups as you glide through the water.

A Healthy Lifestyle at Meadow Lakes

With both indoor and outdoor pools to choose from at our continuing care retirement community in East Windsor, New Jersey, swimming is part of the healthy lifestyle residents enjoy regularly. Take a water aerobics class, or splash around the pool with your grandkids while improving your health, happiness and overall wellness. Find out more about the engaging activities and events offered at Meadow Lakes by contacting us today.