As we get older, it's important to take better care of ourselves. That's why we tend to switch to water and diet soda, why we force ourselves eat vegetables, and why we (often begrudgingly) drag ourselves to the gym. That last one can get troublesome as we get older, though, and we start looking for ways to stay in shape that aren't quite as hard on our bodies as a five-mile run or pumping iron for forty-five minutes.
If you or someone you love is stepping under that senior umbrella, there are still plenty of exercises for seniors to keep fit and active. One of those is to start swimming, and if you dive into aquatic fitness, you'll quickly realize a lot of benefits. Maybe you've already started looking for pools for sale (we can help with that...) or you're just looking to join a local water aerobics class - either way, jump in and start enjoying our top 5 benefits of swimming for seniors.
Benefit #1: Swimming Is Good For Your Heart
When we start reaching our golden years, there is one muscle in particular we need to take good care of; our hearts. As Stannah Stairlifts points out, swimming as an exercise is good for your heart. Regular swimming reduces the risk of heart disease, as well as the risk of lung conditions. It also lowers blood pressure, which is something that can be a literal life saver for some seniors.
Benefit #2: Swimming Protects Seniors From Several Risks
Seniors face a lot of dangers that younger people simply don't encounter when it comes to exercising. The risk of falling, for example, is one that holds significantly more danger for seniors. Heat stroke and heat exhaustion are also more problematic for people over 65, according to Health Markets. These risks are reduced by swimming, and if seniors are getting their exercise in the water, they're also getting a much lower-impact workout in terms of their joints. Which can be important for those experiencing arthritis who still want to stay fit.
Benefit #3: Increase Flexibility and Strength At The Same Time
Flexibility, strength, and even balance are key for seniors who want to continue living life to the fullest as they reach their golden years. And swimming can help seniors increase all of these factors. Water provides natural resistance, so the faster you try to move, the harder it tries to stop you, thus allowing seniors to go at the pace that suits them. Best of all, swimming requires you to find your own balance, which tends to produce benefits as you get out of the pool. Who knew getting your "land legs back" was a helpful form of exercise for seniors?
Benefit #4: Swimming Results in Better Posture
We tend to think of poor posture as something kids have to deal with, but it's actually a lifelong struggle to maintain. And for seniors whose muscles don't get regular, rigorous activity, it can be hard to stand both still and straight for any length of time. Those who swim, according to Live Science, will find they have better posture, and that they can stand straight for longer periods of time without too much additional effort. When you tell the grandkids to stand up straight, you can proudly set the example.
Benefit #5: Potential Boosts To Mental Health
It isn't just your body that swimming is good for, though, as American Senior Communities tells us. Swimming can be relaxing, and eliminating stress is one of the best methods for ensuring a longer, happier life. Not only that, but swimming can easily be a communal activity. This allows senior citizens to maintain social connections, and to enjoy the company of friends, helping them avoid feeling isolated. Additionally, if you're part of a swimming group, then you're less likely to skip class (yup, we know even grandma and grandpa skip class sometimes!) because you know everyone else is expecting to see you there.
If these benefits make you wish you had your own backyard swimming pool, we'd love to make your wish come true.