Regular exercise is an important piece of the puzzle when it comes to maintaining a healthy mind and body. While it’s vital for people of all ages, it’s especially important for seniors. An active lifestyle can prevent all sorts of health issues, including diabetes, heart conditions, mental health, and more.
While there are plenty of activities that are great for seniors, swimming happens to be a particularly ideal form of exercise. Let’s take a look at a few of the ways seniors can benefit from a workout in the water.
Health Benefits of Swimming for Seniors
Give your joints a break
When you hop in the water, your body is naturally more buoyant, which means there’s less pressure on your bones and joints. Many people find it much easier to work out in the water, especially when it comes to things like aerobics. You’ll likely find that it’s much easier to jump and bounce in the water than it is on dry land.
Strengthen those muscles
Have you ever tried to run in the water? It’s easier said than done! This is because water adds natural resistance to our movements. When you move your arms and legs in the water, it can have similar effects to training with light weights. If you want to add more of a challenge, you can increase the resistance by moving faster or by using special water aerobics weights that float, which add even more resistance when you push them through the water.
Improve your flexibility
If you have tight muscles, especially in your shoulders and hips, a water workout might be just the thing to loosen you up. Swimming and other water workouts are easier on your joints, so you may find that you have an improved range of motion when you’re in the water. It’s important for seniors to maintain flexibility, as it can prevent injury over time.
Make your heart happy
Swimming and other water activities are amazing ways to get your cardio in. Because water workouts are easier on your joints, it’s easier to move your body a little quicker. This gets your heart rate up, which improves blood flow and can lower your blood pressure, keeping your heart strong.
Improve your balance
Any form of exercise is great for those who want to improve and maintain their balance. What makes swimming so great is that you have built in resistance from the water, which means you work your core a little harder as you move through the water. A strong core (the abdomen, middle back, lower back, hips, and sides) is key to maintaining balance and minimizing the chance of falls and injuries.
Elevate your mood
One of the best things about swimming and water aerobics is that they’re just plain fun! You can’t help but have fun as you splash around in the water. Beyond that, simply moving your body can have a huge impact on your mood and leave you feeling great. That’s truly the secret to making fitness a habit. After all, you’re much more likely to stick to an activity that you actually enjoy doing!