6 Top Benefits of Swimming for SeniorsMay 10, 2021
Physical fitness is important at every age, but it’s especially beneficial in our older years to help maintain flexibility and mobility. Unfortunately, too often seniors balk at exercise because of chronic conditions that make any kind of movement or stretching painful.
The smart solution? Jump in the pool.
For seniors, the health benefits of swimming are impressive. The sense of weightlessness and the cushioning effect of water take away what gravity aggravates, i.e., sore muscles, bad joints, and/or poor balance. There’s no straining, only fluid motion. You get the value of a resistance workout, but it’s much friendlier to your body than lifting weights.
Hate the thought of putting on a bathing suit? No problem. These days, you’ll see both women and men taking water aerobics or swimming lanes in everything from t-shirts and swim tights to full coverage swim tunics and long-sleeved tops. Put the search words “full coverage swim clothing for men/women” in your browser and see all the options that come up!
While you’re deciding on your pool attire, check out all the many benefits of swimming for seniors that you’re about to enjoy – we came up with 6, but you’re sure to discover more after your first dip!
6 Reasons to Hop in the Pool Starting Today.
- Gain strength. You can’t run from age, but you can fight back. Everyone is prone to increased weakness as they get older, but water aerobics, a form of resistance exercise, adds back lost strength. Lap swimming has a similar effect. Both activities can help manage weight, as well as help with chronic pain and other negative effects of aging.
- Smile more. One of the wonderful advantages of swimming as exercise is that the activity prompts your body to release endorphins, a chemical that triggers a positive feeling. Exercise also reduces stress levels, lowers anxiety, and increases brain functions – and those are all reasons to smile.
- Tone up. Strong muscles help support your skeletal structure and help give your body a tighter, more toned appearance. Even though swimming is easier on your joints than an exercise like dance aerobics, it has a similar toning effect on your muscles due to the density (resistance) of water.
- Improve bone health. Women especially tend to experience loss of bone strength and density as they age. Doctors often recommend resistance training to help offset the effects. Swimming is the kindest type of resistance exercise and when you swim regularly, you’re helping maintain your bone strength.
- Reduce pain. One big benefit that sets swimming exercises apart from other senior exercises is that the water creates a cushion for your joints. The less-jarring movements keep you from experiencing discomfort in your joints, such as in your knees and hips.
- Increase flexibility. Gaining flexibility (neck, arms, legs, hips) is one of the top benefits of swimming for seniors, and being more flexible also leads to improved strength, posture, balance, coordination, and a reduced risk of injury. It’s all thanks to the natural resistance water provides as you move your arms and legs through it, so it’s a lot like the benefits received by stretching.
One additional tip to keep in mind … be sure to talk to your doctor first to make sure swimming is a good match for your current health condition.
It’s Easy to Stay Active at Monroe Village
At Monroe Village, we believe that senior fitness is key to a quality lifestyle in your older years. We support that belief by offering a wide variety of fitness activities for seniors through our award-winning LivWell program. Not surprising, two of the most popular options for both women and men are our aquatic exercise classes and lane swimming in our beautiful heated pool. They’re refreshing, invigorating, and a fun way to socialize!
Monroe Village offers a vibrant lifestyle thanks to our array of enriching activities and amenities. To learn more about our exceptional and inviting Life Plan Community located in Monroe Township, New Jersey, simply complete the request form and one of our sales counselors will be in touch shortly to schedule a tour. We look forward to meeting you!