It's no secret that routine exercise offers numerous benefits to older adults, including improving flexibility and cardiovascular health. On top of this, exercise can help lower your risk of injury as you age and enhance your mood and mental acuity. Swimming can be a particularly beneficial exercise that helps you get in better shape without excessive stress or strain on your body. Read on to learn more about the health benefits that swimming regularly may have to offer you.
In many ways, swimming truly is an ideal workout for older adults. It works all muscle groups in the body while also being a low-risk, low-impact activity. Additionally, the advantages it can present to your health are astonishing.
As your cardiovascular health and endurance improves with frequent swimming, your risks of high blood pressure and heart and lung disease are significantly lessened. Your circulatory system's performance can also be boosted by swimming, resulting in a better supply of oxygen throughout your body and reduced risk of blood clots. Because the pressure from water surrounding your skin can also help your body move blood and nutrients to cells that need repair, routine swimming can also drastically decrease your risk of stroke.
Despite naturally losing muscle mass with age, you can maintain muscle strength and tone with regular exercise. Every time you go for a swim, you're putting many muscles in your body to work; what's more, certain swimming strokes target specific muscles.
Swimming is also an easy activity for those who suffer from joint pain and discomfort. Because it's not a weight-bearing exercise, it's a full-body workout that won't put pressure on your spine, hips or knees.
The access to a fuller range of motion that swimming offers can also alleviate stiff joints. In addition to relieving back pain and improving posture, it can even increase flexibility in your hips, neck, arms and legs over time. In fact, swimming-based models of physical therapy have long been used for older adults following injuries and surgeries.
Implementing swimming into your daily life as a regular exercise can work wonders for depression, anxiety and stress and foster positive thoughts and feelings. In general, exercise boosts the production of hormones in your body and brain that can actually reduce chronic pain and alter your mood. Additionally, swimming can be a social activity through which you can trump feelings of social isolation or loneliness.
For many older adults, preventing bacterial and fungal infections can be just as important and vital as sustaining positive mental health. Aerobic exercises such as swimming support healthy immune systems and can help stave off physical illness as well.
Osteoporosis affects more than 200 million people per year across the globe. Because the symptoms often aren't recognized until they become severe, it's often referred to in the medical community as the "silent disease." A disease that weakens bone structure to the point of easily fracturing or breaking, it's most common in ages 50 and older, particularly in women.
Bone mass typically stops increasing around the age of 30, along with your body's ability to replace old bone tissue. As you near the age of 50, the risk of developing osteoporosis grows more and more imminent. Swimming can prevent osteoporosis by helping maintain bone mineral density (BMD).
Swimming can increase the levels of protein in your brain and spinal cord that promote the growth, maintenance and survival of neurons. This protein can have wide-ranging and overwhelmingly positive effects on memory and mood regulation. Aerobic exercises like swimming can also leave you feeling tired and relaxed enough for a nice, long, deep sleep.
Water aerobics is often offered by gyms and fitness centers and is usually tailored toward older adults. These usually entail exercises such as water walking and dancing. There are three basic types of water exercises those of all ages can enjoy.
Swimming can be a fantastic source of relaxation and exercise for older adults who strive to stay active. If you're looking for something new to add to your daily routine or weekly workout regimen, some time in the water may be just what you need. Just make sure to clear any new exercise program with your doctor before you start.