Benefits of Swimming for Older Adults
Exercise becomes inevitably essential as people age, and ironically, this is the age when exercising also becomes most difficult. For most seniors, exercising can be tiring, painful, and boring, giving them all the more reason not to do it at all. Swimming, on the other hand, can be equally fun, relaxing, and a great way to stay active. Every senior, male and female, of any age, can possibly enjoy some pool time and reap its benefits, without having to worry about join pain or tiredness.
However, if you’re wondering is it safe to learn swimming for seniors, it is one of the safest and comfortable exercise to do. There is no weight lifting, excessive bending or stretching. Swimming works the muscles and helps seniors stay active and fit by enhancing mobility.
Here are a few benefits of swimming for seniors:
1. Improves Heart Health
Swimming contributes towards enhancing your cardiovascular health. The heart starts functioning better and becomes stronger. Swimming also improves the blood pressure condition, one of the significant risk factors in cardio health.
2. Reduced Risk of Osteoporosis
As men and women age, their bone density decreases, leading to problems like arthritis and osteoporosis. Swimming regularly helps improve bone density, thereby, significantly reducing the risk of osteoporosis.
One of the major factors that sets apart swimming from other exercises is that it does not put pressure on the joints. In fact, water acts as a cushion to the joints, thereby putting less impact on them. Swimming is easy on the joints and thus makes it one of the best options of workouts. Also, regular sessions of this activity also make the muscles strong. This improves balance, muscle density, and overall skeletal structure of seniors.
4. Increases Flexibility
Swimming for an hour puts your entire body in action. The body movements which get restricted due to age, get support with swimming. Thus, making the body more flexible.
5. Boosts Mood and Mental Health
Dependency and immobility have adverse effects on the mood and mental health of seniors. Also, if they are unable to indulge in any type of workout, it increases the stress on their brains. Swimming is one such exercise which is fun to do, doesn’t strain their joints and muscles, and also gives them an opportunity to socialize and connect. Also, while their body workouts, it releases endorphins, the chemical that induces positive feelings.
Any sort of exercise done regularly reduces stress, anxiety, improves mood, mental health, and brain function.
6. Maintain Weight
One of the major drawbacks of immobility and restricted movements is weight gain. When all you do throughout your day is eat and rest, with little to no movements, there are high chances that the body will start accumulating fats leading to weight gain. Spending one hour in the pool, working out and swimming can significantly reduce the chances of obesity.
A few necessary precautions to take, before you can consider competing in swimming at an elderly age-
- Always speak to your doctor before starting. Although there are no side effects of swimming, if done right, it is always important to be careful. Your doctor might give you a medical certificate for swimming in elder age, along with some tips to take care of your weakened bones and joints.
- Before you dive into the pool, take some swimming lessons for seniors. You might have been an expert swimmer when you were young, but, if you’re starting again after a gap, it is better to take some classes.
- Charges depend on where you want to get trained from. Public swimming pools charge between RS.1000 - 1500 for a 20 day training session, whereas private swimming pools charge anywhere between Rs.8000 - 14000 for the same number of sessions. This is the charges for beginners and as you go ahead, there can be a hike in price as well.
- Choose a pool that has a trainer or a lifeguard around. Your bones are still weak, and you are not as active as you were once upon a time, therefore, do not take chances.
Swimming can be a great way of getting started with exercising, without straining the bones and joints, at an older age. There are a number of exercises that can be performed in the pool, alongside swimming, which makes the activity even more effective. So, if you think it is time to get your health in check again, try with taking up swimming classes to see how it works for you.