As we age, physical activity becomes increasingly important for our health. It helps maintain flexibility and mobility while improving muscle strength and building endurance. Physical activity can be difficult for seniors with pain, weakness, or arthritis. Swimming is a low-impact sport that can help seniors get in better shape or stay in shape.
Swimming provides many other health benefits for seniors.
1. It does not put pressure on the knees or hips since it is a low-impact sport. The buoyancy of the water allows us to experience less external force and pressure on the joints.
2. It lowers the risk of falls. Swimming works all major muscle groups, which can reduce the risk of falls. A study conducted in Australia found that men aged 70 and older who swam were 33% less likely to fall than those who did not swim.
3. Improves heart health. Since swimming is an aerobic activity, it strengthens the heart by helping it become larger. It can lead to more efficient pumping, which in turn leads to better blood flow throughout the body. Coronary heart disease can be reduced by 30%-40% in women by swimming for half an hour each day, while men can reduce their risk of type 2 diabetes by 10% by breaststroke swimming for 30 minutes daily.
4. Can lead to better sleep. Not only does swimming make you physically tired, but it can also allow seniors to feel relaxed.
5. Can be used for weight management. Swimming is an effective way to burn calories to help maintain a certain weight. Depending on your physiology, the intensity with which you exercise, and the type of swimming stroke performed, you can burn between 60 to 150 calories every 10 minutes.
6. Boosts mental health. Swimming helps reduce stress and increase moods by releasing endorphins, which are chemicals that are released by the body to relieve stress and pain.
7. Helps with flexibility and body movement. In water, swimmers can move their limbs and joints through the full range of motion more easily. Warmers pools will naturally relax the muscles and stimulate blood flow, allowing you to move your joints with more ease.