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Take a moment to imagine a family day in the swimming pool. What you probably pictured was a mom, a dad, and their 2.5 children splashing around in the water. But what about the grandparents? Were grandma and grandpa in your mental picture? If not, they should be. According to the CDC, swimming for senior…
Take a moment to imagine a family day in the swimming pool. What you probably pictured was a mom, a dad, and their 2.5 children splashing around in the water. But what about the grandparents? Were grandma and grandpa in your mental picture? If not, they should be.
According to the CDC, swimming for senior health is a great way for the elderly to exercise. The buoyancy provided by water takes the strain off of joints stiffened by age-related arthritis, allowing for a greater range of exercises that would be otherwise difficult or impossible to do out of water. This decreased stress and strain allows for longer periods of exercise, and avoids potential injuries resulting from slipping or falling. This is especially helpful in the case of older adults who struggle with obesity and aren’t able to engage in a lot of the typical exercises that would help them lose weight.
Gentle on your joints
Swimming is an excellent way to get the benefits of cardio without the stress on your joints that’s usually associated with aerobic exercise. Its low impact nature means you’ll be in less pain following a water-based workout, which is especially important for anyone with arthritis.
The natural resistance that water provides helps strengthen muscles throughout your entire body. Swimming is especially good for improving back and core strength.
Good for mental health
If you spend any time at the beach, you’re likely already familiar with the fact that water is incredibly calming. Swimming regularly can lower stress levels, improve mood and sleep, and alleviate depression and anxiety.
Lowers risk of falls
Did you know swimming has been proven to lower the risk of falls? One study found that 7 months of regular swimming reduced falls by 86%. And a small 2014 study found that out of a variety of light physical activities, swimming was the only one that reduced fall risk.
Improves heart health
Any form of exercise is good for your heart, but some workouts are better than others. Research shows that regular swimming significantly lowers blood pressure and cholesterol levels and reduces the risk of heart disease.
Swimming is a great addition to any senior exercise routine, and it’s suitable for a wide variety of needs and fitness levels. It works out your entire body without putting too much stress on your joints and doesn’t require any special equipment. Best of all, swimming can be enjoyed year-round if you have access to an indoor pool.
The next time you have a pool party, don’t forget to invite grandma and grandpa! Or better yet, have them over several times a week—playing in the pool is a great excuse to spend more time with the family. And socializing is perhaps the best way to maintain a happy and healthy heart.