Why Swimming is a Great Form of Exercise for Seniors

Senior couple swimming
June 6th, 2023

Exercise is important through every stage of our lives. As we age, certain physical activities become more difficult, if not impossible. All too often, when it gets too difficult, people just stop trying.

Physical exercise is proven to be a great way to protect seniors from falling or  being injured from falls. Physical activity is not something people want to do when they are stiff, sore, or afraid of getting injured.

Swimming is a Great Way to Get Active, Keep Active, and Remain Safe

It allows movement in a safe and comfortable environment. If your loved one has given up most activities, take them to the pool.

Easy on the Joints

High impact activities are very jarring on the joints. It can be very hard on the hips, knees, and ankles. But activity in the water keeps the weight off your joints.

You float while swimming so there is no pressure on your joints. Even water aerobics is much easier as you are buoyant in the water and there is next to no pressure on any joints.

Water activity is ideal for those with mobility limitations, arthritis, or other types of chronic pain that keep them from doing other types of activities. It’s perfect for everyone.

Cardio Workout

Swimming or water exercise is great for your heart and lungs. Increased heart rate helps keep your heart healthy and can help with keeping your weight under control.

Swimming is a great way to avoid heart problems down the road. It removes fatty deposits from your arteries and makes other activities in your daily life much easier.

Keep Muscles

We lose muscle strength as we age and swimming is a great way to maintain, if not build it back. The resistance of moving through the water takes more strength and power but you often don’t realize it.

Because swimming works the entire body, you can expect the muscle mass to be building up all over. Swimming builds your arms, back muscles, legs, core, and chest.

Improve Balance

As mentioned, swimming or water activity works all your major muscle groups. This builds up or keeps everything strong and agile. It also improves your reach and flexibility.

Reaching and kicking your legs helps to stretch your major muscle groups. This actually makes them flexible and stronger. This all helps you maintain balance and strength in everything you do.

This helps a lot with your balance. Your core plays a big part in keeping you centered, so swimming can help keep you more steady on your feet during other activities, protecting you from falls or injury.

Weight Control

The resistance of the water actually makes you work a bit harder than you would with some other types of low-impact exercise. This helps to maintain, if not help you lose weight as you age.

Even just walking or moving through water helps to build strength, tone your muscles, and burn calories. Keeping your weight under control keeps your heart and lungs healthier.

Mental Health

Swimming is a fun activity. Who doesn’t love a splash around in warm water? The exercise helps keep your mood elevated and you just feel better for having a great time at the pool.

Taking part in a social activity can also be very beneficial. A water aerobics class, or a swim group with friends or family can bring people together for a great time shared together.

Swimming gives you something to look forward to. It’s a fun activity that you can do alone, in a group, and you can go every day without the worry of strain or aching muscles afterward.

Swimming is a relaxing activity, so you don’t need to feel you are in a race or have anything to prove. If you are worried about getting in the water, then start in the shallow end first.

Choose a pool with lifeguards and support staff. Find one that has a class or program just for seniors, as that may be quieter and more comfortable for you.

This will help you gain the confidence you need, knowing that medical help is just seconds away.

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