Swimming Benefits for Older Adults
Swimming is an excellent exercise to get the body moving and increase your heart rate. It exercises your entire body, is low-impact, and is a lot more soothing than working out for over an hour in a spin class. This makes swimming one of the best exercises that promote mental and physical well-being.
When people become older, muscle flexibility and strength considerably decrease. So, exercise is crucial for older people to keep them healthy. However, older adults often shy away from exercising because they get tired faster. Their bodies may also feel pain after a rigorous workout session.
This makes swimming one of the best exercises for seniors. Swimming is extremely good for strengthening the leg and arm muscles. The elderly can get into good shape by swimming regularly without needing to put extra stress on their bodies. It is also good for their mental well-being, thereby helping to maintain the overall health of the body.
Reasons swimming is good for seniors
Swimming provides numerous advantages for seniors. Some of them include:
Improves cardiovascular health
Many people suffer from numerous heart-related issues as they age. Doing cardiovascular exercises will help them improve their heart health. Swimming is one of the best low-impact cardiovascular exercises. Swimming will help the heart pump more blood and make it stronger. A stronger heart will function more effectively and efficiently. This will also improve blood flow throughout the entire body, even to the brain. This will help in preventing issues like dementia and Alzheimer’s disease that plague older adults.
Swimming is also helpful in reducing instances of serious conditions like type 2 diabetes and coronary heart disease. It helps to improve the levels of good cholesterol and controls blood pressure. Swimming can even help prevent the aggravation of pre-existing heart conditions in some cases.
Older adults can keep swimming as part of their regular exercise regime after discussions with their healthcare provider or discussing it with a fibreglass pool installer in Perth!
Improves flexibility and movement
Several people lose the flexibility of their bodies as they age and are plagued with body stiffness. They may not be able to move their arms, legs, and other parts of their bodies as easily as when they were younger. The range of body movements that are possible will also be severely affected as you age. All these issues can be easily solved by swimming regularly. Due to the water’s buoyancy, the elderly can more readily move their arms and legs through their complete range of motion. They can move more freely when compared to land. If you swim regularly, this will make the joints supple and make you more flexible.
Swimming is a full-body exercise. This means all the muscles in your body will be equally engaged, including the core muscles, leg muscles, and upper body muscles. The core will become strong and stable with regular swimming. This will aid in improving the stability and posture of older adults. Enhanced stability will drastically reduce the chances of accidental falls. Studies have shown that older adults who swim regularly have a 33% lower chance of falling when compared to other seniors.
Enhances muscle tone and strength
Swimming is a good form of resistance training that will help older adults tone their muscles. Swimming helps to put all the different muscles in the body to work and will enable seniors to get long, lean muscles in their entire body. It will also strengthen all the muscles in their bodies.
Good exercise for the joints
Swimming is a non-weight-bearing and low-impact exercise. It does not put unnecessary stress on the knees, hips, and spines of the elderly. Numerous older adults suffer from conditions like arthritis. This can make exercise a painful affair. But since swimming puts little pressure on joints, older adults with such ailments can also regularly swim. It is also a good exercise for people suffering from fibromyalgia.
The bone density of people decreases drastically as they age. This leads to a condition called osteoporosis. Swimming regularly will avert this condition by improving bone density.
Improves brain health
When older adults immerse themselves in water, the flow of blood to their brains is increased. Increased blood flow results in increased levels of glucose, oxygen, and other nutrients. This helps to improve cognition, memory, and concentration in general. Proper blood flow to the brain is also important to safeguard it from numerous harmful toxins and keep it healthy. Swimming helps to raise the concentration of brain-derived neurotrophic factor. This is a special protein in the spinal cord and brain that aids in the expansion, survival, and upkeep of neurons. Swimming also helps in raising the concentration of BDNF, which results in improved memory, mood regulation, and cognition.
Reduces stress and promotes mental well-being
In older adults, swimming is an excellent method to soothe the mind, minimise stress, reduce anxiety, and relax the body. Swimming regularly can reduce the incidence of anxiety and depression in seniors. It is a great way to uplift their mood when they are feeling lonely or isolated. It also aids the process of hippocampal neurogenesis. This is the process of the creation of new brain cells. This means that swimming can help to reverse the brain damage that may have been caused due to prolonged severe stress. It will also help to reduce the incidence of neurodegenerative diseases like dementia and Alzheimer’s. Swimming is also a good way to improve sleep in seniors who suffer from insomnia and other sleep issues.
One disadvantage of restricted movements and immobility is increased weight. Older adults, especially retired ones, tend to be physically inactive. This will lead to an increase in weight that can adversely affect their joints and cause pain. Swimming is an excellent exercise for older adults who are trying to maintain their weight at a healthy level.
Swimming is a great exercise for older adults. It helps to maintain a healthy weight, relieves joint aches, and reduces stress. Older adults can swim regularly after consulting with their healthcare provider and asking their expert advice.