Swimming provides a unique set of health benefits that other physical activities cannot. Swimming is great for people of all ages, but also features some additional benefits for older adults.
Increases Heart Health
Swimming is an amazing exercise for the cardiovascular system. While swimming, your blood flows more quickly and your heart beats faster. This improves circulation, lowers blood pressure and reduces your risk for a heart attack. Once your heart is healthier and the cardiovascular system is reducing its effort, everyday tasks become easier. For instance, walking up stairs will become easier.
Swimming increases flexibility by causing the swimmer to make use of their muscles. Once your flexibility is increases, it will be easier to reach down and scoop something off the floor or reach to the very back of the cupboard. Without physical activity, older adults become still and less nimble. With the addition of swimming, everyday mobility becomes easier and easier.
Increases Mental Health
As adults age, they are prone to experience stress, anxiety or depression. One of the most effective ways to combat these is through both exercise and socializing. Luckily, swimming provides both! Because exercising causes the release of hormones that trigger feelings of happiness, stress and anxiety levels fall. Couple this with the fact that there are typically other swimmers in the pool, there is also an abundant opportunity to socialize. Many organizations offer swim classes, which is another great way to meet new people!
Easy on the Joints
As adults age, they typically experience stiffness and pain in their joints. Swimming eliminates much of this discomfort because it is not a land-based activity. Therefore, it is not weight-bearing at all. Swimming makes your body buoyant, therefore eliminating any pressure or strain on your joints.
Swimming is a wonderful option for older adults. The benefits are vast but the most important benefits are the betterment of your heart and mental health, flexibility and joint health!