With the weather beginning to warm up, now is a great time to get into your Resort pool and make a splash. Whether you like to swim laps, enjoy water aerobics, want to try some water resistance exercise or simply want to cool off, the health benefits of swimming for seniors are endless!
Here are our top 6 swimming perks.
It’s great for your heart health
Did you know that swimming improves circulation, boosts endurance and lowers blood pressure? With over 80 per cent of seniors affected by heart disease, swimming helps you gain direct control over your cardiovascular health.
In fact, according to the Swim Strong Foundation, swimming for 30 minutes a day can reduce coronary heart disease in women by 30 to 40 percent. This type of exercise also raises ‘good’ cholesterol HDL levels. Additionally, men can reduce their risk of diabetes by an average of 6 per cent for every 500 calories burnt in aerobic exercise per week. Winning!
Swimming is low-impact and easy on the joints
If you suffer from joint pain, swimming is an excellent way to stay fit without the associated discomfort. Offering a full body workout, swimming is non weight bearing, so it doesn’t put pressure on your spine, knees or hips.
With the water giving you buoyancy, much of your body weight is supported when swimming. Enabling you to enjoy a good range of motion, without feeling the strain on your joints, swimming helps to give you greater flexibility in your day-to-day life.
Improve your strength
Swimming offers a great form of strength and resistance training. It works all major muscle groups, especially your upper body, core and legs – which are key for posture and balance, helping to protect you against falls.
In an Australian study of 1,700 men aged 70 or older, it was found that those who swam were 33 percent less likely to fall compared with all other men in the study. The swimmers also did better on the ‘postural sway’ test, which measured standing balance over a period of 30 seconds.
Water activities can help keep osteoporosis at bay
Swimming can improve bone mineral density, which helps fight osteoporosis. With a third of women over the age of 50 and a fifth of men suffering a bone fracture due to osteoporosis, swimming offers a significant health benefit for seniors.
More socialising and less stress
Swimming and water activities provide you with a great opportunity for socialising with others. It provides a sense of community and connection. A form of gentle exercise, swimming is also a great way to de-stress, boost your mood and increase brain function.
Enjoy a better sleep
With over 50% of older adults struggling to get a good night’s sleep, swimming offers a range of slumber benefits. Burning calories and leaving you physically tired, it also leaves you feeling relaxed – which all adds up to a better sleep.
Now, if swimming is a new activity for you, it’s best to first check with your doctor before you dive on in. Also be sure to take it slowly and build up to more activity over time. And if you can find a swimming partner, all the better – it’s so much more fun to swim with a friend, plus it keeps you accountable!