1. Low-Intensity Exercise is Essential for Aging Joints
Swimming is a low-impact, non-weight-bearing activity. It puts no strain on the spine, knees, or hips; in fact, the buoyancy of water supports some of your body weight and reduces the effect of gravity, relieving some of the regular strain on these joints. It is especially beneficial for seniors suffering from arthritis or other conditions such as fibromyalgia. Swimming, like walking, relieves pain and improves quality of life in people with knee osteoarthritis and fibromyalgia, according to a 2016 study.
2. Aids in the improvement of flexibility and range of motion
Water's buoyancy also helps in other ways. We can move our limbs and joints through the full range of motion in the water more easily because the ordinary strain on joints is reduced. Using the full range of motion on a regular basis helps to keep joints supple and improves flexibility, which is important for the health and well-being of older adults. Stretching in the water is a good way to improve flexibility for seniors who have a limited range of motion on land.
3. Assists in improving stability and lowering the risk of falling
Aquatics works all major muscle groups, resulting in stronger muscles overall, particularly the upper body, core muscles, and leg muscles – all important muscle groups for posture and stability, lowering the risk of falling. One study in Australia looked at 1,700 men aged 70 and up and discovered that those who swam were 33% less likely to fall than men who did not swim.
Furthermore, men who engaged in other forms of exercise in addition to swimming (such as golfing or using treadmills or stationary bikes) were no less likely to fall than those who only engaged in swimming.
4. Aids in Cardiovascular Health
Being in the water for 30 minutes per day, according to the Swim Strong Foundation, can reduce coronary heart disease (CHD) by 30 to 40% in women. Men can also reduce their risk of developing type 2 diabetes by more than 10% by swimming the breaststroke for 30 minutes three times per week, which burns about 900 calories.
Regular aerobic exercise, such as swimming, helps to lower blood pressure and raise good cholesterol levels (HDLs). A 1% increase in HDL cholesterol reduces the risk of dying from heart disease by 3.5%. If you have a medical condition, especially a heart condition, always consult your doctor before starting a new exercise program or activity. However, if your doctor says it's safe for you to swim, the benefits to your cardiovascular health are substantial.
5. Offers Opportunities for Socialization
Senior swimming programs and group water exercise classes allow seniors to socialize and meet new people. According to one study, group exercise promotes balanced health in older adults by providing a sense of community and social connection, which can help to reduce feelings of social isolation and depression. Because swimming is easier for seniors with conditions like arthritis to participate in than other exercises, older adults may be more likely to stick with group swimming lessons rather than high-impact exercises to achieve long-term health benefits.
6. Enhances Sleep
According to a 2009 study, 50% of older adults have trouble sleeping, and lack of sleep increases the risk of morbidity and mortality. Another study discovered that aerobic exercise, such as swimming, improves older adults' self-reported sleep and quality of life.
Swimming is a strenuous exercise that burns a lot of calories and works all of the major muscle groups, so older adults will feel physically exhausted after a swim. Many people also say that swimming makes them feel relaxed, which is essential for getting a good night's sleep.
Swimming is a great way to relax both the body and the mind, so it can help to reduce stress and anxiety while also promoting overall well-being and boosting mental health. Swimming, when combined with the social benefits of group exercises and activities, is an effective activity for promoting overall health and well-being, benefiting both mental and physical health.