Swimming for the Elderly
To keep their body strong and healthy, people need to continuously exercise especially as they mature. However, the issue with the elderly is that it is sometimes difficult to find the appropriate workout program for them without intensifying their prevailing health issues. Swimming is a form of exercise that can be recommended for the elderly and it offers a lot of health benefits.
- Easy on the Bones and Joints
Other forms of exercises such as jumping and running are considered high impact and they can cause the bones to fracture which will lead to injuries. Swimming does not put stress on the bones and joints which makes it an effective exercise with minimal chance of being injured. That is the reason why swimming is generally endorsed by therapists and doctors to toughen up muscles especially when recuperating from an injury. Water provides cushion for every type of movement. The human body actually has a similar density to water and this helps prevent stress to the joints.
Seniors who are already suffering from disorders such as osteoarthritis which causes pain in the cartilage and joints will discover that swimming can be the easiest and safest form of exercise for them. People who suffer from osteoarthritis are often advised to exercise but walking and jogging can be painful to them. Swimming removes the pressure from the joints which makes it a great activity where they can still perform without aggravating their condition.
Here are some of the benefits that the elderly may gain if they swim on a regular basis:
- Healthier cardiovascular system
- Enhanced flexibility
- Firmer muscle tone
- Better posture
- Improved balance
- Reduced muscle tension
- Minimal risk of osteoporosis
And swimming does not only help the elderly exercise without injuring their muscles and bones, it can also boost their appetite and even help in weight control. This would be great if obesity is an issue. Swimming helps the body relax which in effect reduces stress. Swimming is also a great form of cardio exercise because it raises the heart rate resulting in the increased flow of blood throughout the entire body, delivering much needed nutrients to the different parts of the body. This increases the metabolism and gives more energy to the participating elderly.
Because water provides a great challenge in body movement, it is also an ideal form of strength training. It makes the muscles exert more pressure compared to other activities that we perform on land, minus the potential injury on the muscle. This improves muscle tone enabling seniors to perform their daily tasks more comfortably.
Swimming can also be a great social activity. It is an effective way to meet and interact with other people especially if the elderly swims in a gym or public pool. It is always best to encourage your senior family members to join group water exercises since there are a lot of facilities which offer senior group activities where they can meet people within the same age bracket.