As people age and their bodies begin to change, their workout routines need to do the same. When traditional forms of exercise such as running or biking becomes too stressful on ones body, they should not give up exercising all together but instead find alternative ways to get the same benefits.
While swimming is a sport or hobby for children, it can also be a form of treatment and therapy for their grandparents. Many gyms and recreation centers offer water aerobics, resistance class, or aqua yoga to give seniors the opportunity to receive the benefits of swimming.
Easy on the Joints
Physical activity is very important to help the heart, lungs, muscles, and mind but can be harmful to one's joints, especially knees and hips. Land-based exercises often require full body weight bearing activities, putting too much stress on the joints. By moving ones workout into the water, their joints are relieved of the weight and stress, allowing them to move more easily.
Just 30 minutes a day, three or four times a week is all one needs to improve their health. Staying active in the water increases blood circulation and makes ones heart beat faster, which results in lower blood pressure, better cholesterol levels, and improved metabolism. All of these changes lower the risk of heart disease, a heart attack, or a stroke occurring.
Reduced Risk of Osteoporosis
Osteoporosis, a disease which affects the density and quality of the bone, is more common in women than in men. An estimated 10 millions Americans have Osteoporosis and 80% are women. Women have lighter and smaller bones, making them more susceptible to this disease. However, swimming regularly and keeping ones body active helps maintain bone density and decreases the risk of a break or fracture.
Increase Flexibility and Muscle Strength
Inactivity causes the deterioration of flexibility and muscle mass. The movement of swimming and use of muscles gives a full body workout. By engaging more muscles they become stronger and more flexible, making it easier to do everyday tasks like bending down to pick something up. Staying active in the water also alleviates back pain, improves posture, increases coordination, and decreases soreness. This increased flexibility and muscle strength also affects one's balance and decreases the risk of falling which often leads to more serious injuries such as broken bones.
Swimming and exercising releases endorphins into one's brain which triggers a positive feeling. Swimming also lowers anxiety, reduces stress and increases brain function. Swim classes provide a place for people to interact and be social with others, helping those who feel lonely or isolated. It has also been proven that socialization slows down mental decline and the development of dementia.
Despite the numerous benefits of swimming for senior citizens, it is still important to consult ones doctor before trying something new to make sure it is right for them.