We all know there are plenty of advantages to exercising, but it can sometimes be difficult for older adults who have arthritis or other painful illnesses to exercise. An exercise that is especially beneficial to seniors is swimming. It is an ideal workout because it presents little risk of injury and is low impact. Here are just a few of the health benefits swimming offers to older adults:
- Improves heart health. Swimming makes your heart stronger, improves your cardiovascular health and endurance and lowers blood pressure.
- Gentle on the joints. Swimming is not weight-bearing, so it's easy on the joints for those who suffer from joint pain and discomfort.
- Swimming develops strong and stable core muscles, which are necessary for good balance control — a major protective factor against falls.
- Reduces the risk of osteoporosis. Swimming can improve bone mineral density (BMD), which will help fight osteoporosis. This is very important especially for women.
- Increases flexibility in your hips, legs, arm and neck. It can also help improve your posture and alleviate back pain.
- Boosts mental health. It helps to reduce stress levels, boost mood, and increase brain function. Plus, because it can be a social activity, you'll avoid the feelings of social isolation and loneliness that can lead to depression in seniors.
You should always talk to your doctor before starting any exercise program.