Swimming is a fun, healthy activity for people of any age, as it provides so many great benefits. However, it can be especially beneficial for older adults, as age can do a number on the body and mind. About the time you start to consider wearing a medical alert smartwatch, you may also want to think about taking up swimming as a routine. Here are the many benefits of swimming and how it compares with other exercises for aging adults.

Works The Whole Body

One major benefit of swimming is that it works the whole body. Thanks to the resistance of the water, all of your muscle groups have to engage. However, unlike trying to lift weights or other workouts, it doesn’t feel like a full-blown workout thanks to the buoyancy. So your body is getting toned, but without any soreness. This is especially helpful for those who are frail. And this whole-body benefit translates into better weight management also, whether you’re looking to lose weight or just maintain your current weight. As both a cardiovascular and whole-body workout, swimming burns calories and tones muscle at the same time. These are valuable benefits from such a simple activity.

And swimming is easy to get started. Swimming pools are everywhere, from your own house to clubs, gyms and community facilities. If you don’t know how to swim, or if it’s been a while, start slowly, just moving against the water by walking or gliding. You can build up as time goes on. And there are always swim classes and aquatic exercise classes to help you get started and get more comfortable.

Muscle And Joint Health

As you swim, the heart circulates more oxygenated blood throughout your body. This blood helps strengthen the muscles and send waste to the kidneys, improving muscle tissue and reducing soreness. This helps you recover more quickly and carries you throughout your day.

Oxygenated blood also helps the joints, leading to a reduction in inflammation and pain in the joints, as well as enhanced healing of the tissues. This is a great thing even if you don’t currently suffer from joint pain, as the joints tend to wear down over time; the blood increase from swimming can help keep joints healthy and strong, preventing potential pain in the future.

Those who do suffer from joint pain and inflammation tend to avoid exercise, as the pressure can be too much to bear. What makes swimming great for such people being one of the few exercises that don’t strain the body. The buoyancy of the water makes your movements easier and creates less impact on your joints, meaning that you can enjoy swimming without the worry of pain afterward.

Heart And Lung Health

The oxygenated blood does more than help your muscles and joints. It’s actually beneficial for your overall health. As it travels through your body, oxygen and various healing nutrients travel to your lungs and other organs. This makes them work more efficiently and function as they
were intended.

Swimming is excellent for heart health. Two studies shared by Harvard Health show that those who swim have a lower resting heart rate and breathing rate, lower blood pressure, more energy, and lower cholesterol levels – even in comparison with those who participate in most
other forms of exercise.

Cardiovascular (aerobic) exercise is recommended for everyone to get regularly, as the increased heart rate deepens breathing and brings benefits more quickly. But many people shy away from such a focused burn, especially the elderly, preferring more gentle methods.

Swimming is that gentle exercise that most people don’t truly feel to be exercise while doing it, because so much enjoyment and soothing rhythm is involved. You might find slight soreness in the muscles if you’ve been swimming for hours, but it’s more akin to muscle fatigue than pain. The heart rate tends to be lower with swimming than with other activities, while producing comparable gains.

Strength, Balance And Flexibility

Your muscles get a great workout while swimming, making them much stronger. Stronger muscles help keep your body upright, which improves balance and stability and reduces the likelihood of falls. And swimming provides range of motion exercises that improve your

Balance equates to mental health as well, and swimming promotes positivity, from several factors. As your blood pumps better, more reaches your brain, resulting in improved mood, memory, concentration and general acuity.

Swimming releases endorphins, which are known as the feel-good hormones. Moving through the water acts similarly to a gentle massage. And the breathing regulation required in swimming promotes calmness and the soothing of anxiety. Further, the improved blood flow lowers blood pressure.

As a bonus, swimming is an enjoyable activity that you can complete alone for quiet time, or for great fun with friends, children and grandchildren.

Restful Sleep

We all need sleep so that the body and mind can restore and recharge, and getting good sleep is one of the healthiest things we can do. But stress, pain and other irritants can prevent us from getting the necessary amount of sleep, or from reaching deep, restorative sleep. The good news is that, from helping to reduce pain, improve blood flow, lower the resting and breathing heart rate, reduce stress, improve general health and induce a mild fatigue, swimming helps most people fall asleep faster and sleep better.

Final Thoughts

All of the benefits described here work to improve your overall health and wellness. And the better your general health and wellness, the stronger the body is to fight off illness and disease. Swimming just a few sessions each week can decrease your risk of developing health issues such as heart disease, diabetes and other conditions – at any age.


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