Seniors and Swimming, The Perfect Fit
No matter your age, you’re never too cool for the pool. And when it comes to senior fitness, you can’t beat swimming, water aerobics and other pool workouts. These activities are among the best and safest ways to improve your health — both physically and mentally. And a regular water workout has the power to improve everything from your mood to your bone density.
At Asbury’s Wellness & Aquatics Centers, residents enjoy the benefits of swimming, water aerobics classes, and even water-based rehabilitation.
Here’s a complete look at how swimming might just be the perfect fit for senior fitness.
Heart healthy. Swimming makes your heart stronger, larger and improves your cardiovascular health and endurance. It also lowers blood pressure, improves circulation, and helps reduce the risk of heart and lung disease.
Joint friendly. Because swimming is not weight-bearing, it’s easy on the joints. It’s a full-body workout that keeps the pressure off your hips, knees, and spine.
Bone building. Swimming can improve bone mineral density, which helps fight osteoporosis. More than a third of women over the age of 50, and a fifth of men experience a bone fracture due to osteoporosis.
Flexibility enhancing. Swimming increases flexibility in the hips, legs, arms, and neck. It can also help improve posture, alleviate back pain, and increase energy. Thirty minutes of swimming three times per week raises your metabolic rate, which increases energy.
Muscle building. Swimming is a great form of resistance training and improves muscle strength and builds lean muscle tone.
Mood boosting. Swimming reduces stress levels, boosts your mood, and increases your brain function. Just 30 minutes of swimming three times a week along with a healthy diet and lifestyle provides benefits. Do it with friends, and it’s even more fun!
Disease fighting. Even swimming just 30 minutes per week can help to guard against heart disease, stroke, and type 2 diabetes. It can also alleviate symptoms of common ailments of aging, like arthritis, where an indoor, heated pool is the best place to exercise. The water’s buoyancy relieves pressure on the joints, while the water warms and loosens them.
Calorie burning: Swimming uses all the muscles in the body so whether you swim a breaststroke or a butterfly, you will get a full body workout. A gentle, half-hour swim can burn over 200 calories, more than double that of walking. Plus, exercising in water makes your body work harder, so 30 minutes in a pool is worth 45 minutes on land.
For those with arthritis a swimming pool is one of the best exercise options, giving you a full-body workout with little to no pressure on your joints. Overall, people can exercise longer in the water than on land with less effort and with less impact on the body and less pain, according to the CDC. As with any new exercise routine, consult with your physician if you have concerns or particular health issues.
Then, jump on in. The water’s fine!