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Health Benefits of Swimming

women in swimming pool with noodles

An exercise that is especially beneficial to seniors is swimming. Water exercises allow the elderly a way to get in better shape without putting added stress or strain on the body. Here are just a few of the health benefits swimming offers to older adults:

  • Improves heart health. Swimming makes your heart stronger, larger, and improves your cardiovascular health and endurance. It will also lower your blood pressure, improve your circulation, and help reduce the risk of heart and lung disease.
  • Gentle on the joints. Because swimming is not weight-bearing, it’s easy on the joints for those who suffer from joint pain and discomfort. It’s a full-body workout that keeps the pressure off your hips, knees, and spine.
  • Reduces the risk of osteoporosis. Swimming can improve bone mineral density (BMD), which will help fight osteoporosis. This is very important especially for women; a third of women over the age of 50 and a fifth of men experience a bone fracture due to osteoporosis.
  • Increases flexibility. While stretching before and after exercising is a sure way to regain flexibility, the act of swimming itself can also help increase your flexibility in your hips, legs, arm, and neck. It can also help improve your posture and alleviate back pain.
  • Improve muscle strength and tone. Every time you move in the water, you’re putting every muscle group to work. Swimming is a great form of resistance training and can help improve your muscle strength- and you’ll also see long, lean muscle tone forming the more you do it!
  • Boosts mental health. Swimming is a great way to reduce your stress levels, boost your mood, and increase your brain function. Plus, because swimming can be a social activity, you’ll avoid the feelings of social isolation and loneliness that can lead to depression in seniors.

Make sure before you start any exercise program that you consult your doctor before starting!

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