Swimming is one of the best full-body exercises available. You may hear it referred to as a “no-impact” exercise, which simply refers to any exercise that doesn’t have a harsh impact on the joints. Swimming targets every main muscle group and provides support for the body, which is why it’s such an ideal exercise for seniors.
Here are several other benefits of swimming as a senior:
Improves Muscle Strength
Because people are naturally buoyant, swimming takes strain off of the joints and targets our muscle groups instead. With each stroke, you are performing a resistance exercise that promotes long, lean, healthy muscles. Water provides much more resistance than air, meaning you will work harder in the pool than if you did the same exercises on land.
As people age, they can lose muscle mass (muscle atrophy), which is one reason doctors recommend continuing with exercise. Performing slow and steady movements will promote muscle strength, while aerobic movements will promote cardiovascular health, muscle strength, and muscle endurance.
When we get older, heart health becomes more of a concern. Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death for people of most ethnicities in America, according to the CDC. This disease is mainly linked to a poor diet and lack of exercise, but it’s never too late to make a change. Many people with heart disease suffer with other health ailments such as obesity or chronic pain, which is why swimming is such an advantage due to the ease and support the exercise provides for the body.
Not only does swimming promote strength, toning, and cardiovascular endurance, but it also helps with flexibility and range of motion. Swimming should be accompanied by stretching just like any other exercise, but due to the water temperature and the motions and strokes used, swimming can greatly help with flexibility on its own. Swimming in a warmer pool will naturally relax the muscles and stimulate blood circulation, reducing stress on the body and allowing your joints to move with ease.
As we age, our metabolism drastically decreases. Working out regularly can boost our metabolism, which means we will burn more calories. When you begin a weight management program, it’s ideal to mix weight training with cardio. Both of these can be accomplished simultaneously with one exercise: swimming. When you build muscle mass, you’re increasing your metabolism, and your body will begin to burn more calories at rest. When you combine this with cardio, you can burn even more calories. An hour of light swimming has the potential to burn around 400 calories.
Swimming at a gym or at a pool is a great way to be involved with like-minded people and remain social. When you begin to connect with people who also exercise, you may find that it’s easier to remain inspired and be held accountable if you’re feeling less than motivated.
Not only can it promote friendships and combat loneliness, but it’s also a great stress reliever. Meeting goals and challenges every so often will make you feel accomplished, and seeing a change in your body reflecting all of your hard work may also help too.
Try swimming with us today! You will find the class schedule for your favorite Genesis Health Clubs location on our Group Fitness Classes page.