In later life, regular exercise is crucial for staying healthy. It can prevent you from developing serious health conditions as well as giving you a mood boost. Swimming is an ideal activity for keeping fit. You don’t require much equipment other than a pool to swim in, and it’s something you can do with friends. Keep reading to find out about swimming’s health benefits for the elderly.
The Joy of Swimming
Scientific studies have found that humans are naturally drawn towards water. It has a calming influence on us and boosts our mental wellbeing. Therefore, it makes sense that being in water would prove just as comforting. Some people suggest that the fact most people float in water offers extra comfort, allowing the body to relax. This state of relaxation improves our moods and creates positive memories in relation to water.
But why do we enjoy moving in water as well as simply floating? Swimming forces us to use our muscles in a rhythmic manner, coupled with steady breathing. This balance of movement and air intake has a similar effect on our body to yoga. These patterns of movement release endorphins that relieve stress and put us in a positive mindset.
Health Benefits of Swimming
Of course, swimming isn’t all about making you feel good. It does good, too. Here are some of the main health benefits of swimming.
Reduces Joint and Muscle Strain
We often forget how much strain we place on our bodies just walking around the house or down to the shops. However, our body weight is constantly pushing down on our joints and muscles. In later life, joints and muscles can be weaker. This results in aches and pains. Swimming takes weight off your joints and muscles, making it easier to move without pain.
Works the Whole Body
Working out requires us to exercise different parts of our body at different times. Only exercising the legs will not build up strength in your arms, and vice versa. Whilst some workouts do exercise multiple areas of the body, few do so in the same way swimming does. When you swim, you are working your cardiovascular system, improving heart health and breathing. It also tones your muscles, increases strength from head to toe, and will improve your overall endurance. Some styles of swimming will work different muscle groups, but any swim style will provide an all-body workout.
There are several reasons why swimming helps to improve sleep. Perhaps the most obvious is that swimming tires you out. It’s almost always easier to sleep when we have less energy. However, it is not the only reason. A study found that swimming, and other aerobic activities, helped improve sleep quality amongst the participants. Therefore, if you are struggling to sleep at night, you should consider taking up swimming.
Increases Energy Levels
Continued engagement in exercise keeps you fit. This means that, the more you exercise, the easier it becomes. Swimming is a great way to increase your energy levels without putting too much strain on yourself. This means you will have more energy and motivation during the day to do other things you love. Swimming regularly could help you spend more time in your garden or with the grandkids.
Staying Safe When Exercising
It is important to know your limits when exercising. In many cases, you should consult your doctor before beginning any new exercise regimes. This is especially true if you have any existing health conditions, as some exercises may make them worse. If you feel tired, it is important to take breaks.
Knowing your limits isn’t the only way to stay safe. A personal alarm from Lifeline24 provides additional peace of mind around the home. If you feel unwell or have a fall, simply press the button on your alarm pendant. This will send an alert to our 24/7 Response Team, who then arrange help on your behalf.
For extra reassurance, buy our fall detector plan. This will raise an automatic alert if it detects a fall.