It’s no secret that regular exercise benefits older adults by building muscle strength, improving balance and flexibility, and boosting self-esteem. But due to chronic medical conditions and other age-related factors, many seniors don’t work out as often as they should. Thanks to water-based activities that include swimming, those same individuals can still exercise without putting a lot of stress on sensitive bones and tissues. If any of your aging loved ones live with chronic pain, here’s why swimming could be the perfect exercise for them.
How Low-Impact Exercises Help the Aging
Many people over the age of 60 live with joint and muscle discomfort that limits their ability to exercise. Other seniors have chronic health conditions like osteoporosis, osteoarthritis, and cardiovascular disease that make exercising more challenging. For most, participating in high-impact forms of exercise like weightlifting, running, or aerobics isn’t a good idea.
On the other hand, studies have found that seniors who regularly exercise by doing low-impact workouts – such as swimming or aquatic aerobics – still enjoy many of the same health benefits as those who engage in high-impact exercises.
In general, regular exercise benefits older adults in these ways:
- Relieves stress
- Improves cardiovascular endurance
- Increases muscle strength and bone mass
- Helps to normalize blood sugar levels
- Builds self-esteem
- Improves flexibility, balance, and coordination
- Sharpens mental acuity, which helps prevent mild cognitive impairment
For all these reasons, exercise is a proven way to help the average senior enjoy a higher quality of life – even when done in the comfort of one’s home.
Health Benefits of Aquatic Exercises
Because water supports one’s body weight, seniors with a wide range of injuries and chronic conditions may benefit from pool-based exercises such as swimming and aquatic aerobics – most notably those with arthritis, low back pain, orthopedic injuries, and tendonitis.
In addition to its soothing qualities, swimming provides older participants with these benefits:
Boosts natural immunity
Studies have shown that regular physical activity can help prevent or slow the progression of many chronic diseases that target the elderly, including heart disease, osteoporosis, and diabetes. Regular exercise also strengthens the immune system, which helps protect seniors from illnesses and infections.
Decreases one’s fall risk
Roughly one-in-four elderly Americans experience a serious fall every year, resulting in injuries like broken bones, hip fractures, and head contusions. Swimming helps lower a senior’s risk of falling by improving strength, flexibility, and stability. Pool-based exercises can also help a patient recover more quickly from fall-related injuries or major surgery.
Exercising in water triggers the brain to release endorphins – the “feel good” hormone – which acts as a natural stress reliever in the body. In addition to alleviating stress and making a participant feel happier and more satisfied, exercising also helps promote a better night’s sleep.
Improves brain health
Regular physical activity like swimming fine-tunes motor skills, which sharpens a senior’s mental acuity and prevents cognitive decline. For instance, scientists have found a link between regular exercise and a lower risk for dementia.
Like everybody else, older adults need to interact with other people. Swimming in a public pool gives seniors a renewed sense of purpose that helps prevent feelings of loneliness or depression. Making new friends at a swimming class is a fun and healthy way to get much-needed socialization, which ultimately helps improve memory and slow cognitive decline.
We Love Keeping Seniors Active and Entertained!
Helping your aging loved ones stay active can be difficult when you’re busy or live far away. At Senior1Care, we provide trustworthy, compassionate home care services to seniors living in Huntertown, Leo-Cedarville, Grabill, Auburn, Bluffton, and the greater Fort Wayne, IN, area. Our experienced caregivers are trained to deliver professional, reliable care in the same respectful and friendly manner that they would treat their own family members.
At Senior1Care, we understand that having a caregiver in your loved one’s home is a decision that requires trust. Our goal is to build relationships with clients by listening to their needs and providing the highest level of quality care possible. We are committed to helping your loved ones maintain their well-being, independence, and comfort. To learn more about our flexible caregiving options or schedule a FREE assessment for a senior in the greater Fort Wayne, IN, area, visit us by clicking here now.