DIVE INTO FITNESS
Swimming is one of the most popular aerobic activities and is one of the best ways for older adults to stay active without adding stress to joints. Adding only 2-3 half hour swimming sessions a week can improve overall health and wellbeing. Water based exercises can:
- Relieve Arthritic Pain: Swimming reduces the stress on bones and impact on joints, while still providing a complete workout; targeting almost every muscle group. Swimming also improves endurance and lessens the risk of exercise related injuries.
- Improves Cardiovascular Health: Swimming is an aerobic activity which canlower blood pressure and cholesterol. It also can improve the heart’s efficiency in pumping blood through the body. Swimming has been proven to reduce risk of coronary artery disease.
- Reduces Risk of Osteoporosis: Older adults, especially women over 50, experience bone density loss that leads to osteoporosis. Exercise, including swimming, can preserve bone density and lessen the risk of osteoporosis
- Increased Flexibility: The natural buoyance of water reduces the stress on this body; this allows for added flexibility, especially in the neck, arms, hips and legs. Increased flexibility will help reduce pain, such as back pain, while improving posture and lessening the soreness often experienced after exercise.
- Recuperate Mental Health: Swimming has been linked to improved moods in both men and women by reducing anxiety, decreasing depression, and raising endorphin (feel good receptors in the brain) levels.
Many gyms, senior centers, and Watercrest Communities offer aquacise classes. Participating in classes allows for socialization, while building strength and improving health. This is also a great way to exercise outside and soak up some vitamin D, while not needing to worry about overheating in the Florida sun. Remember to wear your sunscreen and happy swimming!