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Senior woman enjoying the pool

Seniors and Swimming A Fun Way to Stay in Shape

In 2022, Willard Lamb took the top spot in the U.S. Masters Swimming Summer Nationals Championships. He was an astonishing 99 years old. Clearly, age is no barrier to getting in the water and tackling a few laps! In fact, swimming is one of the best exercises for older adults. The benefits of swimming include everything from increased lung capacity to mental well-being. Swimming, it turns out, is good for every part of the body. Read on to learn why this might be the perfect sport for you or your aging loved one.

Swimming Is a Full-Body Workout

One of the most significant benefits of swimming for seniors is that the sport engages your entire body. This means a few laps in the pool equals a full-body workout!

You can test out different strokes to target diverse muscle groups, including:

  • Freestyle
  • Breaststroke
  • Backstroke
  • Butterfly

Those uncomfortable swimming alone can use a kickboard or similar aids to get from one side of the pool to the other.

It’s Friendly on the Joints

Swimming is a low-impact exercise because swimmers are supported by the water surrounding them. What this means is that swimming doesn’t wear out our joints as much as a high-impact sport like running. As we age, we often develop joint conditions like arthritis. Swimming for seniors is ideal. It’s less likely to exacerbate the pain these joint conditions cause while still challenging the body and mind.

Helps Seniors Maintain Heart Health

Swimming for older adults is an excellent activity for boosting heart health. When we engage in physical activity that gets us out of breath, it raises our heart rate.

This, in turn, enhances cardiovascular fitness by:

  • Strengthening the heart (and lungs)
  • Lowering blood pressure
  • Improving circulation

All of this combined can help to reduce the risk of heart disease—a significant health concern in older age.

Swimming Improves Balance and Coordination

Aging can sometimes bring about a decline in balance and coordination. This increases the risk of health-harming slips and falls. When you swim, you need to maintain your balance in the water. You also need to coordinate your movements to propel yourself forward. Even exercises like pool walking or jogging place in the water can help with stability. This helps with all aspects of a senior’s life. For example, memory care at Lakewood Ranch combines physical activities like swimming with other types of well-being activities.

Why Swimming Is One of the Best Exercises for Older Adults

If you’re looking for the best exercises for older adults, add swimming to your list! There are so many benefits to a swimming workout: it can be modified to suit any activity level, it’s heart and joint-friendly, and it works your entire body. Plus, there are few better things in life than hanging out at the pool with friends—no matter your age! Are you considering your options for memory care, short-term stays, or assisted living? At Inspired Living at Lakewood Ranch, we have all of these and more. Our top-ranked community has luxury lifestyle services (including a swimming pool) designed to preserve the dignity and life enjoyment of our residents. Review our floor plans and pricing today.

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