As we all know, the average age of Americans continues to drift toward the elderly. It is very, very important as we age, to continue regular exercise to maintain healthy bodies. Along with continuing to feel strong and full of energy, consistently performing light to mild exercise has many other helpful benefits as well. This post will cover six reasons why swimming is a wonderful activity for seniors, and many of these can be achieved in a hot tub or spa.
This photograph shows an in-pool tread mill set up, complete with TVs to eliminate boredom.
Swimming and water exercise is a wonderful method for working an aging body as it is a low impact activity that helps with joint issues, and can be done with very little potential risk of injury. These types of exercise can be a complete workout, using the entire body and all of it's muscle groups, both large and small. Lets look at six reasons.
Increasing Flexibility - Swimming and water exercise, especially hot water exercise, can work together to add or improve flexibility in hip, leg, arm and neck areas. This does matter, since studies show that improving flexibility will often created a reduction in chronic back and spine pain, improved posture, reduced soreness from activity and exercise and an increase in muscle coordination generally.
Joint Friendly Activity - Often, body aches and pain stem from chronic joint issues. Water exercise has the significant benefit of easing the stress and post exercise discomfort in joints, as the water provides partial support for the individual's weight. A strong and whole body work out can be achieved without worsening chronic joint pains.
Lowered Incident Rate for Osteoporosis - Common among our seniors, is the fight to maintain strong and healthy bone density. About 30% of women and about 20% of men will suffer a bone fracture due to osteoporosis, after the age of 50. Osteoporosis is a condition of chronic loss of bone quality and bone density simultaneously. This risk can be mitigated, and is lowest among those that have a regular exercise regimen.
Healthy Cardiovascular System - Water exercises and swimming can produce very nice aerobic exercise results, helping the entire cardiovascular system to be larger, stronger and better at pumping blood and overall circulation. The water can be used both to increase effort and support body weight for less impact on joints including the spine. Regular aerobic exercising lowers coronary heart disease risk factors and also lowers inflammation caused by vasodialation from fatty build up in arteries. Any activity or exercise that promotes or increases heart health is worthwhile.
Muscle Tone - Exercising in water, either with or without exercise aids, makes muscles work harder for the same activity than the same exercise in air because water is about twelve times more dense than air. This causes the muscles being exercised to work many times harder when done against the additional drag of the water. Muscle strength and tone can be achieved more quickly due to the increased resistance. Toned muscles also burn more calories, even when at rest. Better muscle tone also helps to prevent falls and even reduces injury should a fall occur.
Mental Health - Many seniors find they also receive mental and psychological benefit from swimming and water exercise. Studies prove these types of exercise elevate mood levels and help to relieve stress. The water environment promots a more social atmosphere as well, which can help to mitigate common senior feelings of isolation or disconnectedness.
+Ethel writes about all things backyard with a focus on replacement hot tub spa covers. You can also chat with Ethel on Twitter! Follow this author on Twitter