Swimming increases muscle tone and strength. Many seniors have day-to-day mobility issues and pain that can make many types of exercise difficult. Swimming is one of the easiest ways for seniors with physical limitations to stay active and build muscle tone and strength.
Swimming improves flexibility and balance. Here’s why: The act of swimming forces your body to make a very broad range of motions, which subsequently allows joints and ligaments to stay limber. When you swim, your arms swing, your head and spine twist, and with every single stroke, you stretch your body from head to toe. “Voilà!”: flexibility! In addition, research shows that seniors who swim regularly are one-third less likely to fall and injure themselves.
Swimming is heart-healthy. Swimming is an aerobic exercise, which strengthens the heart, leads to better blood flow and can even combat inflammation (shown to have a link to heart disease) in your body. Just 30 minutes of pool exercise a day, three days a week has been shown to provide significant health benefits to seniors.
Swimming helps you control your weight. The act of swimming is also considered to be one of the best ways to burn calories, which is a key when it comes to controlling your weight. The number of calories used while you swim depends on many factors (e.g. your physiology and the intensity with which you swim and which stroke you decide to use), but generally speaking, for every 10 minutes of swimming you perform, you can burn anywhere from 60 to 150 calories.
There you have it: swimming is fun AND good for you!