Exercise is beneficial to seniors because it keeps them stronger and healthier. However, physical limitations and other health conditions can make certain exercises difficult for some older adults to perform. Swimming is often recommended for seniors because it is a low-impact exercise with a wealth of health benefits, and Philadelphia home care experts discuss 4 of those advantages below.
1. Tones Muscles
Swimming offers seniors a way to do some strength training without lifting a single dumbbell. Because water is denser than air, each movement or stroll in a pool offers resistance for muscles. Swimming regularly can increase strength in the hamstrings, quadriceps, and the upper body, and strength gains such as these can have a significant impact on an elderly person’s health.
2. Keeps Stress Off of the Bones and Joints
Jumping and running are high-impact exercises that are hard on the joints and bones, and they can cause injuries and fractures. Seniors with arthritis might find running painful, and even a low-impact exercise like cycling can be stressful and hazardous. Because swimming doesn’t put stress on the bones and joints, seniors can enjoy exercising without experiencing additional pain.
3. Increases Flexibility
Rigidity and stiffness is a real problem for many seniors. However, taking water aerobics classes and participating in swimming workouts can help them gain some of their youthful flexibility back. By swimming in the low-impact environment of a pool, seniors can increase their flexibility and reduce stiffness in problem areas like the legs, back, arms, and neck.
4. Boosts Heart Health
Reports from the American Heart Association have revealed swimming every day for just 30 minutes can reduce the risk of getting coronary heart disease by 30 to 40 percent. Swimming also helps lower blood pressure and cholesterol, both of which are crucial to maintaining a healthy heart in the senior years.
If your aging loved one doesn’t have access to a pool, there are many other exercises he or she can perform at home. Learn about the different physical activities your loved one can try by reaching out to Home Care Assistance. We are a leading provider of respite and live-in care, and we also offer comprehensive Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, and stroke care Philadelphia seniors and their families can count on. For more information on our elderly care services, call (215) 645-4663 to speak with one of our friendly Care Managers and schedule a free in-home consultation.