Staying active is vital at every stage of life, but it sometimes gets harder as life goes on. As seniors’ muscles and joints become less flexible, improper exercise can stress the system rather than maintaining wellness.
But swimming is a great option for helping your seniors stay active, pain-free, and safer against injury. Despite its low intensity, swimming can provide seniors with circulation and mobility benefits throughout the body.
Discover five reasons that make swimming a great exercise for your parents and older family members.
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Lowers the Risk of Falls
In-home falls are common among seniors because the older they get, the higher their risk of falling. As reported by the National Institute of Health, 1.6 million American seniors end up in the emergency room each year due to falls.
In an Australian study in 2017, swimmers among 1,700 senior participants were less likely to fall compared to those who took other sports activities. Another study found that men who swim had lower mortality rates than other sports groups.
Although swimming doesn’t directly prevent falls, experts believe it helps seniors train their major muscle groups, such as the upper body, leg, and core muscles. With muscles strengthened over time, seniors are less likely to fall due to improved stability and posture.
Relieves Physical Discomfort
Since water supports 90% of our body weight, seniors with joint discomforts can move freely in the water without worrying about putting more pressure on their aging joints, hips, spine, and knees.
Generally, swimming is practical for seniors with fibromyalgia or arthritis by eliminating their risk of injuries compared to other activities. So, if your parent(s) has joint issues, take them to the pool!
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Supports Cardiac Health
According to the Swim Strong Organization, swimming can prevent coronary heart disease. A study of over 80,000 participants highlights the link between swimming and a 41% lower risk of death due to heart disease and stroke.
In seniors, swimming and water-based exercises help them build endurance and reduce their risk of cardiovascular diseases that come with age.
To reap the cardiac benefits of swimming, your parents should swim at least 30 minutes daily. It does not only help your parents’ cholesterol to stay at a healthy level, but it is also a great way to get in shape and burn calories.
Improves Mental Health
Being physically active, no matter what kind of activity, positively impacts general mental health, such as increasing self-esteem, improving mood, and slowing down dementia and cognitive decline.
Since swimming is a social activity, your parents and older family members can avoid the feelings of isolation and loneliness contributing to depression in seniors. On another note, swimming gives them more opportunities to make friends and enjoy the world around them.
Promotes Sleep Quality
As your parents enter their golden years, they may have difficulty dealing with sleeping or even suffer from insomnia due to hormonal changes. Their bodies produce less melatonin, a sleep hormone that signals our bodies to sleep by coordinating circadian rhythms.
Much like other exercises that release endorphins in the brain, swimming also has relaxing effects that make you fall asleep faster. Essentially, swimming can promote sleep and prevent insomnia, resulting in a higher quality of life for your parents and older family members.
Take a Dip This Summer at 12 Oaks Communities
At 12 Oaks Communities, we are dedicated to providing a feel-like home atmosphere and arranging fun, water-based activities for all residents. In addition to having a robust community, 12 Oaks and our dedicated staff provide outstanding, around-the-clock care to ensure a safe, worry-free environment.
If you have questions about swimming for seniors, connect with us and learn more.
At 12 Oaks, our team of caring professionals is dedicated to keeping residents safe, engaged, and connected to their families and friends while still leading fulfilling lives. 12 Oaks community is an ideal place to enjoy the encore season of life.
For questions or to book a scheduled personalized tour, don’t hesitate to contact us.
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Are you searching for senior living help? At 12 Oaks Senior Living, we would love to learn more about your unique needs and the opportunity we may have to help you meet them. Our blog is one of the valuable resources we provide to inform and encourage seniors to lead fulfilling and thriving lives. Contact us today to schedule a virtual tour.
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