Exercise is an important part of senior routines and can help maintain mood, physical health and mental awareness. However, falls are very concerning for seniors, according to livescience.com. A study of senior men in Australia found that men who swam regularly were 33 percent less likely to fall then other men in the study. Falls can cause broken bones, head trauma and reduced mobility.
The same study found that walking was the most common form of exercise for seniors, but it did not lower the risk of falls. Swimming as an exercise for elderly care, however, engages the entire body without putting excessive physical strain on aged joints.
According to American Senior Communities, swimming has the typical benefits of any exercise: improved health, better flexibility and stronger muscles. However, swimming is also an ideal exercise for seniors for several reasons:
- Improved cardiovascular health: Swimming is a cardio exercise, so regular swimming can improve heart health and lower blood pressure.
- Easy on the body: Running and other high-impact activities can put additional strain on the joints and put seniors at risk for falling. Seniors benefit from swimming because it is a full-body workout with low impact on joints. It’s also helpful for those recovering from surgeries or injuries.
- Reduced risk of osteoporosis: Regular exercise improves bone mineral density. Reduced bone density can increase the risk of fractures.
- Improved mental health: Regular exercise, especially swimming, can improve mental well-being and outlook on life since it is usually a social activity.
- Improved muscle tone: Since swimming uses the full body group of muscles, it reduces fat and increases muscle density. This added strength benefits seniors outside the pool since they have better muscle control.
Types of water exercise
Depending on physical strength and the intensity of workout desired, there are four types of basic water exercises.
Water aerobics is what is commonly is associated with senior swimming. It is similar to aerobics performed on land but has the benefit of being less hard on joints.
Basic swimming can improve overall health and fitness. Classes are offered at most fitness centers and can improve form if your senior hasn’t swum in a long time.
Water resistance exercises use the water itself instead of weights in exercises to challenge muscle strength and improve fitness. These exercises can include arm curls, calf raises and leg swings.
Water relaxation techniques can include yoga and Pilates performed in the water. These exercises can reduce stress and improve blood pressure and heart rate.
Swimming is an ideal sport for seniors of all fitness levels. Whether they are recovering from surgery or injury or just want to supplement their physical activity, elderly care can be improved with regular swimming. The physical benefits alone are worthwhile, but the additional benefits include more socialization and involvement with community and increased confidence in physical wellness.
If you or an aging loved-one are considering Elderly Care in Wake Forest, NC, please contact the caring staff at Affordable Family Care. Serving Raleigh, Greensboro, and the surrounding areas in North Carolina. Call today 919-676-1070.
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