Swimming and the Elderly

Did you know that swimming may be the ideal form of exercise for the elderly?

Swimming has many recognized health benefits and can lead to improved heart health, reduced risk of osteoporosis, increased flexibility, and improved muscle strength.

Because swimming is a low impact activity, seniors can gain strength without risking injury. Many other forms of exercise are more strenuous and can actually cause injuries. Sports such as running and biking can be risky for seniors who are prone to falls.

In fact, research indicates that swimming can improve balance and coordination, a significant discovery for seniors who are at risk for falling. In one study, men who swam were 33 percent less likely to fall than men who were engaged in other sports.

Researcher have discovered that because swimming requires coordination of the upper and lower body, it improves “postural sway,” or standing balance.

This is good news for older adults who are at risk for falls. Swimming can be a relaxing, healthy exercise that can actually improve balance and posture.