In today’s health-conscious, fitness-fanatical, society everyone knows the value of exercise and understands its importance to our long-term health, but did you know that exercise is increasingly critical as we age?
Staying active is what enables us to fight off illness, disease, aches and pains, and live longer, happier lives. This is easier said than done, however, as many physically demanding exercises become much more difficult with the natural ageing of our bodies. But swimming provides a full-body workout without putting stress on your joints and muscles, making it one of the most effective exercises for those of all ages.
Let’s look at just some of the health benefits you can enjoy by making regular trips to the pool:
Cardiovascular training is the way to a healthier heart, and swimming is one of the best cardio exercises there is. It builds stamina and endurance, burns calories and helps lower your blood pressure. All this eases pressure on your heart, makes it stronger and lowers your risk of heart and lung disease and a range of related health problems.
Swimming is one of those rare and great exercises that provides both cardio and resistance training, that means it works both your muscles and your endurance. When it comes to your muscles, swimming works every different group, getting your legs, arms, bac and core moving, which gives you a true full-body workout. Not only will this increase your strength and prevent muscle pain, but you’ll also carve out a toned physique.
Osteoporosis, caused by weak bones and low ‘bone mineral density’ (BMD) is a major issue for those over the age of 50, with a third of women and one fifth of men likely to experience fractures or other problems attributed to the condition.
Swimming is the perfect exercise for those at risk, as regular workouts have been proven to increase your BMD.
Swimming is one of the best exercises for your joints because it’s very gentle on them. This is because the water acts like a cushion and bears your weight when you swim, allowing your muscles to move freely without putting any pressure on your hips, knees or back. This makes swimming the ideal exercise if joint problems prevent you from doing other forms of physical activity. Swimming is also highly recommended for those wanting to improve their posture.
The positive effects of exercise on mental health are well documented, and swimming is no different. It’s great for fighting stress and lifting your mood, and the coordination required is fantastic for keeping your brain sharp and active.
Swimming is also an incredibly social activity. It is easy to meet and interact with others when visiting your local pool, or the pool at your apartment complex. Most health clubs also offer ‘aqua-fit’ and other water-based workout classes which are a great way to meet new people and get fit at the same time.