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The Benefits of Swimming for the Elderly

By Debbie Waddell, 10:30 am on

Lifelong exercise is important for staying strong and healthy. However, some seniors receiving Placer County home care have physical limitations preventing them from performing certain exercises like jogging or weightlifting, while others have never exercised regularly and may even feel they are too old to start. If your senior loved one has concerns such as these, swimming offers a wealth of benefits for elderly health and may be the perfect low-impact exercise to help keep him or her active.

It Boosts Heart Health

Swimming raises the heart rate enough to be considered an aerobic exercise, which can offer your loved one cardio-boosting benefits. As little as 20 minutes of swimming, 3 or 4 times a week, can increase cardiovascular fitness. A stronger cardiovascular system is not only important to reduce health risks like heart attacks and strokes, but may also promote your loved one’s quality of life by boosting his or her energy.

It Builds Muscles

Muscle mass naturally decreases with age. To prevent this, some level of resistance training is recommended for the elderly. Rather than going to the gym, your loved one can use swimming to build muscle. Water’s buoyancy provides resistance, making it an effective tool for building and maintaining muscles.

It Fights Osteoporosis

Along with the loss of muscle mass, losing bone density is a concern for many seniors. Swimming can help fight the loss of bone density, reducing the risk of developing osteoporosis and fractures. Maintaining bone density is vitally important for seniors, as a fracture can have a significant effect on the quality and length of life in an otherwise healthy individual.

It Relieves Stress

Swimming provides many of the same benefits as yoga, Tai chi, and other similar activities. It decreases muscular tension and helps promote relaxation, which can be particularly beneficial if your loved one often has trouble maintaining a regular sleep schedule.

It Promotes Flexibility

Regular swimming can help restore lost flexibility and increase balance, two major concerns for seniors receiving Placer County Parkinson’s care. Maintaining flexibility makes performing everyday activities like tying shoes easier, and good balance is important to prevent falls and to help your loved one feel secure with his or her level of mobility.

Depending on your loved one’s mobility, swimming may or may not be the best option for exercise. However, regular exercise is still important and there is likely an option to meet your loved one’s needs. If your loved one needs help maintaining a regular exercise routine, reach out to Home Care Assistance. Our part-time and 24-hour caregivers in Placer County can assist your loved one with daily physical activity and also help with a wide variety of other important tasks. For more information on our senior care services, call one of our friendly Care Managers at 916.226.3737 to schedule a complimentary in-home consultation.

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