The Advantages of Swimming for the Elderly

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Lifelong exercise is important for staying strong and healthy. However, some seniors have physical limitations that prevent them from performing certain exercises, such as jogging or weight lifting, while others have never exercised regularly and may even feel they’re 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 keep him or her active.

Boosts Heart Health

Swimming raises the heart rate enough to be considered an aerobic exercise, so it can offer 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 important for reducing health risks such as heart attacks and strokes, and it may also promote your loved one’s quality of life by boosting his or her energy.

If your loved one has mobility challenges or other health issues that make it difficult to exercise on his or her own, he or she can benefit from the assistance of a dedicated caregiver. Home care service experts are available to provide high-quality care to seniors on an as-needed basis. From assistance with mobility and exercise to providing transportation to the doctor’s office and social events, there are a variety of ways professional caregivers can help your aging loved one continue to live independently.

Builds Muscles

Muscle mass naturally decreases with age. To prevent this, some level of resistance training is recommended. 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 strong muscles.

Fights Osteoporosis

Along with the loss of muscle mass, losing bone density is a concern for many seniors. Swimming can 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 for an otherwise healthy individual.

If you usually help your loved one exercise but need a break now and then, consider having a professional caregiver take over for you. Families who find it difficult to care for their aging loved ones without assistance can benefit greatly from professional respite care. Roseville, CA, family caregivers who need a break from their caregiving duties can turn to Home Care Assistance. Using our proprietary Balanced Care Method, our respite caregivers can encourage your loved one to eat well, exercise regularly, get plenty of mental and social stimulation, and focus on other lifestyle factors that promote longevity.

Relieves Stress

Swimming is a great way for seniors to ease anxiety and stress, and it provides many of the same benefits as yoga, tai chi, and other similar activities. It decreases muscular tension and promotes relaxation, which can be particularly beneficial if your loved one often has difficulty maintaining a regular sleep schedule. In addition, swimming can be a shared social experience for older adults and their family members, which can help aging adults prevent feelings of social isolation and loneliness.

Promotes Flexibility

Regular swimming can restore flexibility and increase balance, two major concerns for seniors. Maintaining flexibility makes performing everyday activities such as tying shoes easier, and good balance is important to prevent falls and help your loved one feel more secure with his or her level of mobility.

Keeps Stress Off Joints & Bones 

Running and jogging are high-impact types of exercise that put a lot of stress on the joints and bones, resulting in the increased potential for fractures and other injuries. Seniors who have arthritis often find running painful, and even a low-impact form of exercise such as cycling can cause intense discomfort. Swimming doesn’t put stress on the joints and bones, so aging adults can enjoy exercising in the water without experiencing unnecessary pain.

Depending on your loved one’s level of mobility, he or she may require assistance with swimming or performing daily tasks. There are many reasons seniors might need assistance at home. Some may require regular mental stimulation due to an Alzheimer’s diagnosis, while others might only need part-time assistance with exercise and basic household tasks. Home Care Assistance is a leading Roseville senior home care provider. Families rely on our expertly trained caregivers to help their senior loved ones maintain a high quality of life. Reach out to us at Home Care Assistance if you need compassionate professional home care for your loved one. Call one of our friendly Care Managers today at (916) 226-3737.


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