Does your elderly loved one need to be more active, but you are finding it difficult to find just the right activity? Many seniors cross the United States are discovering the health benefits of swimming. When most people think of swimming for exercise, they think of swimming endless laps. However, there are plenty of different kinds of activities and exercise programs that seniors can do in the water that not only benefit their body, but their mood as well.
Benefits for Seniors
There are a range of water exercise classes held at local public swimming pools. Many of them are designed especially for seniors. Water aerobics, water Zumba and water walking and jogging classes are very popular with the elderly because they are both easy on an aging body but provide plenty of resistance.
Water activities and swimming strengthen muscles, boost circulation, ease joint pain, improved balance and much more. Studies show that seniors who swim regularly are less likely to experience slip and fall accidents. Also, because of the social aspect of swim classes, seniors often enjoy better moods and feel better about themselves. There are relatively few drawbacks for seniors that are physically able to do water activities, so family caregivers can feel better about adding time at the pool.
Obstacles to Senior Swim Sessions
Unless the elderly loved one has a pool in the backyard or lives in a complex with a private pool, the biggest challenge to enjoying the benefits of swimming is getting to a public pool. Family caregivers can work out transportation with other family members or hire a home care aide to do the driving. Also, if seniors need assistance in changing into a swimsuit, it may be better for the family caregiver or home care aide to do this before arriving at the pool. Finally, the area around a pool can often be slippery, so extra care should be taken so the senior doesnt slip on the way to the water. However the obstacles are handled, theres no doubt that the health benefits from exercising in the water are well worth it.
Ideas for Water Exercise and Seniors
Many elderly people choose to join classes that specialize in guided exercises like water aerobics or water jogging. The classes are led by an instructor and they are held at a certain time and place. However, seniors can do exercises and swim on their own and still get some amazing health benefits. Walking back and forth across the shallow end of the pool, wall pushups, leg lifts and more all provide the body with an excellent work out and get the heart rate up. Even doing these water activities with a family member or friend can provide the physical, mental and social boost that many elderly people want.
When it comes to keeping elderly loved ones fit and healthy, exercise is the key. However, there are so many options that are off limits to seniors. Swimming and water exercises are ideal for seniors that want to maximize their activity levels but avoid the pitfalls of more traditional exercise. Family caregivers that want the best for their aging loved ones should definitely look into swimming and its benefits.