Why swimming is great for older adults

It goes without saying that swimming is a great form of exercise.

Highly recommended by the NHS, regular swimming can reduce the risk of a wide range of illnesses, including heart disease and type 2 diabetes.

As well as there being inviting benefits for everyone, there are also a wide range of specific advantages for getting into swimming when you’re a little older.

Here at Damart, we have a wide range of ladies swimwear and swimming costumes within our store, so take a look at some of the benefits of swimming for the over 50s:

Improved balance

For some time, older adults have been encouraged to take up swimming to help improve balance and prevent the risk of falls.

Particularly prevalent in men, trips and falls should be taken more seriously as we age, and Australian researchers found that regular swimmers succumb to falls 53 per cent less than the average person.

Led by UK-based Simplyhealth Advisory Research, Dr Gill Jenkins, a lead panel member, said: “Falls are a considerable cause of death and hospital admissions in older people.”

She continued: “Swimming is a healthy activity for older people as it is also gentle on the joints and beneficial for the cardiovascular system.”

Boosts mental health

Depression affects around 22% of men and 28% of women aged 65 and over, so looking after your mental health as you age is important.

The good news is that as well as providing a variety of physical benefits for the body, there are also a great many benefits for the mind.

Like all exercise, swimming releases endorphins on the brain that can also help reduce stress and sooth the effects of anxiety.

Another study also found that being immersed in water helps to boost blood flow to the brain, which boosts oxygen and glucose levels, alongside other nutrients.

Higher muscle mass

It’s a little-known fact that physically inactive people can lose as much as 3% to 5% of muscle mass each decade after the age of thirty.

With that in mind, maintaining your muscles is key to a healthy lifestyle, and as swimming is a resistance exercise, it helps work your muscles without being too strenuous on the joints.

What’s more, you’ll also help to build your muscle endurance thanks to the constant pushing and pulling of water, particularly in your traps, shoulders, back, abs, lats, legs, and triceps.

Weight loss

For those looking to lose a little weight before a summer holiday, then swimming is certainly the place where you’ll be able to do it without putting a great deal of strain on your body.

Depending on both your weight and exertion level, you can burn between 90 to 550 extra calories in just a half-hour session.

What’s more, Joel Stager, Ph.D., director of the Counsilman Center for the Science of Swimming at Indiana University at Bloomington, speaking to Women’s Health, says that: “Our research shows that habitual swimmers are biologically up to 20 years younger than their actual age.”

Getting into swimming

If you’re looking to getting into swimming, there are various organisations and societies that can help you get started, including:

You can also find your local swimming pool using swimming.org’s Poolfinder search engine.

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