Swimming is widely accepted as a great form of exercise for people of any age, but it has distinct benefits for older adults and with National Senior Health and Fitness Day coming up on 25th May, we decided to put some tips together to help you get the most out of every trip to the pool. Here are 5 different low impact ways that you can exercise in the water:
Water supports your body weight, making it a low impact form of exercise that won’t place undue stress on your bones, joints or muscles. The Aquatic Exercise Association (AEA) report that it’s particularly effective at delaying and managing the symptoms of rheumatic arthritis which is common amongst seniors. They recommend ten different exercises that you can do in the water including walking, squatting and gentle arm, leg and hip rotations. Whenever you’re at the pool, move, flex and work your body in any way that feels comfortable and you’ll soon notice an improvement in your overall flexibility and comfort, in the water and out of it.
As perhaps one of the most popular modes of pool exercise, lane swims give you the opportunity to build strength in the arms and legs, improve cardiovascular health, lose weight and maintain good posture and balance. Breaststroke is gentle on the shoulders and knees but if you feel comfortable, try varying your strokes to make your swim more challenging, interesting and beneficial to your physical health. If you’re concerned that you won’t be able to keep up with others don’t worry, the majority of pools cater for different lane speeds so you can go at your own pace.
Swimming classes give you the opportunity to socialise and exercise in fun ways while focussing on working different parts of the body. Aqua aerobics classes, for example, will give you a great cardio workout which is vital for arterial health. Cardio has been shown to reduce the risk of developing heart disease, angina, type 2 diabetes and strokes. However, with aqua aerobics the impact is reduced as your body weight is supported by the water, therefore it’s ideal for beginners, those with joint problems and people who are overweight.
If you’re already a competent and confident swimmer, then adding training aids into your regime will make it more challenging and could enhance the health benefits. Kickboards and foot Finz can help you to build core strength and muscle control in the legs for improved tone and swimming technique, while hand paddles can be used to build strength in the arms, shoulders and back. By flexing and working those muscles, you will gain strength but perhaps more importantly delay and minimise the pain of osteoporosis and reduce the increased risk and impact of falls that are associated with ageing.
You don’t actually have to complete any sort of pool workout to enjoy the benefits of being in the water! When you’re submersed in water, as your body weight is supported, it is a relaxing and physically liberating way to enjoy real relief from common aches and pains even without much movement, particularly in the knees and ankles. Whether you choose to try one of these water exercises or have a go at them all, you will need swimwear that has suitable support and stretch properties that enable you to move freely in complete comfort and with confidence.
Our Swimshapes range features a selection of full swimsuits for ladies that have various supports for the bust, tummy and bottom while our wider range of adult swimwear and accessories has been thoughtfully developed to cater for men and women of any age. We also have a great range of men’s leisure swimwear perfect for the older gentleman, which is designed with comfort in mind. With soft Durafeel fabric along with drawstring waists for easy adjustments to ensure a best fit.
You can find everything you need in the Zoggs online store. Simply choose your swimwear, choose a water exercise and head to the pool for an invigorating, health-boosting dip.