How Swimming Helps Your Body As You Age
A common fear among many aging adults is that their bodies will become less and less physically capable of standing the test of time. That the activities and exercise they used to enjoy and be able to participate in will become limited as biology works its course. While this is true to a degree, there are certainly activities that can help combat the physical effects of aging and ensure that you are able to enjoy life to the fullest, regardless of age. Swimming is one of the best ways of doing this. Below are some of the many benefits of swimming as you age.
Impact free. One of the main reasons that adults stop exercising as they age is because of the impact activities like running and weightlifting can have on your joints. Swimming is a great alternative to both of these because you are able to both strengthen joints and muscles, as well as promote a healthy cardiovascular system, while remaining weightless.
Increased muscle tone and strength. We all lose muscle tone and strength as the body ages, it is just a fact of life. But you don’t have to stop trying to keep a fit, toned looking body as you age because you are worried that the effort will take too big of a toll on the rest of your body. Swimming not only trains your muscles using your own body weight, it has also been shown to strengthen bones, especially in postmenopausal women.
Improves flexibility. With aging comes stiff joints, arthritis pain and a whole host of limitations associated with reduced flexibility. Swimming helps to improve flexibility by exercising the entire body, instead of just focusing on one, or a couple of muscle groups as you would in the gym. Swimming requires that your legs, arms, shoulders, back and neck all work in concert to propel yourself through the water, utilizing a full range of motions to do so.
Healthier heart. Swimming not only helps with external muscle strength, more importantly, it helps our body’s most important muscle, the internal one, our heart. Swimming is an anaerobic exercise, which means that it is a cardiovascular workout that improves your body’s cardiovascular system’s ability to use and distribute oxygen, which can lead to better blood flow, alertness and more energy.
Burn calories. As we age, our metabolisms slow and that means it takes longer for our bodies to burn the calories we put it and fat deposits tend to grow. Everybody’s genetics are different in this department, and some people are predisposed to faster and slower metabolisms, but swimming has conclusively been shown to be one of the best calorie burners around.
If you are concerned that there isn’t much you can do to combat the aging process’ effect on your body, consider the above 5 benefits of swimming. Swimming is a great way to exercise your body, inside and out, while eliminating some of the physical stress on of repetitive impact exercises like running or gym workouts. Age is just a number, especially if you are doing everything you can to make sure you look and feel great.