A senior woman takes a break while swimming in an indoor pool.

Why Swimming Is One of the Best Fitness Activities for Seniors

Whether you’re swimming laps or doing water aerobics, the pool is perfect for a low-impact workout. Swimming is a joint-friendly fitness activity for seniors that’s easy to do year-round in an indoor pool. And you don’t have to be an experienced swimmer to enjoy the benefit of water exercise. Simply getting into the pool to do some water walking can improve your health and well-being.

Water exercise is a refreshing way to start a new exercise routine, especially if you’re bored with treadmill training and looking for more variety in your routine. Water provides resistance in any direction you move, giving your heart and muscles a healthy workout. With all the advantages that come with it, swimming is the perfect lifelong activity to help you stay in shape at any age.

Benefits of Swimming for Seniors

Swimming works all the muscle groups, providing a great total body workout with less impact and lower risk of injury compared to land-based activities. Let’s dive into the benefits of swimming for seniors:

  • Gentle on joints. Working out in water is a gentle way to exercise joints and muscles. Water-based exercise allows you to reap the benefits of physical activity in a low-impact environment without the strain on your body that traditional forms of exercise may cause. This makes aquatic exercise ideal for seniors with arthritis, chronic pain or limited mobility. Being immersed in warm water also has a therapeutic benefit of soothing painful joints and relaxing tense muscles.
  • Promotes heart health. Regular aerobic exercise such as swimming can improve cardiovascular health by lowering blood pressure, improving circulation, and reducing the risk of heart and lung disease. Swimmers build up endurance over time, which helps strengthen the heart and improve overall fitness.
  • Improves flexibility. Limited range of motion can be a challenge as we get older, with muscles becoming stiff and inflexible. With the buoyancy of water to support your body weight, the pool provides the perfect environment to stretch and move through a full range of motion.
  • Maintains stability. Swimming strengthens the core muscles that are so important for posture and balance. Improving your stability by building these muscles helps you maintain better balance on land and may even prevent falls.
  • Provides social opportunities. Exercising with others in the pool can provide significant benefits for your social and emotional health. It’s a great way to meet new friends and build a sense of community, which can help active seniors avoid feelings of loneliness and social isolation.
  • Boosts mental health. Swimming, like other forms of exercise, can boost your mood, reduce stress levels, and help you sleep better at night. It all adds up to a healthier and happier you!

Splash into Senior Wellness

Older adults should aim to get 150 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise per week (30 minutes five days per week). Some people find they can exercise longer in water than on land without increased effort or pain. Swimming is a great way to get the exercise you need, and you may be surprised by how quickly time flies when you’re having fun!

At Timber Ridge at Talus, we offer a dynamic wellness program designed to help you reach your personal goals. Independent living residents love spending time in our aquatic center with a heated indoor swimming pool and whirlpool. Regularly scheduled aquatic programs include open swim, lap swimming, water aerobics (aquacize), and water walking classes. We invite you to learn more about senior wellness and an impressive lineup of amenities offered at Timber Ridge, where every day brings new possibilities to live your best life in retirement. Contact us today for more information.