Taking up a new sport or fitness regime as a hobby is a great idea for older people. Doing so ensures that you’re exercising your body each week and therefore are staying fit and healthy. Swimming is a great way of not only staying fit, but also having fun doing so.
Today’s post looks at just a few of the benefits of swimming each week, both physically and sociably. For a look at other sport and fitness hobby ideas, please see our top five article.
1. A Full Body Workout
Swimming can provide your body with a complete workout and counts as both a muscular and cardiovascular workout. During a single swimming session, you will burn more calories and build up more muscle mass than other workouts, because of the resistance that the water gives – it’s around 800 times denser than air.
According to Speedo, 30 minutes of swimming can burn up to 350 calories. This intense workout means that your heart and lungs work harder to pump oxygen around your body, which in-turn leads to better cardiovascular health.
Swimming can be seen as a mini-resistance workout, as you kick with your legs and push through the water with your arms and shoulders. Your core also works hard as your swim, which will help your abs and hips.
2. It’s good for your Bones
Unlike a lot of other sports and exercises, swimming puts very little strain on your joints. The water in the pool can take up to 90% of your body’s weight, which is perfect for older swimmers and those who suffer from arthritis.
This means you can keep coming back for more sessions, sooner rather than later, as your joints won’t be hurting in-between workouts.
3. It improves Flexibility
A major issue with older people is that they can spend too long sat down, motionless. According to the NHS, some older people over the age of 65 are known to spend 10 hours or more each day sitting or lying down.
Swimming can help enhance your flexibility in old age, as you’re working and moving your entire body as you swim. You’re constantly moving your arms and legs, building up muscle mass in the process.
Building up muscle and staying flexible can help reduce the chances of any injuries or stiffness which can become common among older people.
4. It helps you lose Weight
As we’ve already discusses in the post, swimming is a full body workout which helps you to build up muscle mass and burn hundreds of calories. All of this means that you can lose weight by swimming once or twice a week.
5. Swimming is Fun
Most people loved to go swimming as children, but the thing is, it is still fun now. Swimming, although a tough workout, is still a fun activity to take part in. According to some researchers, swimming can also reduce stress, lower anxiety and combat depression.
Swimming is also associated with going on holiday, which is one of the most exciting times of the year. Socially, swimming is also excellent as you can regularly meet up with other swimmers and enjoy a workout together.
Remember to have a medical with your doctor before starting a new sport and fitness hobby, and to take it slow and easy when you begin. It’s better to gradually improve your ability and fitness, rather than going in too hard and injuring yourself.
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