Swimming has huge benefits, few downsides
February 2, 2012
Exercising has long been found to help people thrive as they reach senior status. According to Florida Today, one form of exercising that may outshine the rest is swimming.
The source reports that swimming not only strengthens muscles, but it does so in a way that is easy on the joints and limbs, perfect for seniors who suffer from arthritis or other medical conditions.
A study conducted in 2009 by researchers at the University of South Carolina wanted to see if the benefits of swimming surpassed the benefits of running, walking or living sedentary lifestyles. Scientists looked at thousands of physical exams of people who were enrolled in the Aerobics Center of Longitudinal Study, which went on over the 32 years.
From the results, it showed that swimmers have a 50 percent lower risk of death over runners, walkers and individuals who don't regularly exercise.
Dr. Jim Shaffer, a pulmonologist, told the publication that swimming is the best exercise for people who need to work out but can't perform standard routines due to limitations.
"The people I see usually just need to move, and for people who just need to move, swimming is the ideal exercise," Shaffer told the source. "You get to move all your muscles … it's almost free exercise. It burns a lot of calories and it is safe."
Although swimming or other forms of exercise can help keep elders strong, it can't prevent falls. Those living alone might want to install a medical alert system in their homes in case an accident occurs.