Swim Your Way to A Longer, Healthy Life

Swim Your Way to A Longer, Healthy Life

 

Researchers have recently concluded one exercise may be best for seniors: swimming. However, the most common form of exercise among older adults is walking. Take a look at the evidence, and you may just ditch the walk for the water.

The most recent study found swimming and other water-based workouts to lower the risk of falls among men 70+ by 33%. Dafna Merom, the study’s author and associate professor of physical activity and health at the University of Western Sydney in Australia, told Live Science, “Unlike [with] land-based sports, swimmers are required to create their own base of support and at the same time, to produce a coordinated movement of both upper and lower extremities.” Further research is needed, but Merom is confident that these results “will work even better for women.”

The benefits of swimming for seniors don’t end there. Take a look at the following reasons why you should implement swimming into your workout regiment:

  • Swimming reduces risk of osteoporosis, and can actually improve bone mineral density.
  • Water aerobics is one of the safest forms of strength training, which has been shown to help seniors maintain their weight, restore balance (and thus reduce falls), sleep better, and reduce the risks and symptoms of arthritis, diabetes, back pain, depression and other maladies.
  • Swimming improves cardiovascular health and endurance, lowering blood pressure, improving circulation, and reducing the risk of heart and lung disease.
  • Swimming boosts brain function: Neuroscientists and physiologists have found that exercise benefits mental acuity.
  • Swimming is low-impact, and therefore very easy on the joints
  • Swimming aids flexibility in the hips, neck, arms and legs, thus improving posture, reducing soreness, and helping alleviate back pain.
  • The CDC also reported just two and a half hours per week of swimming can decrease the risk of chronic illness.

If you would like to take advantage of the amazing benefits of swimming, take a look at the following resources to find classes and facilities near you:

Manhattan Pools

  • Hamilton Fish Pool East Houston St at Pitt St
    Tuesdays and Thursdays. Senior aquatics class 11am-noon.
  • Tony Dapolito Pool 1 Clarkson St at Seventh Ave South
    Mondays, Wednesday, Fridays. Senior aquatics class 10-11am.
  • Asser Levy Pool 392 Asser Levy Pl at East 23rd St
    Monday-Friday. Senior aquatics class 11am-noon.
  • Thomas Jefferson Pool East 112th St at First Ave
    Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. Free swim 9-10am. Senior aquatics class 10-10:45am
  • Jackie Robinson Pool Bradhurst Ave at West 146th St
    Tuesdays and Thursdays. Free swim 9-10am. Senior aquatics class 10-10:45am.
  • Highbridge Pool Amsterdam Ave at West 173rd St
    Tuesdays and Thursdays. Free swim 9-10am. Senior aquatics class 10-10:45am.

Brooklyn Pools

  • Betsy Head Hopkinson & Dumont Aves.
    Tuesdays and Thursdays. Free swim 9-10am. Senior aquatics class 10-10:45 a.m.
  • Kosciuszko Pool Marcy Avenue between DeKalb Ave & Kosciuszko St
    Tuesdays and Thursdays. Free swim 9-10am
    Senior aquatics class 10-10:45am.
  • McCarren Pool Lorimer St between Driggs & Bayard Sts
    Tuesdays and Thursdays. Free swim 9-10am. Senior aquatics class 10-10:45am.
  • Red Hook Pool Bay and Henry Sts
    Tuesdays and Thursdays. Free swim 9-10am. Senior aquatics class 10-10:45am
  • Sunset Pool Seventh Ave between 41st and 44th Sts
    Tuesdays and Thursdays. Free swim 9-10am. Senior aquatics class 10-10:45am.

Bronx Pools

  • Crotona Pool 173rd St at Fulton Ave
    Tuesdays and Thursdays. Free swim 9-10am. Senior aquatics class 10-10:45am.

Queens Pools

  • Astoria Pool 19th St at23rd Drive
    Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays. Senior aquatics class 11am-noon.
  • Fort Totten Pool 338 Story Ave.
    Mondays and Fridays. Senior aquatics class 10-11am.

Staten Island Pool

  • Lyons Pool Pier 6 at Victory Blvd
    Mondays through Thursdays. Senior aquatics class 9-10am.

With the piling evidence of swimming’s benefits, it would behoove you to work a few swim sessions into your weekly routine. The pool is waiting for you, ready to provide better health, improved mobility, and better quality of life.

Is swimming a part of your workout regiment? What activities could you replace with a quality swim session? What friends do you have that are avid swimmers? Could you join them on their next trip to the pool? Share with the community!

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