Seniors and Life Sports IV – 6 Benefits of Swimming
Today’s article is the fourth in a series on life sports. The first two looked at what most would consider group or team sports and the last two have focused on individual sports. Last week I looked at the benefits of walking and today I’m sharing those of swimming.
None of the sports I’ve written about are solely for seniors. Just the opposite. They’re for any and every age group. They’re called “life sports” for a reason. It’s because as you age, they are sports that, for the most part, will not cause serious harm or injury to its participants, especially seniors who may be battling challenges like arthritis, or other illness.
The benefits of even moderate exercise outweigh those of being a couch potato. My initial research on the benefits of swimming pulled up a mere 699 million articles. It’s safe to say that there just might be some benefits derived from doing laps in the pool. Here are six:
- Total body workout – Lisa Porter, a freelance journalist, lists in Livestrong, all the muscle groups worked by the different swim strokes. Included are the back, chest, shoulders, abdominals, biceps and triceps, gluteal muscles, and legs.
- Increases Lung Capacity – Writing in Thrive Global, Florence T. Gibson, a freelance journalist, lists several benefits of swimming. Chief among them are increased lung capacity and learning proper breathing techniques.
- Increases endurance and stamina – Epainassist, a website dedicated to health and wellness issues, cites several benefits of swimming including increased endurance and stamina.
- Increases flexibility – Sarah Hansen, a corporate salesperson turned fitness writer and entrepreneur, notes in Lifehack, that the repetitive stretching found in the different strokes helps promote better flexibility.
- Helps with weight loss – Marygrace Taylor, a freelance writer specializing in health and nutrition, notes that swimming, like any other cardiovascular exercise burns calories, but with swimming there is the added resistance which helps burn more calories and can increase weight loss.
- Improves sleep – Lydia House, a contributor to Women’s Health magazine, notes studies showing that swimming like other aerobic exercises can promote better sleep.
Many of you are saying swimming was too easy a life sport to research, low hanging fruit. Truth is, I could have just as easily written on the benefits of bocce ball or shuffleboard. Believe me, there are benefits, think hand-eye coordination and strategizing as just a few.
My goal in this series has not been to have anyone dwell on what they cannot do, but to think of what it is you can do, either alone or in a group. You may not be able to swim, but perhaps pool walking is a better option. Maybe all you can do is play chess or other board game, but so what, those have benefits too. Just choose to somehow be active and HAVE FUN!!!