How many years I have been living in Greece, I never cease to be amazed and, I will tell you a secret, I envy the white envy of dry old men and old women over 80 who swim in the sea all year round. It happens that you walk along the embankment, wrap yourself in a fur coat from the wind piercing through and through, and they swim to their health … What good fellows! You need to join them.
The life of people is difficult and demanding at any age, but after 65 years we come face to face with a new world in which health problems, alas, are growing. Our weapon for dealing with them is wellness activities. Some of the ailments can be prevented or delayed simply by incorporating exercise into our daily lives.
However, older people often find it difficult to stay active. Among other things, bone and joint pain can make it difficult to exercise, which is why they least want to do it. but swimming or exercising in the water allow you to improve your physical condition without straining your joints.
“Swimming brings health benefits, improves mood, vigor and therefore provides a good quality of life for men and women over 65. For example, a study published in the American Journal of Epidemiology suggests that swimming and exercising in the water may be the best form of exercise to reduce the risk of falls in older people (and as a result, a hip fracture, after which the person usually lies down, and then .. and the forecast is even worse).
Unlike many other types of exercise, swimming improves balance and strengthens the muscles of the trunk, while being gentle on the musculoskeletal system with minimal risk of injury, ”says orthopedic surgeon Dr. Dimitris Triantafillopoulos, director of the orthopedic clinic.
Specifically, what are the benefits of swimming for seniors:
Strengthens the body
The passage of time negatively affects the body, which gradually loses strength and endurance. Swimming and regular exercise in the water helps maintain a healthy weight, which is key to preventing many diseases and injuries and reducing chronic pain (myalgia).
Aging is always accompanied by a loss of muscle mass, which leads to a decrease in strength. Swimming is good for the joints and simultaneously stimulates all the muscles in the body due to the resistance of water, which is about twelve times denser than air. The bather feels like he is carrying only half his weight. Walking in water (waist-deep) also plays a significant role in improving and strengthening the body.
Staying flexible can help prevent injury. Aging deprives a person of mobility and flexibility, but swimming interrupts this process. The joints continue to move in their normal range without pain, and the muscles become strong enough to support the joints. Swimming can also help improve muscle coordination, reduce pain, and improve posture.
Reduces the risk of osteoporosis
Decreased bone density reduces the quality of life of millions of postmenopausal women (and men) and makes them vulnerable to arthritis, etc. Bone loss and deterioration of bone microarchitecture are directly related to reduced bone strength and, as a result, an increased risk of fractures, which ultimately eventually leads to conditions clinically known as osteopenia and osteoporosis. Osteoporotic fractures cause excessive morbidity, chronic pain, poor quality of life, and hospitalization in long-term care facilities. Activities such as swimming can reduce these risks by increasing bone density. Water aerobics, which includes walking in water, dancing, and other aerobic exercise, is a way to slow bone loss.
“Swimming and water activities are ideal exercises for seniors. It is a pleasant way to strengthen the musculoskeletal system, as well as the cardiovascular and respiratory systems. At the same time, it is an inexpensive way to avoid weight gain and helps prevent osteoarthritis, one of the main causes of pain and disability. “Above all, however, it helps prevent fractures from falls or osteoporosis, which have a high mortality rate,” says Dr. Dimitris Triantafillopoulos.