Top Health Benefits of Swimming for Elderly

Exercise becomes a significant part of a person’s life with passing age. A high rate of inactivity and having an idle routine makes an unhealthy lifestyle that may lead to several issues. According to a report, one man out of three possesses idle routine, which can cause physical problems. Swimming is one of the best options to carry as a daily routine workout in the elderly. It prevents the pain of back and joints, which is most common in arthritis patients. The primary purpose of this workout is to increase cardiac strength and keep the blood pressure in balance. 

Note:  Always consult with a physician before starting any exercise program.

Swimming can improve body posture and build core strength. It offers many positive health benefits. Following is the list of some of them:

Less Joint Issues

Hips, knees, and back are the most common joints where people start feeling pain as they age. The basic benefit of swimming is reducing the factors that cause such issues. When you do ground-based exercises, your whole body weight is affected by pull and push, but swimming lets your body feel free, putting less strain on it. Water makes the body float and lessens the stress on joints. 

Patients of elderly age dealing with arthritis also find swimming as a suitable exercise.

Cardiac Strength

Moving around or daily tasks such as climbing stairs become difficult in old age. Due to less cardiac strength, the person gets easily tired. Swimming helps in increasing the rate of heartbeat and blood flow, resulting in maximum cardiovascular strength. Movement and strength of the body decrease with age, but doing cardiac exercises such as swimming can help in performing all the activities with ease in the elderly.

Muscular Strength

Losing muscle mass is a major negative factor as you grow old. It causes the initial physical breakdown of the body, preventing it from performing better. However, it can be improved through different exercises. Doing workout gives muscular strength. Swimming is one of the best ways to provide muscular strength to almost all the muscles of the body at one single time. You can either exercise a group of muscles through swimming or hit a specific muscle doing another some other exercise – choice is yours. 

In short, strokes of water exercises develop core muscle strength and help reduce joint pain.  

Mental Strength

Stress, anxiety, and depression are a few basic psychological issues that people face in old age. Socializing is an accountable approach in dealing with such problems, while in many cases, exercise is also found as the best cure to find peace of mind. Feelings of getting healthier increase emotional balance, and it releases hormones that make a person comfortable. Swimming in public places also increases the chances of socializing and approaching a positive environment. Different community pools or swimming places make a person committed to certain routines, releasing stress and improving the mental state.

Decreased Risk of Falling

Falls are a major cause of physical injury in the elderly. Breaking of bones, panic attacks or even a mild injury due to a bad fall can result in a much-reduced rate of physical activity. The risk of falling in the elderly can be prevented with the help of swimming, says a study conducted by different medical professors and doctors. Elders with the habit of swimming have a lesser risk of falling. They tend to be more physically active than the elders with idle routine. While swimming, muscles work in a way that prevents the body from falling in water. Thus, the posture of the body gets better, and people with swimming habits tend to have a more stable body while standing, which ultimately results in reducing risk factors of falling.

More Flexibility

Swimming increases body flexibility because, during swimming, your muscle strength increases and body posture gets more stable. It allows us to perform the daily tasks with more durability, such as lifting something, picking stuff from the floor, or reaching the top shelf. Flexibility is a requirement in seniors because, without it, they won’t be able even to move freely. Swimming keeps the body firm and active throughout life. Flexibility rate can be enhanced with the help of swimming, and it is a far better choice as compared to other exercises, if the senior doesn’t have much strength. 

Reduced Rate of Osteoporosis

As a person grows old, he experiences a deficiency of minerals in bones, which leads to a severe risk of osteoporosis. It causes damage to bones; especially in women of old age. Swimming helps in fighting osteoporosis by increasing bone mineral strength through physical activity. Elders with such issues should perform daily or weekly-base sessions of swimming to prevent the risk factors of bone damage.

Enhances the Quality of Life

According to a study by Swim England, swimming improves health and enhances the quality of life. People with a more active body and good posture tend to have a better and healthy lifestyle. Being in water or swimming pools can reduce risk factors of stress on the brain and body. Regular swimming sessions can enhance the quality of life through emotional balance, hence improving the quality of life. 

Since we are discussing the benefits of swimming, you should also be familiar with different water exercises, which are as follows:

Types of Water Exercises

Basically, four types of water exercises can help in developing core strength in people of all ages, especially adults. For physical and mental betterment, check out the following water exercises that a senior can do while swimming:

  • Water aerobics

This exercise routine is similar to walking or dancing. Water aerobics mainly improves the physical balance of the body by improving gravity in water. Many institutes, clubs, and community pools offer water aerobics as their general therapy to the senior citizens.

  • Basic swimming

For beginners, this exercise involves 30 minutes of stretch time. When a person gets used to it, it gets easy for him to do basic swimming. It is one of the best exercises for seniors.

  • Water resistance 

Arm curls, leg swings, and calf raises in water are a few best water resistance exercises for adults. The best thing about swimming is that the body is weight free, and there is no need to pull or push weights because water acts as resistance.

  • Water relaxation

To release stress, improve cardiac strength, and balancing the heart rate and blood pressure, water relaxation exercise is the best option. It requires the development of peace of mind while relaxing the body in water. Pilates and Aqua yoga are the two best examples of water relaxation exercises.

What Should I Know Before Swimming?

Water lets your body float freely wherever it wants to. It depends on a person to develop different routines and resistance exercises. Although, before making it part of the workout routine, few precautionary measures should be taken. The first thing you should do is to consult a doctor and know about any injury or health condition that can cause problems later. Never hustle to exert stress on the body in the beginning while you swim. Take it slow and relax your body first. The best way to start is by accompanying. Get yourself a partner who can help you while you swim. You can also take the help of your swimming coach. 

In addition to these, you may also want to use swimming headbands to avoid ear and hair damage when you go swimming.


Swimming results in various body improvements such as cardiovascular strength, increased flexibility rate, balanced mental state, and better heart rate. Along with all positive factors, it improves body posture and helps in reducing joint pain. Maintaining metabolism and decreasing the rate of osteoporosis and arthritis is a major positive outcome of doing water aerobics. 

In short, swimming is an excellent choice for seniors because it offers many health benefits without making them lift heavy weights.