Seniors who swim are 33% less likely to suffer a fall — it’s not just a coincidence we have a swimming pool.
No matter your age, the best exercise for you is the one you enjoy the most. After all, if you don’t like your workout, how long are you going to stick with it? But hey, who doesn’t like swimming. There’s a reason swimming is called the world’s perfect exercise.
Whether you’re performing the breaststroke, taking a water aerobics class, or playing Marco Polo with the grandkids, getting in the pool is a great way to increase your cardiovascular fitness while also strengthening your muscles, says Victoria Shin, M.D., a cardiologist at Torrance Memorial Medical Center in California. And it does all this while putting minimal stress on your bones and joints, which is a major plus for men and women who have arthritis or osteoporosis. As if that isn’t enough reason to jump in, a study published in the Journal of Aging Research suggests that swimming can help older adults keep their minds as sharp as their bodies.
And there’s this — an Australian study of 1,700 men age 70 and older found that, those who regularly swam were 33% less likely to suffer a fall during day-to-day activities. “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,” said Dafna Merom, an associate professor of physical activity and health at the University of Western Sydney in Australia and author of the study. So dive in, jump in, or slowly and carefully lower yourself in — just get in the water and swim your way to a healthier day-to-day.