Avid swimmer and fitness enthusiast Michael Lehrke discusses why swimming is one of the best physical activities for senior citizens.
Exercise is an essential part of a healthy lifestyle, and physical movement becomes even more important as the body ages. Avid swimmer and fitness enthusiast Michael Lehrke recently discussed the importance of exercise for senior citizens and how swimming is one of the best ways for older adults to get moving.
Michael Lehrke explained that while physical movement is essential for senior citizens; however, many traditional forms of exercise can put a lot impact on the bones and joints. For this reason, high intensity interval training, running, and other high-impact activities are not often recommended for older adults. Swimming, however, is a low-impact exercise that is beneficial for both physical and mental health.
“Swimming is a low-risk activity for seniors, presenting few opportunities for injury,” Michael Lehrke said. “It’s also a way for seniors to get out in their communities and socialize.”
According to enthusiasts like Michael Lehrke, swimming is a heart-healthy aerobic exercise that can help seniors maintain a healthy weight and experience lower blood pressure. The knees and other joints can also be fragile in senior citizens, and swimming provides all of the benefits of a serious aerobic workout without putting these parts of the body at risk for injury.
“Swimming classes for seniors can be as beneficial for mental health as they are for physical health,” Michael Lehrkesaid. “Many times, senior citizens can feel depressed from too much time spent at home alone. Swimming has been known to reduce depression and alleviate stress and anxiety.”
Fitness enthusiasts like Michael Lehrke state that water provides a feeling of weightlessness that has been tied to relieving stress as well as the tightness or stiffness in muscles associated with it.
Other benefits of swimming, according to Michael Lehrke, is that it can increase lung capacity while promoting superior flexibility and movement. As swimmers build endurance, they’re less likely to feel out of breath while swimming and while performing everyday tasks outside of the pool. People who once felled winded while walking up a short hill, likely won’t feel out of breath performing the same activity after participating in a regular swimming program.
“Swimming promotes muscle strength, balance, flexibility, and numerous other physical benefits,” Michael Lehrkeexplained. “This means senior citizens who swim or perform water aerobics regularly are less likely to experience a fall or other injury while performing everyday tasks.”
Michael Lehrke and other avid swimmers encourage more senior citizens to enroll in swimming programs to boost mental and physical health this year.