Swimming Seniors see more benefits in their health, mental and physical well-being

imgres-3Seniors are seeing all the benefits from the healing powers of swimming.  Seniors are not only experiencing all the physical benefits, but are also benefiting from improvement in memory and mood stimulus that prevents depression.  Swimming increases brain chemicals that assist in contributing to the effectiveness of nerve cells by enhancing the production of neurotransmitters such as serotonin and endorphins.

During a brisk swim, the muscle and brain have to work together to perform a certain motion.  In turn, the neurons are activated across a specialized neuromuscular junction that is connect to the skeletal muscles.  the brain’s purpose is to use the chemical (acetylcholine) that activates the memory to enable your performance in swimming or any other exercise. Thus, creating increase of movement among the neurons also assists in regenerating neurons.

James Knierim department of neuroscience at Johns Hopkins University states that the brain has 50 percent of all neurons located in the body.  As the cerebellum initializes the timing of muscle groups, it produces the successful activities such as exercise like swimming.

In extensive stressful situations, the stress prevents the creation of new neurons, which plays a significant roll in leading to depression.  Swimming, on the other hand, stimulates the natural antidepressant neurotransmitters called endorphins and keeps the neurons reproducing and relieving stress and, in turn, elevates the mood, preventing depression.

imgres-4Additional benefits of swimming include that it is a low-impact, weightless repetitive motion which builds muscle tone from resistance and helps seniors to improve the joints and relieve pain caused by arthritis.  The continuous aerobic exercise helps to loose weight as well as increase endurance with elevating your heart and strengthening your blood pressure.  The continuous stretching forward movement helps to improve your posture.  Swimming overall improves how you view yourself, loose weight, increase your energy and overall enhances your mood.

The challenge is just making the effort and commitment to just do it.   It only takes 2-3 times a week.  You will be so happy with yourself for just following through with it.  Check with your doctor to be sure your not setting your sites to high.  First start out slow and warm up by a brisk walk around the pool and stretching.  Getting in to the pool you will initially want to hold on to the side of the pool and perform some initial leg exercises.  An example would be flutter kicks.  I also recommend using a kick board.  Set an initial goal of how many laps you will do and stick to it even if you have to stop and take a break.  However, do not over do it.  If it gets too hard; stop immediately.  Its okay to stop!  If you should at any point in time feel exhausted or get a cramp or a sharp pain; immediately get out.  I recommend to always swim with a buddy which will help you to make and follow through with your commitment and they will watch out for your overall well-being.


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