The Beehive State is just as for seniors as it is for millennials. According to government data, the older population will account for 13% of Utah. Many of these will age in place.
Those who wish to do that, though, need to upgrade their home to make it safer, more enjoyable, and even healthier for them. One option is to reach out to swimming pool contractors. Swimming, after all, is an excellent exercise for the baby boomers.
The Perks of Swimming for the Seniors
Swimming offers many physical and mental health benefits for everyone, especially for the older population:
1. It Improves Cardiovascular Function
Aging is a risk factor for many chronic diseases, such as heart disorders, hypertension, stroke, and other cardiovascular and blood vessel problems. One reason is physiological.
As a person ages, the muscle cells of the organ degenerate. The blood vessels can also harden or stiff, so they might contract less and allow blood to flow properly.
Aging also increases the production of free radicals, which can damage cells. These include found in the heart.
The heart is also a muscle, and like other muscles in the body, people need to exercise it. That’s why health agencies recommend doing at least 30 minutes of cardiovascular workouts a day.
One of these is swimming. A 30-minute swim can already burn around 500 calories. It’s almost the same amount when a person runs instead.
2. It Is Easy on the Joints and Bones
Besides the heart and blood vessels, aging can affect the skeletal system, particularly the joints and bones. For example, the prevalence of arthritis seems to increase with age.
According to the CDC, about 7.1% of individuals between 18 and 44 years old have been diagnosed with the condition. However, the percentage rises to nearly 50% for people from 65 years old and above.
Meanwhile, a sedentary lifestyle can do more harm than good on the bones and joints. It raises the risk of obesity, and excess fat can add more pressure to these body parts.
One of the best things about swimming is it’s a low-impact exercise. Because it makes the body buoyant, the waters are gentler on the knees, back, hips, and shoulders.
3. It Enhances a Person’s Mood
Aging affects not only the physical body but also the mind. Around 10% of seniors develop anxiety, while others struggle with depression. Many factors can cause this, from isolation to immobility and the death of a loved one.
In an article for PyschCentral, associate editor Therese Borchard shared that swimming can help improve a person’s mood:
- It can increase the release of neurotransmitters, like serotonin, which make someone feel good.
- It helps produce a stress-reducing hormone.
- Swimming can also aid in quieting the mind.
Designing Swimming Pools for Older Adults
While swimming is a fantastic physical and mental activity for seniors, not all pools are cut out for the users’ needs. Many seniors are already prone to fractures and falls.
For older people, the best pool designs include:
- A ramp for those with mobility issues
- A beach-style design, which allows them to ease their way gradually to deeper waters
- Strong handrails to keep them stable
- Non-slippery tiles
Older people who want to age in Utah can consider upgrading their pool so that they can have some fun and exercise under the sun anytime. That’s how they can keep themselves happy and healthy.