The benefits of swimming for older people

As we get older our body can become harder to move. It can become painful with aching joints and even arthritis and our mobility can be reduced, but it’s important to try and stay as mobile as possible as not moving much can often make things worse.


Simple stretches in the morning can really help any stiffness that develops overnight. Stretch each arm and leg and stretch your feet and straighten your spine and neck.

If you would like to maintain good mobility and reduce the risk of aching joints and arthritis as you get older, then staying active is hugely beneficial. One activity you can do to help is swimming.

Moving in water doesn’t put extra pressure on your joints, so if you already have some aches and pains, swimming can be very helpful.

Swimming can also help you improve the range of motion in your joints and will help gradually improve your strength and flexibility.

It is a form of aerobic exercise, which means it gets your heart working, reducing your risk of developing coronary heart disease and helps your body eliminate fatty deposits in the arteries. Regular swimming will leave your heart much healthier and stronger.

As we get older, we lose muscle mass and swimming is a great way of combatting this as it works the muscles and improves physical strength. It also helps to maintain bone density, reducing the risk of osteoarthritis.

Without realising you will be working your core muscles while you swim and this will help significantly improve your balance and therefore reduce your risk of falls.

If you can get to a local pool, we’d really recommend it, even for a short 30-minute session. Many pools and leisure centres also run classes in the water, which can help even further and there are often ones available tailored to the older generation.

Swimming can not only help improve your physical health, but it’s great for your mental health and wellbeing too as concentrating on swimming will take your mind off anything else you might be worrying about. It’s a great stress reliever and can even help with social isolation too.