Could there be anything more silly than a senior citizen learning to swim? As a former Red Cross Water Safety instructor, my answer would be that the only thing sillier is for seniors to give up on the opportunity to learn how to swim.While much of my instructional time has been spent with young people, I also have had the opportunity to teach seniors who were either total novices or had very little water experience. Teaching those individuals quickly convinced me that there are at least five important reasons why seniors should learn to swim.To begin with, most seniors share a common concern for their physical and mental well-being. Common knowledge today suggests that moderate physical activity can deliver a positive boost to both physical and mental well-being. Exercise is almost universally approved as a means to help folks actively attack problems like diabetes, high blood pressure, or obesity. Experience tells us all that improved physical health can often simultaneously cast a positive glow on your mental and emotional state.
Unlike other exercise options, swimming is a low-impact activity. Learning to swim will allow you to help your heart and lungs without pounding away at your joints. The good news is you don’t have to be an Olympic swimmer to get the benefits of swimming. Learning beginner-swimming skills like treading water, floating, the crawl stroke, or elementary kicks can give you confidence in the water and get you moving. With the assistance of flotation devices seniors can engage in health enhancing activity in shallow water almost from the start.
Of course, learning to swim can turn out to be more than just a healthy habit. When people cross the line into their senior years, they often give consideration to at least a mental list of things they wish they had done but somehow never found the time to do. Did you always wish you had learned to swim? If so, taking a few beginner swimming lessons and following up with your own regular swim routine may allow you to feel a certain sense of accomplishment as you check something quite challenging off that list.
Taking the step to sign up for swimming lessons and learning the basics needed to swim on your own, with lifeguard present, can put you in position to encounter a whole collection of people you might never have met otherwise. Perhaps they will be beginners like you or maybe they will be more advanced swimmers who can even give you a few tips. When you take up an activity you have never done before the odds are always very good that you will meet some new people
As someone who has been a swimmer for more than half a century, I can promise that learning to swim is likely to do more than improve your health, let you reduce your bucket list by one or have a chance to socialize. Swimming has the potential to give you relaxation and joy. The feeling of your body floating is not duplicated in any other sport. More often than not you will leave the water fully refreshed. It’s an experience worth working towards.
What may finally move you to get up off the couch and check in to a local health club for your first swimming lesson could be your desire to be the best grandparent possible. Knowing how to swim and knowing how to help children stay safe in the water are skills that certainly add to any grandparent’s portfolio.
Don’t be surprised if once you get started swimming, you think of two or three more reasons why seniors should learn to swim and become a swim advocate among your peers.
added from an article of voices.yahoo.com
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