Finding an exercise program that is fun and effective, while also gentle on joints and musculature in an aging body can be as simple as stepping into a pool. Water workouts and swimming are being researched more frequently and found to be very effective, especially on older populations. The CDC recommends a water based exercise program for older adults to improving the overall quality of life, fitness, and maintain the bone health.
New research in the European Journal of Sport Science examined the effectiveness of a swimming program on muscle strength and body weight in postmenopausal women. Researchers assessed 93 subjects over a 12 month period. Subjects were separated into 3 groups; swimming workout, calisthenics and resistance workout, and a control group. Researchers assessed measures of mean upper extremity biokinetic force, mean power, and mean work were with a biokinetic swim bench. They also examined the max isometric force of the trunk flexors and knee extensors, as well as counter movement jump height. The subject’s body mass index and energy consumption rates were also measured.
Results indicated that swimming workouts had a more significant effect on the overall fitness level and body mass index of postmenopausal women, as compared to the other workouts tested. Postmenopausal should be encouraged to try swimming workout and workout in the water as part of their health and fitness regime.